WASHINGTON, June 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Leaders and advocates for the medical interpreting profession gathered in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, May 1, 2010, for the fourth annual National Medical Interpreter Certification - Open Forum. The focus of this year's forum was expansion and implementation of the national certification launched in October 2009 by the National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters.
"The forum gave us an opportunity to both celebrate the fact that national medical interpreter certification is now a reality and discuss the next phase of our journey, which is to ready the country for adoption of this national standard," said Louis Provenzano, President and Chief Operating Officer of Language Line Services. "National certification is essential to patient safety for limited English proficient speakers. We must now educate the public and decision-makers on the need for a federal mandate that requires the use of trained and tested medical interpreters and provide the funding to help hospitals meet this patient safety requirement."
This year's meeting included a progress report from Dr. Nelva Lee, Chair of the National Board, on the next steps in the implementation of national certification. In addition, Janet Bonet of the Nebraska Association of Translators and Interpreters was honored with the 2010 Voice of the Industry Award for her outstanding contributions to the interpreting field.
"We have an incredible team of individuals, representing many states and diverse industry sectors, who are working earnestly to advance the medical interpreter profession and address the issue of health care disparities propagated by poor communication between health care providers and limited English proficient patients," said Doris Hernandez, medical interpreter from North Carolina. "Janet Bonet has been a shining example of the selfless dedication and work over many years on the local, national and international level to advance the interpreter profession."
Among other meeting highlights was a presentation by John Weiner, Chief Science Officer with PSI Services, on the Technical Standards Review and Validation Report, which documents that the National Board's oral and written exams required to be credentialed as a "Certified Medical Interpreter" (CMI) in a specific language meet the standards for Educational and Psychological Testing and that the overall process of national medical interpreter certification adheres to the Institute for Credentialing Excellence's best practice standards.
Minhua Liu, Adjunct Associate Professor at the Fu Jen University and GITI, in Taipei, Taiwan, and Sam Campisi, National Manager, Multicultural Service Branch, Centrelink, Australia, reported on the international work done by interpreter trade associations in other countries to carry out job analyses in order to compare standards around the world.
Armando Valles from the National Center for Interpretation Testing Research and Policy (NCI) at the University of Arizona also spoke to the audience of more than 100 industry stakeholders on the importance of training, testing and certification. Concluding the event were working sessions with various stakeholder task forces and presentations on how to extend the reach, acceptance and support for national medical interpreter certification.
The forum, initiated and sponsored by Language Line Services (LLS) in 2007 and 2008, enables without exclusion all stakeholders, subject matter experts and those interested in national medical interpreter certification a place and time to convene to hear from industry leaders and participate in discussions and roundtables without any cost to attend. The Forum was co-sponsored in 2009 by the International Medical Interpreters Association (IMIA) and PSI Services, a leading national testing and accreditation organization who organized the event jointly. Sponsors of this year's meeting also included the Medical Interpreter Network of Georgia (MING), the Nebraska Association of Translators and Interpreters (NATI), Cardinal Point, AHEC, Burg Translation Inc., and the Epilepsy Foundation.
The Coordinating Committee for the May 1st Forum reached out to past attendees, the National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters, and the more than 800 Facebook supporters for their input on locations for the upcoming 2011 May 1st National Medical Interpreter Certification - Open Forum. It was decided that the 5th annual convening of the forum will be held in Southern California. Requests for registration information can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
About National Medical Interpreter Certification Open Forum
The National Medical Interpreter Certification - Open Forum is an annual convening 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.
Shawn Yanan / email@example.com / 305-962-1768
SOURCE Language Line Services