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The Kessler Health Education Library now houses the first known translation of kidney information for patients who speak Haitian Creole, courtesy of Hanania Joseph, Kessler Library assistant and alumna of the Private Industry Council (PIC).
A BWH nurse recently requested such information for a patient who did not speak English. Joseph, a 19-year-old business student at Bunker Hill Community College, speaks Haitian Creole fluently and was able to translate the kidney overview information written by the National Institute of Digestive and Diabetes and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK/NIH) in just a couple of weeks. The BWH translation department proofread her work, which will be posted on the Combined Health Information Database, a joint project of the National Institute of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Health Resources and Services Admin istration.
“Now, if we have patients who speak only Haitian Creole, they can read this to understand the basic functions of the kidneys and what can go wrong,” said Cara Helfner, MS, LIS, chief librarian and program manager at the Kessler Library.
Joseph didn't stop there. She conducted further research to locate and select books that will be helpful to Haitian Creole readers, including a Haitian Creole pictorial medical dictionary and two illustrated children's books, one about hygiene and one about fruits and nutrition.
The new Haitian Creole resources add to the Kessler Library's selection of resources in at least a dozen different languages, including Spanish, Farsi, Japanese and Russian.
“We're building up the library to reach people who speak many diverse languages,” Helfner said.
Joseph began working at BWH when the Private Industry Council (PIC) program matched her to a summer position in the Kessler Library. In the last few years, PIC has developed from a six-week summer job to a more in-depth program for career exploration. Many exceptional students, like Joseph, are invited to return as part-time employees after the program ends, said Beverley Sobers, manager of workforce development at BWH.