Consortium of Minnesota Hospitals Enters Agreement

Communication service for the Deaf, Inc. (CSD) of Minnesota is delighted to announce a new kind of partnership with healthcare […]

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Communication service for the Deaf, Inc. (CSD) of Minnesota is delighted to announce a new kind of partnership with healthcare facilities in the Twin Cities Metro area, whereby CSD will respond 24/7 to emergent requests for sign language interpreting services.

Emergencies occur everyday. For those who rely upon sign language to communicate, emergencies are really no different, except that an interpreter must be found to facilitate communication. Over the years, it has been a challenge for interpreters, referral services, hospitals, and other public services to find interpreters for those emergencies “at the right time and place” whether it is during business hours, the middle of the night, on weekends and holidays, or in dead of winter when the thermometer dips to 20 degrees below zero. Minnesota is fortunate to have many dedicated interpreters. That’s not the problem. Many attempts have been made to solve the problem. However, plain and simple, the current business model doesn’t work efficiently.
Under the leadership of Marty Barnum, Co-Coordinator of the Emergency Statewide Sign Language Interpreter Advocacy and Training Project, a project supported by the Minnesota Department of Human Services Deaf and Hard of Hearing Division, discussion began earlier this year to identify a new paradigm—to create a new business model to address the delivery of interpreting services for emergent requests. Hospitals decided to join together as a “consortium” to share the costs of a 24/7 referral service that will be located at the CSD offices.

Minnesota Hospital Consortium members have broadened their definition of emergencies and define “emergent requests” to include situations in emergency departments and urgent cares, as well as unplanned and unforeseen situations with medical professionals whereby communication must be facilitated with a deaf patient and/or family members. Beginning in early fall, CSD intends to meet the needs by offering 24/7 interpreter referral services for consortium members. Interpreters will be scheduled on duty and dispatched from CSD offices. “The Minnesota Hospital Consortium is eager to work with CSD on this project,” says Candy Joppru, HealthEast Care System, on behalf of consortium members. “We are very interested in providing qualified and certified interpreters to meet the needs of our deaf, deafblind and hard of hearing patients, and their family members and companions.”

CSD commends the Minnesota Hospital Consortium members for their willingness to share resources in order to provide services that will benefit thousands of deaf and hard of hearing consumers in the Twin Cities. It’s a win-win situation! For more information, please contact Jan Florand at [email protected].

The Minnesota Hospital Consortium members are commended for their efforts. Members include the following facilities:

Children’s Hospitals & Clinics of Minnesota: Minneapolis and St. Paul Campuses

Fairview Care System:

  • University of Minnesota Medical Center
  • University of Minnesota Children’s Hospital
  • Fairview Ridges Medical Center
  • Fairview Southdale

HealthEast Care System:

  • St. John’s Hospital
  • St. Joseph’s Hospital
  • Woodwind’s Hospital
  • HealthEast Urgent Care

    – South St. Paul

Park Nicollet Health Services:

  • Park Nicollet Clinic
  • Methodist Hospital
  • Park Nicollet Urgent Care Clinic


    – Brookdale

    – Carlson Parkway

    – Chanhassen

    – Maple Grove

    – St. Louis Park

  • Hennepin County Medical Center
  • North Memorial Health Care
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