OSU-OKC students help patients by providing health care translation
OSU-OKC students get real-life experience in their field while helping increase access to health care.
Dr. Jerry Rice, Professor/Program Coordinator of Technical Spanish at Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City, heads up the educational experience. His Technical Spanish/Translation and Interpretation (TSTI) A.A.S - Health Care students volunteered their time at the Community Clinic by INTEGRIS Health.
INTEGRIS Health has operated a free medical clinic in the inner city of Oklahoma City since 1993. According to information from INTEGRIS, it is one of the largest free, all-volunteer clinics in the state. The clinic offers adult care of chronic diseases, diabetes classes, physical, occupational and speech therapy, vision care, and pharmacy services.
Dr. Rice has been involved with the clinic for the last 10 years volunteering with his students every other Monday during the fall and spring semesters.
Dr. Hala Gheriani went with the students on a recent Monday to observe. Dr. Gheriani is Dean of Professional Studies at OSU-OKC.
“I was a witness to their great work,” Gheriani said. “The clinic staff was incredibly grateful for Dr. Rice and his student translators, and the clinic was like a beehive full of energy and smiles.”
The clinic operates three Mondays a month, the second and fourth Mondays for appointments with practitioners. The clinic typically sees about 100 patients each month. The clinic offers adult care of chronic diseases, diabetes classes, some vision services and a pharmacy. This clinic also offers physical therapy services.
Carmen Romo, the clinic director, said the need for translators is at an all high and the demand is expected to increase.
Dr, Gheriani sees this as a way for OSU-OKC to continue to benefit the community.
“We have the program, but it takes a village, and we need more heroes to join the program!” she said.
Kynsey Lira; Marcela Valles; Carmen Romo, INTEGRIS Community Clinic director; Daniela Echeverría; Stephanie Gutiérrez; Dr. Jerry Rice; Daniel Strubhar