At Transcendent Endeavors we’re excited to announce that we’re expanding our team and now have even more talented professionals on staff who are dedicated to transcending barriers and connecting people. We’re going to be introducing our entire staff in the coming months and to kick off our company profiles, we’d like to introduce you to our founder and CEO, Bill Tan, and tell you more about how Transcendent Endeavors was formed.
Bill Tan arrived in America when he was 15 years old. He knew just 500 words of English, but this was 500 more than his anyone else in his family. The experience inspired him to found Transcendent Endeavors. His experience of being a teenager in America with limited English skills had a significant impact on him and he knew that one day he wanted to build a company that utilized technology to break down communication barriers.
Fast forward to the present day and Bill’s vision has become a reality. Twenty-six million Americans have limited English proficiency (LEP), and this number is increasing quickly. Transcendent Endeavors currently has five projects designed to help people without strong English skills navigate in an English-speaking world. One of these projects, Canopy, is geared towards helping to bridge the language barrier specifically in healthcare settings. More than 90 million people in the US. have low functional health literacy. This means that when they are in a hospital or medical center, it is difficult to give and get information from doctors and nurses without an interpreter.
Bridging these language gaps is frustrating and breeds anxiety for both the patient and the caretakers, and in certain situations compromises the quality of care. Many immigrant families rely on their children who have developed strong English skills to guide them through the process, but this can mean taking kids out of school. This was the case with Bill’s family.
“When I arrived here, I was usually the person taking my parents to hospitals and other services,” Bill said. “A lot of immigrant parents really value education, and the last thing they want to do is yank their kids out of school to take them to the hospital. This is so backwards, and I thought that if there are tools out there to help other industries deal with multilingual populations, we needed to do that with health and education as well.”
Bill said that tools and technology along these lines are critical now more than ever. Health care reform in the U.S. means millions of people who were previously uninsured or underinsured — many of them immigrants– will soon be brought into the mainstream healthcare system. He said that the obstacles to reaching these populations are often economic and social, and products like TE’s can have a huge impact on productivity as well as care quality. “I’m really looking forward to the skillset that our new team members bring to the TE family. I know that their efforts combined with the talent of our existing team will result in the development of products that continue to deliver on the goal of TE that I set out to achieve back in 2001.”
Be sure to check back here for the latest TE products as well as the opportunity to get to know more of the Transcendent Endeavors team.