Intermountain Health opens new Spanish-speaking kidney transplant clinic

Feb 26, 2024, 6:01 PM | Updated: Feb 28, 2024, 11:19 am

MURRAY — Intermountain Health said it’s hoping to expand access to health care for Latinos and launched a first-of-its-kind, Spanish-speaking kidney transplant clinic.

“When you ask patients about how you feel about speaking to somebody that understands your language and your culture or using a translator, I think it’s not going to be a surprise that they pick the first option,” said Dr. Alan Contreras, a transplant surgeon at Intermountain Health.

A majority of the staff in the clinic which includes nephrologists, surgeons, social workers, coordinators and nutritionists all speak Spanish.

Contreras said the goal is to break down cultural barriers between hospital staff and patients. It’s also a way of opening up the conversation about their health care to see if a kidney transplant is meant for them.

“I think this goes beyond translating, this goes more into the sense of understanding the community, understanding the significance of the other person who’s in front of you and how they face reality, sickness and health.”

Luis Campos, a patient at Intermountain Health, said having Spanish-speaking physicians around him made him feel comfortable.

Campos, 65, learned he had cirrhosis after he became ill towards the end of 2020. He said he had a lot of fears of being put on the transplant list. In 2023, he ended up receiving a new kidney and liver and calls his recovery a miracle.

Luis recovering in the hospital. (Intermountain Health)

Campos is encouraging other Latinos to prioritize their health. He said having a clinic like this will only strengthen patients’ confidence in their physicians.

“You won’t be treated like a minority,” Campos said in Spanish.

So far there are 60 patients at the clinic since it was created in October 2023. Contreras anticipates that number will grow as kidney failure becomes more common among different ethnicities.

To learn more about transplant services and to get ahold of the clinic, click here or call 801-507-3380.

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Intermountain Health opens new Spanish-speaking kidney transplant clinic