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Health Information for All: Language Resources

Posted by on February 22nd, 2021 Posted in: Blog, NLM Resources
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According to the US Census Bureau 22% of people in the US 5 years or older speak a language other than English at home and 8.2% speak English “less than very well”. In the Northeast, those percentages are slightly higher than the national average at 23.7% and 9.4% respectively.

But what does that have to do with health? And how can we support these individuals and communities find linguistically appropriate, quality health information?

What does language access have to do with health outcomes and health disparities?

What is Health Literacy? “Health literacy is the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions.” Healthy People

Learn more about health disparities on MedlinePlus

Find more NLM resources on health disparities and language disparities

How can we support our communities with linguistically appropriate health information?

MedlinePlus has translated health information in a wide array of languages on many of the health topics. There are several ways to find translated health information on MedlinePlus:

Resources from partners:

Looking to learn more about how you can serve LEP populations?  NNLM has two versions of a training, From Beyond Our Borders: Providing Multilingual and Multicultural Health Information

Image of the author ABOUT Sarah Levin-Lederer

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NNLM Region 7
University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School
55 Lake Avenue North
Worcester, MA 01655
(508) 856-5985

This has been funded in whole or in part with Federal funds from the Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Library of Medicine, under cooperative agreement number UG4LM012347 with the University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School.

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