Grady Receives $1 Million to Improve Communication for Non-Native English Speakers
January 4, 2023
Grady Hospital’s Language Interpretive Services department will collaborate with a team of Georgia State University researchers who have received a three-year, $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Minority Health to improve health services for non-native English-speaking minority communities.
Kippie Lipham, director of Grady’s Language Interpretive Services, will serve as an investigator on the grant project, “Improving Cultural and Linguistic Access for Equitable Healthcare.” Lipham will work with principal investigator Iris Feinberg, research assistant professor at Georgia State’s College of Education & Human Development’s Department of Learning Sciences and associate director of the college’s Adult Literacy Research Center. The two will also work alongside co-principal investigator Dr. Amy Zeidan, assistant professor in Emory University’s Department of Emergency Medicine.
The research team will work with Grady’s emergency department and eight community-based organizations to raise awareness of and improve access to free interpretation services in their language, a federally protected right under the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Members of the bilingual community will have the chance to apply for scholarships to fund their training to become certified medical interpreters. The top four languages requested at Grady are Spanish, Amharic, Bengali, and French.
“This grant comes at a much-needed time as we will be better equipped to promote and educate limited English-speaking patients about their right to receive healthcare information in their preferred language,” said Lipham.
The project will focus on decreasing miscommunication between medical personnel and patients by emphasizing the teach-back method. This method checks a patient’s understanding by asking them to state in their own words what they need to know or do about their health. The clinical staff at Grady, Morehouse School of Medicine, and Emory University will also receive training on how to use health-literate technologies while collaborating with interpreters. The teach-back technique and electronic health record documentation both fall under this category.