Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes
This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.
Coco Warner ReportingImagine walking into the doctor's office and not being able to communicate with any of the staff or even your doctor. It's an experience common to some of Utah's Spanish-speaking population, but one the University of Utah Hospitals and Clinics hopes to change with a new clinic.
Utah's Hispanic population has doubled in the last decade and is expected to double again in the next, which means the opening of a new Spanish speaking clinic at the Redwood Health Center couldn't come at a better time.
There are several Utah clinics where employees speak Spanish, but what sets this new clinic apart is the fact that the staff is also from Spanish-speaking countries.
Dr. Enrique Bairez/U of U Hospitals and Clinics: "I think, or at least I have felt that people feel more comfortable telling me right away what exactly what they're here for, what their needs and what their expectations."
The idea for the clinic came after employees at the Redwood Health Center realized how many of their clients were Spanish-speaking, and how they might be better served by a Spanish-speaking staff.
Tom Kline, Dir. Redwood Health Center: "From the patients that have come in so far, we have had nothing but just glowing, wonderful reports. We're getting many comments as people leave about ‘Oh can I have a business card: Can I have a brochure? I'm going to send my family, I'm going to send my relatives,’ etcetera."
Kline says the clinic owes much of its early success to Dr. Bairez. Bairez attended the University of Utah's Medical School, and after his residency in Indiana, he was anxious to get back to Utah and serve its Hispanic population, understanding what it's like to be an immigrant.
The clinic has been open for limited hours since July 16th, but will officially welcome new patients at an open house tomorrow from noon until 4 pm.