A diagnosis of cancer is frightening, even in the best of circumstances. Those who make the difficult decision to seek medical care far from home face even more anxiety and uncertainty due to the strain of international travel, as well as cultural and language differences. Breaking through these barriers, the compassionate staff at MD Anderson's International Center is dedicated to easing the stress of this journey with personal support to answer questions, resolve fears and concerns and help with adjusting to life in Houston.
Services provided by the International Center include:
- Assistance with obtaining the first appointment
- Pre-arrival assistance with visa and other necessary arrangements
- Airport arrival assistance and transportation
- Assistance with assimilation into a new culture and understanding of medical practices at MD Anderson and in the United States
- Assistance with banking and business services
- Housing or hotel reservations arranged at the Jesse H. Jones Rotary House International or other nearby hotels or apartments
- Language assistance in most languages and coordinating interpreter
- Assistance with financial counseling
- Liaison between you and hospital staff
- Assistance with religious and dining needs
Upon first contacting MD Anderson, international patients are assigned an individual care representative fluent in the patient's own language who provides guidance on issues large and small, from securing an initial appointment to suggesting personal items to pack. When patients arrive, their representative helps them become familiar with the campus, learn about MD Anderson's unique programs and navigate their new community.
During your first visit, your International Patient Assistant would like to welcome you to MD Anderson, whether it’s in your clinic or in the International Center. They can help you understand how the care centers work and inform you of special services.
Your International Patient Assistant can answer questions about how to make the most of your stay in Houston. If you have concerns, anxieties or fears about diagnosis or treatment, staff can help resolve them. The International Center takes care of the details, so you can focus your energy on fighting cancer.
Fundamental to the philosophy of care at MD Anderson is your right to ask questions of your physician, and for you to be involved at every level of treatment. Interpreters are available free of charge, to help you understand your medical condition and communicate with your physician in the language with which you are most comfortable.
Contact the International Center
What to Expect
Our Global Culture
Meet Martha Aguado-Romaguera
Medical Interpreter/Translator, Language Assistance
Our office provides interpreters for the whole MD Anderson system. We serve the Proton Center, the Mohs Clinic at Travis, the Radiation Outpatient Clinic, and of course, the main inpatient and outpatient areas. We also interpret over the phone and provide these services for MD Anderson’s remote locations in Katy, Bay Area and the mobile mammography unit. At any given moment, we may be called to help patients and staff at any location. We do a lot of walking. Our job gives us the great opportunity to meet and to help lots of wonderful individuals. Read about our Language Assistance services.