Unlike his Spanish-speaking parents, who came to America from Mexico, Angel Martinez, 7, is fluent in the language of their adopted country.
But when would it be OK to ask someone so young to tell his parents he has a blood-related cancer? When would it be OK to ask this first-grader to explain for them the complications of his illness, Philadelphia chromosome-positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia?
At UMMC, those questions are answered by a group of medical interpreters working out of the Office of Patient Experience: “Nunca. Jamas. Never.”
Among them are Leslye Bastos Ortega, manager of Language Services & Patient Advocacy; and Diva McCardle: two interpreters who have worked closely with Miguel and Nicolasa Martinez during their son Angel's visits to Batson Children's Hospital for treatment.
“I'm very thankful for all those who have helped us out during the tough visits,” said Nicolasa speaking through Ortega.
“Diva is always coming by to see if we need anything, even when the doctors don't call for her.”
At UMMC and its outpatient clinics, physicians and other health care providers may call Language Services whenever their patients need medical information converted into Spanish.