Provincial Language Service’s new Language Matters webinar series launches September 26

The Provincial Language Service, a program of the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA), provides interpreting and translation services to BC health authorities.

Why does language matter?

Nearly 28 per cent of people in BC spoke a language other than English or French as their first language and 16 per cent report speaking a language other than English or French at home (source: 2016 Census data). After English, the most common languages spoken at home are Cantonese and Mandarin, Punjabi, Tagalog, French, Korean and Spanish.

Webinar details

The Provincial Language Service is launching a four-part webinar series, Language Matters, aimed at providing a space to share experiences, learn from each other and strengthen our collective understanding of why language matters in health care.

The first webinar is being held Tuesday, September 26 from 10-11 a.m. PST on the topic of Making sense of language: the communication conundrum.

“Take medication with each meal.” This simple and direct statement has little room for misunderstanding, right? But what if the patient understands the number of meals per day differently that what the health care provider understands? Communication is complex – it’s more than just language. Communicating in a multicultural setting or working through an interpreter adds a layer of complexity that can be hard to navigate.

This webinar will explore the complex nature of communication in a multi-lingual health care environment and the importance of language access in health care. Participants are encouraged to watch this webinar in groups and continue the conversation afterwards.

About the presenters

Angela Sasso has been instrumental in affecting systemic change in the provision and utilization of interpreter services, and has been training interpreters to work in community, health care and mental health settings since 1995, in addition to presenting courses for health care providers, social workers, correctional officers and professionals on how to most effectively work with language services. Currently, President of Critical Link International, Angela has worked to promote and strengthen multilingual and multicultural communities through the provision of quality interpreting services.

Kiran Malli has worked in the area of multicultural access and cultural competency since 1990 and specializes in access to health care for people with limited English proficiency. Kiran is a skilled facilitator with experience including training for health care providers, anti-racism training and cultural competency and diversity. She has co- developed a unique programs for mental health interpreting and developed and implemented interpreting service programs in various health care institutions and health regions across the Greater Vancouver area.

Who should attend

This webinar series will be valuable to anyone who’s interested in expanding their knowledge of the importance of language in health care. This includes: direct service providers, managers, population and public health workers, and anyone interested in strengthening their understanding of why language matters in health care.

How to register

Register online. There is no cost to attend the webinars.

Register now

Contact pls@phsa.ca if you have questions.

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