A New Way to Talk with Our Patients and Families

Let us introduce you to the newest team member in the Radiology Department at Cincinnati Children’s—Alvin:

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ALVIN is the All Languages Video Interpreter Network—basically an interpreter on wheels. This mobile unit is a unique, automated video and voice call center that instantly matches a patient or family language need to the best available interpreter.

At Cincinnati Children’s, we know that effective communication is a critical part of safe and quality patient care. In our Radiology Department we care for children and families who speak many different languages. Sometimes an in-person interpreter can be scheduled to provide interpreting services on the day of the appointment, but other times children and families come to our department unexpectedly or an in-person interpreter is unavailable.

Imagine bringing your child to the Radiology Department and feeling worried about an injury or illness. As a parent you are seeking information, needing to understand what’s happening with your child, and looking for reassurances that your son or daughter will be all right. Now imagine that everyone around you is speaking a different language…picture how much more frightening that might be for you and your child. Using medical interpreters or technology like ALVIN ensures that we provide effective communication for all our patients and families from our community, the nation and the world.

With ALVIN in our Radiology Department we have:

  • Instant access to trained healthcare interpreters
  • Comprehensive language coverage with over 32 common languages, including American Sign Language
  • 24 hours/7 days a week interpreter services
  • Simple to use touch screen technology
Catherine Leopard

About the Author: Catherine Leopard

Catherine is a Child Life Specialist who works in Cincinnati Children’s Department of Radiology. She has always been drawn to helping children overcome their fears. As a young child, Catherine remembers sitting in her pediatrician’s office feeling sad as she listened to young babies crying in exam rooms. In response, she began singing lullabies through the walls to sooth and comfort those children in distress. As an adult, she first experienced the support of Child Life when her infant daughter was hospitalized. After that positive experience, Catherine completed her Child Life internship at Cincinnati Children’s and has worked here ever since. Her daughter is now a teenager and her son is an active 3rd grader.

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