Language planning leadership in health care
Dallas and the North Texas region of the United States have seen profound demographic shifts that have challenged one regional health care network in its effort to provide quality health services to an increasingly linguistically heterogeneous community. The response to this challenge has included a reconceptualization of the organization’s language policy to create alignment between it and the organization’s mission, considering language policy from both an equity and a quality control perspective. This industry-facing language planning case study looks at how Children’s Medical Center of Dallas has responded to the challenge by explicitly recognizing patients’ linguistic needs, developing its workforce, and creating a language liaison program that bridges the communication gap between doctors and their patients. While governments select language policies and engage in language planning mainly for political purposes, private organizations serving multilingual communications have quality of service as an added incentive to engage in such activities if they are to remain viable.
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