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Today’s Front Line Hero: Lutheran Social Services of South Dakota

May 22, 2020

Today’s Front Line Hero is Lutheran Social Services of South Dakota, which is providing translation services at drive-thru COVID-19 testing sites.

When Smithfield Foods saw a COVID-19 outbreak at their plant in Sioux Falls, SD, the state, Avera Medical Group, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the South Dakota National Guard worked together to set up a drive-thru test site in a local high school parking lot. The collaboration recognized the importance of protective gear to keep the testing site workers and patients safe, but there were other important factors to ensure the testing site was successful.

The Sioux Falls COVID-19 drive-thru testing site had a full fleet of interpreters present, including Lutheran Social Services of South Dakota case worker, Adane Redda. Redda is originally from Ethiopia, and speaks several languages. The interpreters were crucial in collecting important information about each patient, and bridging gaps in communications. Redda said he finds this work rewarding, and is glad to be helpful during the COVID-19 outbreak. Public health officials were grateful for the interpreters from Lutheran Social Services, and anticipate that drive-thru testing sites will become more prevalent, and they will continue to value the important work of language interpreters.

Thank you to Lutheran Social Services of South Dakota for serving your community’s various needs through the COVID-19 pandemic, and for working to ensure that everyone, regardless of language has access to care!