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Penn State Health seeks employee language interpreters, translators to support growing patient diversity

Penn State Health providers care for a growing number of patients who either don’t speak English, don’t speak it as a primary language, speak a dialect such as Pennsylvania Dutch or use sign language.

Currently, Hershey Medical Center, St. Joseph Medical Center and Holy Spirit Medical Center each provide services for these patients. The health system is now looking to build on these services to establish a systemwide language interpreter and translation program to meet the needs of our increasingly diverse patients.

To begin developing a systemwide program, Penn State Health’s Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion wants to identify employees who can assist patients and their families with non-medical information and questions in other languages or through sign language.

“In feedback requested in 2018 and during a July 2020 town hall session, we heard from a number of our employees that we have an opportunity to enhance our services by providing more language interpreter and translation services to our patients in all of our locations,” said Lynette Chappell-Williams, vice president and chief diversity officer, Penn State Health.

The health system also is seeking employees who are certified medical interpreters and employees who want to become certified, Chappell-Williams said.

Employees who speak a language other than English, are certified medical interpreters, or are fluent in a language and would like to explore becoming a certified interpreter, should complete this survey.

Those with questions or suggestions about the systemwide interpreter program can email

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