In contrast to the rapid advances in medicine, the language barrier has proven to be stubbornly resistant to change. The use of medical interpreters, as the default option for bridging the communication gap, has merely migrated from voice calls on dual-handsets to video calls on touchscreens and remains cost-prohibitive to deploy on a widespread scale. Very little innovation has emerged to alter the fundamentals of language access. The good news is, unlike other social determinants of health (SDoH) that are systemic in nature, the language barrier is largely an organizational and workflow deficit and can be remedied with a targeted approach.
At Canopy Innovations, we have made it our mission to eliminate the language barrier by empowering healthcare systems to invest in recognizing and supporting their bilingual staff, build capacity for deploying reusable multilingual content, and capture reimbursement for language services from payers. At 26 million, the size of the LEP population is roughly equal to the number of patients suffering from diabetes. Eliminating the language barrier would be the equivalent of eradicating a major chronic disease in terms of societal impact.
We invite you to join us in this quest and let us know how we can support you in making healthcare more accessible for language-minority communities. Your recommendations will be much appreciated, please feel free to reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bill Tan – Founder
Canopy Innovations, Inc is a digital health technology company that is transforming the way our healthcare system communicates with underserved patients with limited English proficiency(LEP). The existing language barrier undermines the quality of care for over 27 million patients with LEP and creates enormous workflow and financial constraints to the health delivery organizations that serve them. With support from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Canopy has developed a suite of products to tackle these challenges.
Eliminate the language barrier in healthcare by transforming language access into an executive priority for advancing diversity and health equity.
As the central value proposition to our customers, we enable them to invest in their most valuable assets (bilingual/multilingual staff) and sustainable resources (infrastructure and pre-translated, reusable content) in order to provide comprehensive language assistance services that go beyond medical interpretation.
Meet the Executive Leadership Team
Founder & CEO
Bill’s work is inspired by his experience as a family interpreter and the many opportunities he has been able to access as a result of being multilingual. Through the delivery of innovative solutions, Bill firmly believes that complex, systematic barriers such as the language gap can be effectively managed and eventually eliminated. He envisions a future where equitable access to the same opportunities and resources is available to all in the fields of healthcare, education, and social services.
Director of Content and Pedagogy
Dr. Riestenberg is an applied linguist and expert on language teaching and learning. For over a decade, Kate has designed dynamic and evidence-driven language materials, curricula, and assessments in seven different languages for stakeholders ranging from the U.S. State Department to an indigenous language revitalization program in Mexico. Kate taught college-level linguistics courses for several years and has held research positions at the Smithsonian Institution and the Center for Applied Linguistics.
Kylie Jennissen, BSN, RN
Clinical Sales Executive
Nick is an account executive responsible for developing relationships within healthcare systems to help grow Canopy’s presence beyond the educational space. Nick has a long line of family members that are nurses both in the military and public healthcare systems. Through their experiences, he understands the problems that healthcare professionals and LEP patients face when up against a language barrier. As a result, he is very passionate about Canopy’s mission and creating an environment where all LEP patients feel welcomed and cared for.
Customer Success Manager
Gloria is the Customer Success Manager responsible for implementation, ticket handling, and assisting existing customers with questions and anything else they may need to ensure their success. Gloria previously worked as an autism program coordinator and pediatric pain program coordinator at a large children’s health system. Moving to Florida from her native Puerto Rico, Gloria shares some personal experiences with language access affecting her family and community. Gloria is dedicated to helping healthcare workers deliver the best possible care to their patients.
John Vander Meulen
Chief Revenue Officer
John’s work is inspired by the use of digital solutions in solving complex healthcare-related issues. His experience offering technology-based solutions over the past 30+ years has resulted in solutions being used worldwide in healthcare systems.
Before joining Canopy, John served in executive leadership positions in privately held companies and larger organizations, including Johnson & Johnson, EDS, Chrysler, and Compuware Corporation. He held various leadership positions across these companies, including sales, marketing, software development, professional services, client services, operations, and strategy development.
Sr. Director of Marketing
Dr. Wysocki is a product and growth marketer with over 8 years of experience in SaaS and elearning companies. As a historian and university lecturer in the border regions of Tucson, San Diego, and Tijuana, he has worked in several capacities to bridge the cultural, economic, and policy gaps between the US and Mexico. David has also worked on projects in Oaxaca, Mexico to promote sustainable farming and nutrition and as an archivist to increase access to official documents. With Canopy, he uses stories, art, and data to connect healthcare professionals to our life-changing (and life-saving) product.
Anna Spivey, BSN, RN
Anna is an account executive responsible for developing key client relationships and fostering existing partnerships for the company. During the pandemic, Anna served as a registered nurse in the COVID pod at one of the largest pediatric health institutes in the country. Anna experienced firsthand the same issues that many healthcare workers are facing today, with a shortage of interpreters available to serve the limited English proficiency population. As a result, she is passionate about providing universities and health institutes with innovative, educational resources to better serve our LEP populations.
David Ko Yang
Davd is responsible for implementing digital marketing strategy and managing affiliate partnerships at Canopy. A native Spanish speaker from Paraguay, David shares some personal experience with limited language access in the healthcare space. As a result, he is passionate about promoting Canopy’s brand, to break the language barrier in healthcare and better serve the LEP population in the US.