Gayle Tang, senior director of national diversity and inclusion at Kaiser Permanente.

Gayle Tang, senior director of national diversity and inclusion at Kaiser Permanente.

Kaiser Permanente Earns National Exceptional Immigrant Integration Award for its Provision of Linguistically and Culturally Appropriate Care

The Migration Policy Institute (MPI) announced today that Kaiser Permanente is the recipient of its 2013 E Pluribus Unum Prizes’ Corporate Leadership Award for its exceptional dedication to providing linguistically and culturally appropriate health care and its leadership role in encouraging the health care industry to follow suit.

“The E Pluribus Unum Prizes program, established in 2008 by MPI’s National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy with generous support from the J.M. Kaplan Fund, seeks to encourage the adoption of effective integration practices and inspire others to take on the important work of integrating immigrants and their children so they can join the mainstream of U.S. society.

More than 25 million U.S. residents—immigrant and U.S.-born alike,—are limited English proficient (LEP); federal law requires that health care providers receiving federal funds provide meaningful healthcare access for LEP individuals. With millions of previously uninsured Americans, including many immigrants, eligible for health coverage as the Affordable Care Act takes fuller effect, provision of culturally and linguistically appropriate care will become a growing issue for U.S. providers.

Through its National Linguistic and Cultural Programs (NLCP), Kaiser Permanente focuses on advancing health equity and the elimination of racial and ethnic health care disparities through innovative, replicable, and effective language access strategies. By working internally across the enterprise and with the community, NLCP proactively addresses the cultural and linguistic needs of patients, families and communities; it also serves to integrate the principles and practices of linguistically and culturally appropriate care into the Kaiser Permanente health care delivery system.

Kaiser Permanente has developed the Qualified Bilingual Staff (QBS) model and program, an industry-leading training, testing, and certification process for its multilingual staff who serve as health care interpreters, as well as for the physicians who speak with patients in languages other than English.

“Kaiser Permanente has worked since the 1990s to identify, train, test, and certify thousands of our physicians, nurses, and other staff to interact with our clients in culturally and linguistically appropriate ways, and to provide key communications in multiple languages,” said Gayle Tang, senior director of national diversity and inclusion at Kaiser Permanente. “Recognition of our many years of work by the E Pluribus Unum Prizes is very meaningful to us. Moreover, this award emphasizes the vital role that organizations play in developing patient-member-family-centered care for full integration in our systems and society, as well as achieving total health for all.”

The other 2013 winners of the E Pluribus Unum Prize are the Carlos Rosario International Public Charter School, a Washington, D.C.-based, adult-focused charter that provides adult basic education and workforce training to more than 3,000 immigrants and refugees annually; the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA), whose Integration Institute has become a national model for bringing together stakeholders from government, immigrant and refugee communities and the private and nonprofit sectors to improve integration research, policy analysis, advocacy, and system capacity; and Neighborhood Development Center, a St. Paul, MN community development organization that connects immigrant and native-born ethnic communities to revitalize inner-city neighborhoods in the Twin Cities. All three will receive a $50,000 award.