The Use of Interpreters in Health Centers: A Mixed-Methods Analysis

Authors: Marsha Regenstein, PhD | Yoon Hong Park, MPP | Maddie Krips, BA

Topics: Community Health Centers, Diversity, Emerging Models and Innovations

Research Center: GW Health Workforce Research Center

March 23, 2023

Health centers provide primary care to millions of patients with limited English proficiency (LEP) through language service programs. Approximately 25% of 30 million patients who received care at health centers in 2019 had LEP and needed interpreters when clinicians and other staff were not fluent in their language.

This article examines interpreter use in health centers from 2009-2019 and describes models of service delivery commonly used to meet patients’ language needs.

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