The University of Kentucky College of Medicine is excited to announce that faculty, staff, learners, and trainees will have free access to a leading online resource for medical Spanish proficiency.

CanopyLearn, a Spanish language training program for health care professionals, will be available to the UK College of Medicine community starting Aug. 1.

The program includes 40 hours of instructional content broken down into simple 15-minute modules. There are 36 total lessons spanning three levels with multiple learning modes. The interactive modules are intended to provide a more holistic active learning experience and include grammar, pronunciation, and vocabulary for 36 medical specialties.

The idea to connect the UK College of Medicine with CanopyLearn was a collaboration between the Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and Holly Danneman, MD, Northern Kentucky Campus associate dean.

“We are excited to offer CanopyLearn as a resource to enhance the working and learning experience for our faculty, staff, learners, and trainees,” said Na’Tasha Evans, PhD, MEd, vice dean for diversity, equity, and inclusion. “Our faculty and staff interact with diverse patients, and we hope this will help make them more equipped to pursue careers promoting inclusive and equitable health care and research.”

The Association of American Medical Colleges recently published an article explaining the need for more Spanish-speaking physicians, as there are more than 40 million Spanish speakers in the country.

The article cites a National Institutes of Health case study showing that patients without language-concordant health care practitioners “are more likely to experience miscommunication and adverse events, are less likely to comply with medications and medical advice, and are less likely to come to follow-up appointments.”

“By participating in this course, our learners, trainees, physicians, researchers, and staff will take an important step in making the health care environment more inclusive for Kentucky patients and beyond,” Dr. Evans said. "We must prioritize inclusivity and accessibility in health care. I'm excited to see this course's positive impact on the College of Medicine and those we serve.”

CanopyLearn will be available for all College of Medicine constituents to access and use asynchronously. Those interested in signing up can click here to register.

Canopy is meant to be an e-learning tool. It is not an assessment or certification service. In order to provide language concordant care at UK HealthCare, you must have documentation of proficiency on file. UK HealthCare Language Services, utilizing a third-party accredited contract vendor, will provide the Clinician Cultural and Linguistic Assessment (CCLA) to any residents or providers who would like to use Spanish to work directly with their patients. They also offer linguistic assessments, like the CCLA, or similar for other professional roles, to UK HealthCare staff to support compliance with standards for documentation of linguistic proficiency, as well as medical students who will be working directly with patients.