1. Home
  2. About the Health Center Program
  3. Health Center Stories
  4. Language Is No Obstacle at Community Clinic

Language Is No Obstacle at Community Clinic

It’s no secret that people can experience many obstacles when trying to receive healthcare. Community Clinic in Arkansas is removing one of those obstacles by ensuring that language is not a barrier when it comes to its patients receiving quality health care.

Springdale, Arkansas is home to one of the largest Marshallese populations in the U.S. The Marshall Islands are located just north of the equator in the Pacific Ocean. “Many Marshallese people have migrated to Arkansas in search of job opportunities. The state has seen growth in industries like poultry processing, manufacturing, and healthcare, which provide employment for individuals seeking work,” said Amanda Echegoyen, Chief Operating Officer for Community Clinic. “Additionally, many Marshall Islanders move to Arkansas in search of better educational opportunities for their children.”

In response to the growing Marshallese population, Community Clinic began offering services in the Marshallese language. “Community Clinic knows that health care outcomes are improved when patients receive services in the language they prefer,” said Echegoyen. “Offering services in Marshallese and understanding the Marshallese culture helps us to provide the most culturally competent and personalized care to our patients. Our staff that speak Marshallese are able to help Marshallese speakers feel comfortable in the clinic and confident in the care they receive.” One of only two recorded Marshallese physicians practicing in the U.S., Dr. Sheldon Riklon treats patients at Community Clinic.

Some of the services the clinic offers include medical, dental, prenatal, and ancillary service appointments and Marshallese language services are available for each. Marshallese is not the only language that Community Clinic offers. They also offer language services in Spanish, French, Pashto, Dari, Arabic, and Haitian Creole to meet the needs of their population.