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A First at Washington State Coalition for Language Access Conference

NWCPHP-affiliated faculty member Hendrika Meischke and research assistant Kim Arthur gave the first-ever public health-oriented research presentation at the Washington State Coalition for Language Access.

NWCPHP-affiliated faculty member Hendrika Meischke and research assistant Kim Arthur gave the first-ever public health-oriented research presentation at the Washington State Coalition for Language Access.

October 25, 2011

Public health researchers typically are not found at the annual Washington State Coalition for Language Access (WASCLA) conference. But on October 14 and 15, three University of Washington researchers were in Olympia, Washington among a crowd of legal and medical interpreters, policymakers, health professionals, and social and educational service providers to deliver the conference's first-ever research-focused presentation.

This presentation focused on using research to improve language access services in the health arena for limited English proficiency (LEP) populations. NWCPHP faculty, Hendrika Meischke, PhD, MPH, presented on the communication processes, interactions, and outcomes among 911 operators, LEP callers, and interpreters. Beatriz Carlini, PhD, Research Scientist at the UW Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute, presented her ideas for a research project on assessing the feasibility of reaching LEP immigrants through online tools. And Kim Arthur, MPH student in the Executive MPH Degree Program, discussed her research comparing English- and Spanish-speaking families' experiences with communication in the Children’s Hospital emergency department.

NWCPHP was pleased to connect its research activities in this new forum. This event may also open doors to new partnerships and community collaborations. Meischke commented, "The audience was very engaged and asked many questions. Several people approached us afterwards to inquire about research opportunities and collaborative projects with University of Washington researchers."

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