Center for Multicultural Health Launches Online Library

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The Utah Department of Health's (UDOH) Center for Multicultural Health (CMH) Web site now includes a library of health education materials in many languages to help health professionals communicate with people who don't speak English well.

Multilingual resources include brochures, manuals, Web sites, interactive tutorials and videos. Most library materials can be printed or downloaded directly from the Internet, without requiring mail order. All resources were created by the UDOH or have been adopted by the Department for local audiences.

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Visitors can search the library by health topic or by language. The English versions of translated materials are included next to versions in other languages for reference. According to the 2005 American Community Survey, 14% of Utahns speak a language other than English at home. "Many people who speak English as a second language communicate very well in everyday situations, but health information can include terminology that is unfamiliar to them," said Janae Duncan, CMH health program specialist. "They appreciate learning about their health in their first language," she added.

"The Multilingual Library is different from other Web sites because it promotes resources developed right here in Utah," said Duncan. "In addition, the site provides links to other multilingual databases across the U.S."

The library currently includes materials in 24 different languages. However, some languages have more resources than others. "By far, there are more resources available in Spanish," said April Young Bennett, CMH health program specialist. Spanish is the most common language spoken in Utah after English.

"Right now, the online library includes materials that relate to certain priority health areas for Utah racial and ethnic minorities, like cancer and diabetes, but we will be expanding the site to eventually include all of the Department's multilingual materials," added Bennett. "Our goal is to create a one-stop shop for all our translated materials."

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