United Way: A Community Cost-Sharing Project
MAMI received funding from United Way of the Valley and Greater Utica Area, which allowed us to offer trained, free-of-charge interpreting to limited English proficient (LEP) patients referred for basic and emergency needs to small doctors’ offices and non-profits. Our research and experience had indicated that, in these venues, our growing refugee population was not receiving proper, safe or confidential interpreting. These specialist providers would often appoint as interpreters friends and family, many times children, who were neither qualified nor accurate in their work. By using the trained MAMI interpreter, accuracy and completeness is honored, conflicts of interest are avoided and confidentiality is assured. In addition, when the patient knows that an interpreter will be provided every time he goes to the doctor’s, there is greater chance that the patient will go to the doctor as soon as a problem arises and will return for a follow up visit and comply with the doctor’s orders.