Meet IRIS — your new language interpreter

Brian Braun demonstrates how to use the new interpretation system, IRIS, to nurses Kayla Denea and Melissa Hiscock.

With a cancer diagnosis, patients often feel they are taking a “crash course” in cancer science as they must quickly learn the medical terms and procedures associated with their diagnosis and treatment in order to make informed decisions. Imagine trying to do this in another language that you don’t speak or have limited fluency?

Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center is proud to serve a diverse community and treat patients from all over the world, and we are continually working to improve on our environment of equitable cancer care for our patients. It is because of this commitment that we are adding a new member to our interpretation services — IRIS!

Meet IRIS!

Instant Remote Interpretation Services (IRIS)

IRIS, or Instant Remote Interpretation Services, is a portable interpretation service that will help your care team communicate with you directly. Your interpreter can be accessed through the convenience of an iPad (provided by your care team), with the option of communicating via voice call or through video. Interpretations are available in more than 240 languages, including American Sign Language, through trained interpreters. All Roswell Park nurses have gone through extensive training to understand how best to utilize IRIS for ideal patient experience.

You will be asked during your registration process to become a patient with us if you or a family member need an interpreter, and again during your first visit to Roswell Park. This service will always be available to you every time you visit Roswell Park and can be provided either in person, video call, or through the use of the telephone.

Improving patient experience

An interpreter can be a vital member of your care team, helping you to understand your diagnosis, make informed decisions about your treatments, comply with follow-up care appointments and instructions and translating what your doctor is communicating with you during a procedure

"We believe the ease of IRIS both physically — portable and wheelable! — and technically, with interpreters available within minutes of opening the app, will drastically improve patient experience and help to cultivate that important relationship between doctor and patient," says Brian Braun, LCSW-R, Director of Social Work at Roswell Park.

Interpreters, whether through IRIS or in person, are always available to you at no additional cost. Please contact our social work team at to learn more.

Translation services are generously supported by donor dollars through our Quality-of-Life Program.

How we can help

Our social work team connects patients with internal Roswell Park and community agencies that can help with challenges during treatment.

Learn more