Making a Positive Impact

From empowering patients and helping providers communicate effectively to opening up career opportunities for refugees, REACH is making a difference here in Iowa. Read how participants say the program has made an impact for them.


Bridging the Gap

“The EMBARC REACH Advocates are definitely a plus. I have had 2-3 instances where I have provided diabetic education to refugee patients with an EMBARC REACH Advocate present (with the patient). The patients are engaged. They ask questions and request clarification, as opposed to no feedback with phone interpreters.”

Lourdes Stevenson, Nurse Care Manager Primary Health Care


Healthier Communities

“Before REACH, most only have the option of a phone interpreter … and the phone isn’t always effective. Often, I can’t hear them clearly and ask to repeat, but they won’t always, so sometimes I end up making decisions that doesn’t really make sense, or I just make things up.”

Karen patient, age 43


Creating Career Pathways

“I worked for eight years as a medic in Nu Poe refugee camp in Thailand. When I came to the US, I had to start over. I took English classes and was helping my community as a full-time volunteer. They need a lot of help. I almost applied at a meatpacking plant when I heard about the REACH Advocate position. I am so happy to have a career now where I can take training to learn about health care in the U.S. while also serving my community.”

Yin Yin Tun, Karen REACH Advocate

“Many people in my community have never had an interpreter who speaks their first language. Even if they do, they don’t know how to take their medication when they get home or know how to ask for help. This is why REACH Advocates are so important.”

Sipo Ra, Karen REACH Advocate