TULSA, Okla., March 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Leaders, advocates and other stakeholders in the medical interpreting industry will travel across the globe to convene on Monday, April 30, 2012, in Tulsa, Oklahoma for the 6th Annual National Medical Interpreter Certification Forum. The event, which is a no-fee forum open to all hospitals, government agencies, interpreters and other stakeholders, will include guest speakers and discussions that address the advancement of national certification, best practices in the profession and perspectives from industry leaders. Attendees will share advocacy updates, status of educational programs and new opportunities for involvement in shaping the future of medical interpreting.
"This annual event has raised the level of awareness to this issue considerably. However, we must continue to expand our efforts so that every stakeholder in healthcare understands how important error-free communication is to avoid negative health outcomes to a vulnerable population," said Izabel Arocha, Executive Director of the International Medical Interpreters Association (IMIA). "This forum spotlights the importance and need for all healthcare institutions to adopt national certification and other best practices quickly so medical professionals and institutions are not held liable."
Medical interpreters raised the previous testing standard in the field by developing exams that are scientifically validated by psychometricians, and therefore are legally defensible. Available today in Spanish, The National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters (National Board) is completing the work to expand the oral exam this year into Russian, Korean, Vietnamese, Mandarin, and Cantonese.
"Expanding to six languages and applying for NCCA Accreditation has been the focus of the National Board. We will continue to work day and night so all interpreters can be tested and so all patients and providers can be assured of competency for accurate communication in vital health encounters," said Rita Weil, Chair of the National Board.
Key speaker Louis F. Provenzano, Jr., President and CEO of Monterey, California-based Language Line Services, launched the National Medical Interpreter Certification Forum in 2007 when his organization invited national leaders in the field of medical interpreting to join forces and work toward national certification. The annual forum is now an industry staple, with more than a hundred stakeholders attending the event every year.
"As the largest provider of medical interpreters and language access services to health care providers, Language Line Services recognizes the responsibility of organizations such as ours to provide the support for hospitals and collaborative opportunity for the field as a vital process of the mission for elevating effective communication in patient-centered care, an initiative at the top of this year's national agenda," Provenzano said. "Our continued efforts are a reflection of our genuine commitment to this mission."
The annual event creates an inclusive, transparent and collaborative process that crosses state lines and industry sectors. It brings together representatives of various state and national interpreter associations, interpreters and interpretation service providers, advocates and policy makers, state officials, educators, trainers, hospitals and healthcare organizations, as well as international stakeholders who are watching the U.S. medical interpreter profession's progress toward national certification as the new qualifying standard for medical interpreters.
This year's forum will take place at the Mayo Hotel, listed on the National Register of Historic Places in the heart of downtown Tulsa. Among invited and confirmed speakers are Guadalupe Pacheco Senior Health Advisor, Office of Minority Health U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (confirmed keynote speaker), the Governor of Oklahoma, and representatives of The National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters, International Medical Interpreters Association, Oregon's Office of Multicultural Health, The Joint Commission, Choctaw Nation, Language Line® University, Dallas Children's Hospital, CCHI, U.S. Department of Health, Washington State Unite, Memorial Hermann Texas Medical Center in Houston, international delegates and others.
According to IMIA State Representative for Oklahoma, Tina Pena, "we are working arduously in Oklahoma to professionalize the work of medical interpreters in our state. Only one hospital in the state of Oklahoma currently employs a full-time medical interpreter, so we really have our work cut out for us. An event like this is critical to raise awareness and move things forward against a strong headwind of anti-immigrant and mono-lingual legislative proposals."
There is no registration fee to attend the annual forum, though space is limited. Online registration is now open at http://www.imiaweb.org/conferences/May1.asp.
The event will be preceded on Sunday, April 29, 2012, by meetings of the Global Advisory Council, IMIA Medical Terminology Boot Camps as well as a press conference to be held at the Press Club meeting room in the Marriott Hotel at 415 S. Boston Ave, Tulsa, OK 74103. The National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters will also hold its annual Board convening on May 1st, the day after the Open Forum.
For more information about the 6th Annual National Medical Interpreter Certification Forum, please email [email protected].
About the Annual National Medical Interpreter Certification Forum
The National Medical Interpreter Certification Forum is an annual event that brings together industry leaders and stakeholders, large and small, private and public, working together to collaborate with a specific focus on the topic of National Medical Interpreter Certification. The purpose of this initiative is to improve and support standardization of the quality of language services in our nation's health care institutions and to give every organization and individual a voice and opportunity to participate in an inclusive and transparent environment.
This multi-stakeholder event was initiated by Language Line Services in 2007 and is now organized by interpreters and the following organizations: Language Line® University, International Medical Interpreters Association (IMIA), PSI Testing & Credentialing, Cardinal Point - Government Relations, Nebraska Association for Translators & Interpreters (NATI), Connecticut Area Health Education Center (AHEC), Nevada Interpreters & Translators Association (NITA), Burg Translation, Language People, Tennessee Association of Medical Interpreters and Translators (TAMIT), Tulsa Community College (TCC), the Epilepsy Foundation, Relay Oklahoma, and more.
SOURCE National Medical Interpreter Certification Forum