I remember it like it was yesterday. It was circa 2008 and I was working as a Spanish medical interpreter in Portland, Oregon. I remember accepting my very first onsite assignment and how nervous I was, not knowing what the appointment was about and what exactly I would encounter. Fortunately, it was for a routine ear exam and everything went smoothly. For the first time ever, I experienced the amazing feeling of being an official medical interpreter.
I loved being able to help serve the LEP community and be a part of the medical team that would ultimately help someone have improved health outcomes. It didn’t feel like work to me because I loved doing it so much. Then everything began to change. The company I worked for would give out checks that would bounce. This happened to me twice. When I called the agency to let them know, I got the run around and didn’t get a response. I quickly discovered that I was not alone in this and this happened on a consistent basis. I would meet interpreters in the field and hear the pain in their voice of having to deal with such unfair treatment of their livelihood.
I also found that there was no real consistent communication between the interpreters, language agency and medical provider. There was a real lack of understanding from the medical provider about the role of the interpreter and value of providing meaningful language access at each step of the patient journey. Each entity seemed to be on their own island and did not know what the other one was truly experiencing.
I thought to myself…what if there was a company that really partnered with their linguists and medical providers? How much better would the services be and how much better would that ultimately benefit the Limited English proficient and Deaf and Hard of hearing individual? That is where the idea for Linguava was born.
Today is a big milestone for us at Linguava. Today,11 years ago, we opened up our doors. Our first month we did 6 onsite appointments. We have grown astronomically since then and each of our clients, linguists and office staff have contributed in unique ways to get us here.
Today we live out our mission of providing responsive language services and improving patient experience and health outcomes. Because of our linguists, clients and staff, we are a company that really strives to live out our core values of being people first, providing above & beyond customer service, living with innovative spirit, having Honest Conversations, always striving to have the highest quality and raising the standard of excellence and live with a servant’s heart by giving back to the community.
While we have grown a lot in the past 11 years, I feel we are just getting started and have so much more to achieve. We will continue to live out our vision of being the company that linguists take pride in, employees want to work for and doctors seek out for language services.
Thank you for all you do everyday here at Linguava. I am grateful for you. Cheers to many more years together!