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Language Barriers to Healthcare Subject of Conference at UAlbany

Contact(s):  Catherine Herman (518) 956-8150

ALBANY, N.Y. (April 5, 2007) -- The University at Albany's Center for Women in Government & Civil Society received a $96,759 grant from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) in the U.S Department of Health and Human Services to convene a conference on linguistic access to healthcare.

The New York State Conference on Increasing Language Access to Healthcare will be held on Wednesday, April 25, 2007 at the University at Albany.

Directed by the center's program Voices for Change: Immigrant Women & State Policy, the conference will make a significant contribution to the national dialogue on improving linguistic competency and reducing healthcare disparities. It is designed to:

  • share evidence-based knowledge addressing the benefits of removing language barriers to healthcare and the efficacy of emerging language options for improving healthcare outcomes; and
  • encourage the development of effective national and state language access policies. 

"This is a significant award to our Center for Women in Government & Civil Society and will help provide a platform for discussing the critical issue of health care access," said UAlbany Provost and Officer in Charge Susan Herbst.

The conference will be co-convened by the center's partners -- the Center for Immigrant Health at New York University School of Medicine and the Education Fund of Family Planning Advocates of New York State. It will be attended by 150 invited participants, including researchers, state policy makers, healthcare providers and advocates. National experts on linguistic barriers and key participants in the national policy reform process will be among the presenters.

"The conference will offer timely knowledge sharing and strategy development opportunities among a variety of stakeholders committed to more effective language access policies," said Judith Saidel, executive director of the Center for Women in Government & Civil Society. "The center especially values working jointly with our partners on this pioneering enterprise."

A conference report will document the proceedings, recommendations for needed state and federal policy changes and strategies to achieve the recommendations. The report will be disseminated widely through NYS and national networks.

Founded in 1978, the Center for Women in Government & Civil Society is part of the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy. The center's mission includes a commitment to equity, access, diversity and women's leadership development.

The University at Albany's broad mission of excellence in undergraduate and graduate education, research and public service engages 17,000 diverse students in nine schools and colleges, and an honors college. For more information about this internationally ranked institution, visit theUniversity at Albany. Visit UAlbany's extensive roster of faculty experts.

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