Taru SaigalTaru Saigal, MD, has been named a recipient of Ohio State’s 2023 Distinguished Diversity Enhancement Award. The award celebrates and rewards individuals and groups who have led exceptional diversity efforts at The Ohio State university through cutting-edge curriculum, mentorship program or policies.

Dr. Saigal developed and is managing a program that recognizes the need for linguistic diversity in patient care by matching patients with Limited English Proficiency (LEP) with doctors who speak their language. Patients with limited English proficiency (LEP) are among the fastest growing and one of the most vulnerable populations. Language barriers can lead to poor quality of care, worse clinical outcomes, higher medical error rates, and decreased satisfaction with healthcare. Moreover, evidence suggests that language concordance between patients and physicians enhances healthcare quality and improves health outcomes and patient satisfaction with care, communication, and medical understanding. 

Physicians in the GIM Division are from diverse backgrounds and mirror the diverse community they serve. Including Dr. Saigal, the program has 14 physicians who can provide clinical care in a language other than English: Dhuha Alwan (Arabic), Ines Aranguren (Spanish), Jamila Asif (Urdu, Punjabi and Hindi), M. Bashar Atai (Arabic), Guibin Li (Mandarin), Sara Li (Mandarin and Japanese), Shengyi Mao (Mandarin), Nishi Naik (Gujarati), Tran Nguyen (Vietnamese), Vandana Ohri (Hindi, Kannada, Urdu, and Panjabi) Kruti Patel (Gujarati and Hindi), Taru Saigal (Nepali, Hindi, Urdu) and Simranpreet Singh (Hindi, Punjabi, and Urdu). Existing and new patients with LEP, and patients who are proficient in English but prefer primary care in their language will have access to physicians who speak their language whenever possible. When a physician speaking the preferred language is not available, all of our clinicians will use appropriate interpreter services.

For more information, please see "Bridging the language barriers of foreign-born patients" published in Ohio State Health & Discovery.