Our bilingualism program was published in 2020. Language ambassadors play an important role in delivering this program. To support them, we developed the language ambassador program in the year under review.

We have had language ambassadors ever since we published our first language program in 2007. Our values – Caring, Equality, Pioneership – underlie our new bilingualism program, which was revised and adopted in 2020.  

We provide specialist medical care services for more than 2 million people, of whom about 130,000 have Swedish as their first language. Finnish and Swedish have equal status by law in Finland.  

One of the goals of our bilingualism program from the very first was to set up a network of language ambassadors to promote the minority language in each unit.

 “Our goal is that the patient feels safe when speaking or transacting in their native language, whether Finnish or Swedish, in their care contacts. Our language ambassador network plays an important role in this,” says Chief Nursing Executive Marja Renholm, who also chairs the HUS language steering group.

 There are about 130 language ambassadors at present. The language ambassador program includes concrete measures to support the ambassadors in their work, to raise awareness of these activities and to enhance recruitment of new ambassadors. 

“We have gathered feedback from the language ambassadors and devised the new program on that basis. Language ambassadors have a vital role, and we want to do our best to support them. We also hope to raise more awareness of what we do,” says Planning Specialist Cecilia Genberg, language ambassador coordinator.

We are running the language ambassador program during the strategy period 2020–2024.