Reaching Out to Our Diverse Community at the International Festival
"The spirit embodied in this Festival is part of what makes our community great and the world a better place for what it does to connect and celebrate our beauty as a human family."
These were the words of an International Festival planning committee member in a thank-you email sent to other committee members. There is no better way to describe the mood of the festival. As I returned to work on Tuesday morning, co-workers asked me about the festival and I said, "It was a great success at the RMH booth! We were busy providing more than 150 blood pressure screenings and more than 150 diabetes screenings." I still feel that our work in promoting good health by doing health screenings is extremely important and valuable. Another very important aspect of our presence at the festival that should not be overlooked is showing that RMH welcomes, supports, and celebrates our diverse community. Having staff at our booth bilingual in Spanish and English and having literature on interpreter services available in Spanish, English, Arabic, and Russian showed our efforts in trying to better meet the needs or our Limited English Proficient (LEP) population.
What really made my day at the festival was something that might have passed unnoticed...an Arabic-speaking woman approached our literature table and her attention went directly to the interpreter services flyer written in Arabic. She took her finger and followed the writing and at the end of each phrase she would nod and say "yes." She continued until she finished reading the entire flyer. She spoke very limited English and I was unable to communicate with her, but the fact that we had something at our table she could read, hopefully sent a message that RMH is committed to reaching out, learning more about, and meeting the needs of our diverse community.
Did you attend the International Festival? Did you receive one of our free health screenings? Tell us about your experience.
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