During Your Hospital Visit

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OHSU recognizes the value in customizing services for our patients. We strive to create an environment of inclusion, not just of acceptance. Our patients have many choices of healthcare providers, and OHSU positions itself as the clear leader in Oregon by creating an environment where our patients feel comfortable. We believe that by creating an inclusive environment we can work towards eliminating health disparities in the communities we serve, an integral part of OHSU’s mission.

Translation and Interpreter Services Department

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OHSU is committed to maintaining the highest standards of health in our multicultural and multilingual environment. OHSU offers services through the Translation and Interpreter Services Department (TIS). The mission of this department is to bridge the communication gap between patients with limited English proficiency and the OHSU staff to be able to achieve the highest degree of service excellence in patient’s care.

Translation and Interpreter Services are available 24 hours a day seven days a week at no cost to patients. In the fiscal year 2011 the TIS department provided interpreter services for 80,615 provider-patient sessions in 79 different languages. The department is staffed by interpreters who speak one of the five most commonly represented languages at OHSU: Spanish, Russian, Chinese, Vietnamese and American Sign Language. TIS interpreters are tested to ensure their language fluency. All other language interpretation needs are provided by accredited, contracted language services. Limited written translation services are also available upon request.

One of the biggest misconceptions about interpreting is that any bilingual person can be a medical interpreter. Because of the complexity of medical terminology, we strongly discourage use of family members, friends or children as the interpreters. Many of our staff members can provide services in multiple language and we welcome the opportunity to serve all of our patients, in any language.

Interpreter Services

Doernbecher Interpreter Services


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OHSU is committed to providing spiritual and emotional support for patients and families. Our chaplains are available to help our patients and their loved ones to cope with difficult transitions, fears, death and grieving, and other sources of stress. We can also assist them in locating clergy of their faith. Our services are available weekdays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., and on an emergency basis during weekends and evenings.

Doernbecher Spiritual Services

Spiritual Support