Akron Children’s Pediatrics offers monthly walk-in clinic for Spanish-speaking patient families

Clinic begins for Spanish-speaking families


The Wooster office of Akron Children’s Hospital Pediatrics (ACHP) is now offering a walk-in clinic one day each month for Spanish-speaking patients and families.

According to Akron Children’s Language Access coordinator, Natasha Curtis, the clinic will enable children and their parents to have a voice.

“A face-to-face interpreter will be at the clinics to help build equal footing for immigrants. They deserve to understand and communicate their health care needs too,” said Curtis, who is a certified health care interpreter for Spanish and coordinator of the pilot program.

Beginning Oct. 14, the walk-in clinic for sick and well visits, along with scheduled appointments, will be held the second Friday of each month from 8:30-11 a.m.  The Wooster office, located at 128 East Milltown Road, Suite 209, has been caring for a growing number of Spanish-speaking patients. An estimated 400 families live in the Wayne County area.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2005-2009 American Community Survey, 5.8 percent of Wooster residents (age 5 and older) speak a language other than English at home. Furthermore, Spanish is the second most used language in the United States, and the primary language spoken at home by more than 35.5 million people age 5 or older.

More than seeing the doctor

In addition to communicating in person, it can be more difficult for non-English speaking families to schedule an appointment or call the doctor or nurse with a question.

“We find families wait for a friend or loved one with better English skills to make the call, which is not very convenient or effective sometimes,” Curtis said.  “We never want to use children as interpreters, and we typically avoid using relatives and friends.”

A three-way phone system is also being piloted at the Wooster location. Patient families may call a toll-free number and an interpreter will help them communicate with the staff.

A dual-handset phone is used when a face-to-face interpreter is not available during other appointment times.

The Wooster office also plans to look at making the environment more culturally appealing, such as translating signage and patient handouts into Spanish.

“Proper communication is not only empowering, but also consistent with Akron Children’s Hospital’s commitment to provide a safe environment for patients and families,” Curtis said.

Coming to the clinic

Parents should bring a photo ID as well as the child’s medications and insurance card. Most insurance plans and Medicaid are accepted.  Self-pay patients receive a 25 percent, same-day discount; checks and credit cards are accepted.

To make an appointment in English, call 330-345-1100. For Spanish, call 1-855-330-9477 and give the operator the above clinic number to be connected.

Normal office hours are Monday-Wednesday, 8 a.m.-7 p.m.; Thursday, 9 a.m.-7 p.m.; Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., and Saturday, 8:30-11:30 a.m. Same-day appointments are available.

New patients are welcome regardless of their language preference. Care is provided by pediatricians Kathryn Helmuth, MD; Shellie Russell, MD; Louise Miller, MD; and Olivia Wenger, MD.

For more information, call 330-345-1100 or visit ACHP Wooster's website.

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News Facts
  • An estimated 400 Spanish-speaking families live in the Wayne County area

  • Spanish-speaking walk-in clinic held the second Friday of each month, 8:30-11 a.m.  

  • Sick and well-visits welcome

  • To make an appointment in English, call 330-345-1100

  • For Spanish, call 1-855-330-9477 and give the operator the above clinic number to be connected

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Pediatrician office in Wooster to offer monthly clinic for Spanish-speaking patient families

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Leslee Dennis