NJ hospital interpreters are a vital part of health care

TINTON FALLS — Until the mid-2010s, George and Linda Chen of Point Pleasant went out of their way to travel to New York City to see a Chinese-speaking doctor.

“Every time we saw a doctor, we had to spend the whole day,” George Chen said in Mandarin.

Then, he saw an advertisement for Chinese language interpreter services within the RWJBarnabas Health System. This will allow them to take care of their health closer to home.

“We are very happy,” Linda Chen said in Mandarin. “I’ve been telling everyone that (the interpreters) are very diligent, that they will tell you step-by-step about everything.”

Linda Chen walks with Dr. Hiten Amin into Dr. Amin's office on Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2023 in Tinton Falls, New Jersey.

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The Chen couple have worked with Vivian O’Neill for about six years, calling her for help finding specialists, scheduling appointments, filling out patient intake forms, talking to doctors and asking billing questions.

“They’re so busy and yet they still help us,” said Linda Chen, who moved to the US nearly four decades ago, “appointments, insurance, therapy.”

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