Donation to help community

Published 8:02 pm Friday, June 18, 2021

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For people who do not yet have strong English skills and live in the United States, lots of aspects of life can be tough.

Dealing with medical professionals is one area where life, health and safety are literally on the line if everyone does not understand each other. The language skills required to communicate about symptoms, diseases, injuries, prescriptions and medical procedures are more advanced and often acquired long after a person begins learning a language and has mastered the basics.

People who speak a language other than English, or who use American Sign Language to communicate, have been greatly aided this year through partnerships with emergency relief company AshBritt and local agencies and organizations.

The Western Tidewater Free Clinic earlier this month took a donation of a video interpreter machine from AshBritt-IEM Health. This machine has a screen and uses video technology for clients to access more than 131 other languages so that clients and Western Tidewater Free Clinic staff can easily communicate.

Clients at Western Tidewater Free Clinic are uninsured and are lower-income. As a result, they often have multiple complex health issues for which they need the best possible care. That process starts with being able to properly communicate with their health care providers, and this donation allows them to do that.

This is not the first time AshBritt has helped during the pandemic. This same machine was also on site at vaccination clinics in the area, and the company has been providing personal protection equipment, glass shields, computers and mobile vaccination sites to help ease the pandemic.

We cheer this donation by AshBritt and as always tip our hat to the great work of the Western Tidewater Free Clinic.