Sarah Kramer is a radio producer, oral historian, and photographer based in New York City. After graduating from Oberlin College in 2003, she started her career in radio working on the six-hour documentary “Only In America, 350 years of the American Jewish Experience.” From 2005-2007, she worked at StoryCorps, an oral history project partnered with National Public Radio, where she facilitated over 500 interviews across the United States. In 2006 she made extensive field recordings in Chile, culminating in an audio visual installation titled Ojos y Orejas. In 2007 Kramer was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to conduct an oral history project in Morocco. She interviewed young, old, urban and rural Moroccans about the remnants of western presence in their country. While in Morocco, Kramer also produced a number of stories for public radio programs The World and The World Vision Report. She currently works at WNYC, Next American City and Feet in Two Worlds. For her fellowship project, she'll be producing a radio story about how immigrants access health care in New York City. See her work at


<p>In order to serve its increasingly multi-lingual population, New York State requires interpretation services in all hospitals. But when caring for immigrants, the language barrier is just one of a myriad of issues health providers grapple with. Even though there is no statewide mandate for cultural sensitivity, many doctors say it's become a necessary instrument in providing medical care for the city's immigrant population.</p>

<p>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.</p>