Immigrant Health & Cancer Disparities Service: Language Initiatives

Language Initiatives helps cancer clinical trial investigators enhance the recruitment and management of patients with limited English proficiency. The program fosters effective communication and collaborative exchange between clinical investigators and people with cancer through:

  • Translation of study materials for non-English speakers
  • Field testing of translated study materials, including literacy and readability assessments
  • Patient focus groups, including design, development, administration, and reports
  • Linguistic and cultural responsiveness training for healthcare professionals

Language Initiatives supports a wide range of research activities conducted by the Immigrant Health and Cancer Disparities Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering.

Our Research

Language Initiatives has performed groundbreaking research on the impact of cross-linguistic communication on medical costs, errors, and outcomes. We are currently studying translation methodologies for focus groups.

Our studies include:

  • “Characterization of non-English Language Proficiency by Applicants to U.S. Residency Programs,” which is examining how English proficiency affects application to different medical specialty residence programs.
  • “The Impact of Physician Non-English Language Proficiency Level on Cancer Screening,” which is evaluating the influence that clinician proficiency levels in languages other than English have on cancer screening rates for patients with limited English proficiency.

Contact Us

For a consultation and to learn more about our fee structure, please contact Javier Gonzalez at