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Elder abuse, a growing but hidden problem for Chinese seniors in the United States, often originates when adult children here reject the tradition of filial piety. This is the second story of a two-part series.

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One out of four New Yorkers doesn't speak or understand complex sentences in English. But at some point in their lives, every one of them will need to see a doctor. Language barriers can result in misdiagnoses, medication errors, and potentially fatal mistakes that are costly for both patients and providers. For this reason, hospitals in New York are required to provide "meaningful language access" to all patients. But in a city where more than 140 different languages are spoken, this is no easy task.

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Imagine if your doctor asked your 12-year-old son to explain to you that you had just been diagnosed with cancer. Get tips and story ideas for covering medical translation, a critical service for millions of patients who don't speak English well.

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Guenet Sebsibe is the field supervisor for the Infectious Disease and Epidemiology/Biostatistics programs at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health. Previously, she was program manager of cultural and linguistics services for the Alameda Alliance for Health, a nonprofit health plan established in 1996 to provide health care services to more than 94,500 Alameda County residents. The health plan offers most written materials in English, Spanish, Chinese and Vietnamese and offers free interpreter services in exam rooms and over the phone. The alliance prefers that patients do not use family or friends to interpret, emphasizing that a family member or friend's most important job is not to serve as an interpreter.

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The nation's top infectious disease specialist will join us for a conversation with national health reporter Dan Diamond of The Washington Post. We’ll talk about the evolving threat posed by monkeypox, the current state of the COVID pandemic, and broader lessons on how we respond to emerging diseases. Sign-up here!

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