Bangor, Maine, St. Joseph Healthcare – September 19-25, 2022 is International Week of Deaf People. This year, the theme is “Building Inclusive Communities for All.”
At St. Joseph Healthcare, there is a deep commitment to fostering a culture that promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) for both staff and patients.
As part of that commitment, St. Joseph continues to provide education to staff, and learn from patient feedback, how they can improve the experience for deaf people. This includes ensuring that the deaf community feels welcome and that St. Joseph is an accessible and inclusive place for them to receive healthcare. When a patient or their companion is deaf, they are offered a qualified interpreter at no cost, each time they visit.
Living their mission every day is something St. Joseph Healthcare is passionate about. Part of their mission is to “provide healing care for the whole person in Mission to all in our communities.” The interpreter services program is one of the many ways they do that.
The mission of St. Joseph also means being out in the community. At their upcoming event Commit to Get Fit on September 25, they will have a licensed qualified sign language interpreter. They also engage with the deaf community to further learn how they can continue to best serve deaf people’s needs by attending various deaf meetings, including the Annual Deaf Culture Festival on Mackworth Island, along with meetings at the Maine Education Center for the Deaf Hard of Hearing and Disability Rights of Maine Deaf Services.
“Our communities are made up of those individuals who are deaf, and we are committed to providing interpreter services to ensure our patients receive the best possible care,” said Eileen Carroll-Walker, coordinator of interpretive services. “Our Interpreter Services department, along with all of us at St. Joseph Healthcare, would like to bring awareness to and honor our deaf community during this year’s International Week of Deaf People.” The hospital will be sharing information on social media, and internally with staff, to bring awareness to this week. St. Joseph will also be receiving an award that will be announced during the week too.