Let’s talk! NCHT pilots translation services program

Macro view of computer keyboard with national flags of world countries on keys and blue translate button

by Samantha Smith, Senior Director of Programs and Community Engagement

As the Natrona Collective Health Trust (NCHT) developed its strategic plan, they relied on the voices and experiences of more than 50 Natrona County community members. Throughout the process, the Trust was able to identify common needs in the community and has since developed a number of programs to help fill those gaps, such as a grant writing programpartnering for SIM work, and learning from youth through PGM. Most recently, the Trust has added to this list by piloting a translation service for nonprofits.

During the strategic planning process, it became apparent that a pattern existed whereby non-English-speaking community members faced difficulties in accessing necessary services. Obtaining interpreters can be challenging and may not be financially feasible for some organizations. NCHT’s Senior Program Director Samantha Smith began research to find a solution asking, is this translation barrier something NCHT can help address?

The first step was to learn more about the current landscape and needs. Through discussions with nonprofit organizations currently offering services to non-English-speaking clients, Smith learned of several key components an effective translation service must have. These included:

  • Security for sensitive data in order to comply with HIPAA guidelines;
  • Industry-specific competency, as some non-profits use of specific jargon;
  • Risk management, such as fluency tests and internal controls; and
  • Quick connect times.

Discovering these needs led NCHT to partner with GLOBO, a tech-based translation service that offers on-demand or scheduled phone and video interpretation and document translation, with access to over 350 languages. GLOBO meets all the needs identified above, with an average connect time of eight seconds.

After establishing this partnership, Smith communicated with NCHT’s current non-profit partners to gauge interest in participating in a pilot translation program. Habitat for Humanity the Heart of Wyoming, the WyStep Up program at the Salvation Army, Juntos, the Child Development Center, Head Start, Early Head Start, Mercer Family Resource Center, and Seton House all agreed to participate.

Carrie Reece, the executive director of Seton House, stated that while some members of her staff speak enough Spanish to provide some resources, the GLOBO service has greatly expanded their ability to serve non-English speaking participants. She reflected on a recent case in which a non-English speaking mom was able to bring her family from the Self-Help Center to Seton House with the assistance of the new translation platform.

“Through GLOBO, we were able to go over every detail of the program agreements and accurately answer questions from a woman in a vulnerable position,” Reece said. “While her children had been serving as her primary translators, she needed to be able to speak freely about her concerns and fears without her children present.”

Reece calls the GLOBO system a game changer, stating that with just a few clicks, they can have a live translator on the line. “These folks are so professional and kind. I cannot say enough about how impressed I am,” she said. “I’m so grateful that this service exists.”

The services were activated on April 1 and will remain accessible to these organizations until October 31. Once the pilot program closes, data will be gathered from participating organizations and used to determine if this will be an ongoing program offered to Natrona County nonprofits. The Trust hopes to report the outcome of how GLOBO helps mitigate the translation barrier at the end of 2023.

Following the success of this pilot, NCHT plans to offer translation assistance as part of its resource grant opportunity in 2024.

Story originally posted May 12, 2023.