SALINAS, CA--(Marketwired - Mar 7, 2014) - At Natividad Medical Foundation's Annual Meeting Celebration, The Agricultural Leadership Council (TALC) presented the Foundation with a $350,000 check -- bringing TALC's total contributions to date to $1,172.550.
"TALC is proud to support Monterey County's safety net hospital, a crucial resource for agricultural workers and their families," said John D'Arrigo, President & CEO of D'Arrigo Bros. Co. of CA, who founded TALC in 2010. "Over the past five years, farm families and the agricultural community have joined forces to truly change lives and save lives by raising funds to purchase more than 70 pieces of critical medical equipment and fund medical interpreting services for Natividad."
At the annual ceremony, Natividad Medical Foundation presented its 2014 Hero Award to Driscoll's and J. Miles Reiter, Driscoll's Chairman and CEO, founding members of TALC, in recognition of Driscoll's $107,700 in gifts to support cross cultural initiatives, including a $75,000 donation earmarked for the new Indigenous Interpreting+ business.
"From the beginning when John D'Arrigo rallied the Salinas Valley agricultural community to form TALC, it has been our intent to help Natividad get the tools it needs to improve the quality of health care for agricultural workers and their families," said Miles Reiter. "The new Indigenous Interpreting+ business will help ensure health care is accessible and useful for farm workers."
Natividad's newly launched Indigenous Interpreting+ (II+) business is a community and medical interpreting program specializing in indigenous languages from Mexico and Central and South America. Mixteco, Zapotec, Triqui and Chatino are languages spoken in the Mexican states of Oaxaca, Guerrero and Puebla. Three of these indigenous languages are among the top-seven most common languages spoken by patients at Natividad Medical Center.
"California's Central Coast is home to more than 27,000 indigenous immigrants and their families, many working in the fields of 'America's Salad Bowl,'" said Linda Ford, President & CEO of Natividad Medical Foundation. "Several years ago we recognized the need to train interpreters who speak indigenous languages that are not available through traditional interpreting services in order to provide quality care for everyone. As word of our program spread, we began to receive calls from local and national organizations, and we realized this is an important service we can offer to communities around the country."
According to the 2010 U.S. census, the most recent year from which statistics are available, 685,000 people identified themselves as Latinos of indigenous origin -- a 68 percent increase since 2000. In addition to California, there are large indigenous Mexican populations in Texas, New York, Arizona, Colorado and Illinois.
Indigenous Interpreting+ is directed by Victor Sosa, Natividad's Medical Interpreter Coordinator, who was honored as a 2013 Language Access Champion by the National Council on Interpreting in Health Care. Katherine Allen, Co-President of InterpretAmerica, is senior advisor for the business.
To date, Natividad's medical interpreting program has trained 68 indigenous speakers from California, Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Arizona, Texas and Minnesota who speak indigenous languages from Mexico and Central and South America. Each of these language groups has different language variants typically classified by the geographical region from which they originated and often designated as alto (high), medio (medium) and bajo (low).
"When I first came to Natividad, I was amazed that many of my patients didn't understand when I asked them questions in Spanish," said Dr. Minerva Perez-Lopez, a Natividad physician who grew up in the Salinas Valley in a farm worker family. "The hospital's medical staff relies on Indigenous Interpreting+ every day to communicate with patients and their families in the midst of life-threatening and very scary situations."
The March 6 Hero Award festivities also celebrated indigenous Oaxacan cultures with music, food, dance and craft displays sponsored by Comerica Bank. The hospital also unveiled its latest art exhibitions sponsored by SSB Construction: California History - The Mission Trail, paintings by the Monterey Bay Plein Air Painters Association, and 42 Wildflowers, featuring photographer Arturo Bejar.
To make a donation to TALC, please visit www.natividadfoundation.org. For more information about Natividad Medical Foundation's Indigenous Interpreting+ program, visit www.interpretnmf.com or call toll-free 1-855-662-5300.
About Natividad Medical Foundation
Natividad Medical Foundation philanthropically supports Natividad Medical Center in its mission to continually improve the health status of our community through access to high quality health care services, regardless of ability to pay. Natividad Medical Foundation is passionate about raising funds to support access to healthcare for babies, children and families in our community. Established in 1988, Natividad Medical Foundation is a 501(c)3 charitable organization. For more information, visit www.natividadfoundation.org.