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Foreign Language Visitation Program volunteers include (l-r): Monserrate Lopez, Luis Zaragoza and Constanza Wood.

Yale New Haven Hospital's Spanish Visitation Program recently won the New England Association of Directors of Healthcare Volunteers Outstanding Program award, and is now expanding to include other languages.

The program, renamed the Foreign Language Visitation Program, seeks people who speak Arabic, Chinese, Russian, French, Polish and other languages besides Spanish to provide social visits and friendly conversation with patients who might otherwise feel isolated and anxious. The visitation program does not offer translation, which is conducted by the hospital's Language Services department.

Employees who speak other languages and are willing to volunteer during their off time or on breaks should contact Virginia Kulig, Foreign Language Visitation Program coordinator, 203-688-6449. Training is provided.