WCMS Interpreter Network Receives Grant to Provide Language Services to Rural Counties

January 3, 2017

Grant funded interpreter services will now be available for providers seeing low income, uninsured patients in Madison, McDowell, Mitchell and Yancey Counties! The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina awarded Western Carolina Medical Society’s Interpreter Network (WIN) with a $20,000 People In Need Grant for 2017 to support the providers who donate care to low income and uninsured people in rural counties.

In Madison, McDowell, Mitchell and Yancey Counties, there are an estimated 15,250 low income uninsured people. About 1,500 of those people are Limited English Proficient (LEP) and need the assistance to of a professional medical interpreter to effectively communicate with their physicians. When providers donate care, they need access to free or low cost language services to give quality care to growing LEP populations. This grant funding will allow WIN to provide those vital language services at no cost to the donating providers in rural counties.

Currently the WIN network features more than 40 professionally trained medical interpreters who can provide language interpretation for 14 languages, including American Sign Language, Russian and Spanish. The network is based in Asheville, NC and currently serves 9 counties in WNC: Buncombe, Henderson, Haywood, Transylvania, McDowell, Swain, Madison, Yancey and Mitchell. Previous People in Need grants supported WIN’s expansion into Yancey, Mitchell, Henderson, Transylvania and McDowell Counties. Currently WIN has a Helen Powers grant to provide free language services to the Swain County Caring Corner, a free clinic in Bryson City run by volunteers. WIN is dedicating to increasing access to care by breaking language barriers between patients and providers.

The 2017 People in Need grant will help WIN support physicians and providers who aspire to donate their care and services to low income, uninsured patients. WIN will use these funds to provide free language interpretation and written translations to help these practices provide the best quality care to all their patients by eliminating language barriers.  

comments powered by Disqus