Philadelphia Interpreter Program

Since 1998, the Philadelphia Interpreter Training Program has increased access to quality care by improving communication between service providers and people with limited English proficiency. HFP works with the whole organization, rather than individuals, to build communication.

In some settings, where the desire and the capacity exist, HFP is able to facilitate a train-the-trainer process so that support for language access can be internalized. 

 HFP has provided this service to: healthcare providers, the Philadelphia Police Department, the Mayor’s Office on Immigrant and Multicultural Affairs and city commissioners, to support full access to the polls.

Benefits of HFP's Program

Institutions that have participated in this program report the following:

  • A dramatic decrease in the number of complaints received from or on behalf of patients with limited English proficiency
  • An increase in the use of trained interpreters as a result of greater awareness of the need for and benefits of this service.

Requests for this program continue to rise as institutions expand their efforts to provide culturally-competent care, improve their risk management and meet regulatory agency requirements.

Most recently, HFP developed the "PA Qualified Medical Interpreter" designation in partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Office of Health Equity, and Refugee Health Program. This is customized training  to meet the unique needs of PA’s rapidly growing refugee communities and the diverse organizations that serve them.


For more information, please contact Shandra Banutu-Gomez.