Oregon Awards Grant to National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters for Test Expansion in Five Additional Languages

WASHINGTON, Dec. 23, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters, which launched the first national certification exam in Spanish in October 2009 and bestows the Certified Medical Interpreter (CMI) designation, has been awarded a grant effective December 21, 2010 by the Oregon Office of Multicultural Health & Services for the development of oral certification exams in five additional languages: Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean, Vietnamese and Russian. The State of Oregon currently recognizes the independent board's testing and credentialing in Spanish as meeting the requirements for certification of Oregon interpreters and will extend approval to the CMI credentialing in the additional languages upon implementation of the new oral exams.

"Oregon has long been a trailblazer in the area of language access for limited English speaking patients, being one of just a handful of states that have any formalized standards for medical interpreter certification," said Nelva Lee, PhD, Chair of the National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters. "The state's adoption of the certification exams and credentialing process established by the National Board is an important validation of our historic initiative to bring a national standard to the profession. It is my hope that other states will follow Oregon's lead and adopt the CMI designation as a requirement for medical interpreters."

In 2001, the 71st Oregon Legislative Assembly passed Senate Bill 790, which called for the provision of healthcare interpreters for persons with limited English proficiency (LEP). Oregon's Health Care Interpreter Council was then charged with developing and implementing the administrative rules that would govern the registry, qualification and certification of interpreters for six languages.

"By embracing the National Board's standards and supporting its expansion for five additional languages, Oregon is saving considerable time and resources to achieve our goal of ensuring the safety of LEP patients," said David Cardona, MD, MPH, Healthcare Interpreter Program Coordinator for the Oregon Office of Multicultural Health & Services. "Oregon is ready to bring the benefits of medical interpreter certification to our state, where the LEP population has nearly tripled since 1990."

Over the next six months, the National Board will develop oral certification exams for the five additional languages in accordance with the same strict standards and scientific process used to design the Spanish certification test. Interpreters interested in participating in pilot testing of the five oral exams can pre-register at staff@certifiedmedicalinterpreters.org.

"The launch of national certification for medical interpreters is a significant achievement, one that all state governments and the U.S. healthcare industry as a whole should applaud," said Jeanette Poston, a Staff Interpreter at the Jackson County Courthouse for the Oregon Judicial Department. "I personally look forward to sitting for the Spanish exam and becoming a certified medical interpreter."


The National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters is a non-profit organization, formed from an independent group of industry professionals who represent all key stakeholder groups, including professional medical interpreters, trainers, employers, providers, and regulators. The National Board developed the first and most comprehensive national medical interpreting certification program to date. It serves as the certifying entity and has independent authority over all essential certification decisions. The purpose of certification is to ensure limited English proficiency patient safety by rigorous evaluation and assurance of the competency of medical interpreters, through written and oral exams. Those who pass the written and oral exams are bestowed the CMI credential which stands for Certified Medical Interpreter. The formation and structure of the National Board of Certification adheres to the standards and requirements for certification program governance. For more information, visit http://www.certifiedmedicalinterpreters.org

Media Contact:

Trent Freeman / tfreeman@olmsteadwilliams.com / 310.824.9000

This press release was issued through eReleases(R).  For more information, visit eReleases Press Release Distribution at http://www.ereleases.com.

SOURCE The National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters


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