Some health departments experience challenges reaching some refugee, immigrant, and migrant (RIM) communities during case investigation and contact tracing (CICT) due to limited numbers of professional interpreters or bilingual CICT staff.
Health departments are partnering with staffing agencies to hire multilingual case investigators / contact tracers and contract interpreters. This approach minimizes interruptions in communication such as having to call someone back with an interpreter. Contracting staff, rather than relying on volunteers, increases the number of languages on staff and consistency of availability.
Staffing Agency Support in Minnesota
The Minnesota Department of Health collaborated with a staffing agency to recruit and hire staff who spoke the many different languages present in the RIM communities. The staff were hired as contract employees and worked remotely doing case investigations alongside subject matter experts. Multilingual staff were added to specialized teams including congregant care, inpatient behavioral health centers, and healthcare worker follow-up to maximize efficiency.