The CoreCHI™ and CHI™ are the nation's highest certification credentials available to healthcare interpreters
Healthcare providers choose CCHI certified interpreters - CoreCHI™ and CHI™ - as their preferred means of ensuring language access. Join us and demonstrate your commitment to quality care and patient safety.
Healthcare providers depend on you to have trained and qualified interpreters. It is just smart business to validate your hiring practices and training with CCHI credentials.
Healthcare interpreters and providers choose CCHI accredited continuing education programs. CCHI accreditation ensures your program's credibility and visibility.
Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters
The Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters is opening nominations for the following Board positions for the term from August 15, 2017 to August 14, 2020:
Nominees must represent a stakeholder group of the healthcare interpreting profession, healthcare interpreting industry, or field of language access to health care.
Before nominating, please read the following documents (click on the title):
You may nominate yourself or someone else. If you nominate someone, prior to submission of the nomination, that individual must agree to the nomination and to serve for a term of three (3) years.
Thank you for your interest and support!
WASHINGTON October 29, 2015—The national Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters (CCHI) announced the commencement of a three-year term for seven new Commissioners this month. CCHI is a professional certification organization acting in the public interest by establishing the national certification standards and requirements for healthcare interpreters.
|CCHI Commissioners. Left to right, Front: Eliana Lobo, Alejandro Maldonado; Middle: Mina Kini, Margarita Bekker, Gabriela Flores, Scott Crystal; Back: Idolly Fajardo, Edna Quartey, Jorge Ungo. Other Commissioners, absent from the photo: Linda Golley, Teresa Salazar, Lee Williams.|
The new Commissioners are Scott Crystal, Idolly Fajardo Rodriguez, Linda Golley, Mina Kini, Eliana Lobo, Jorge U. Ungo, and Lee D. Williams. They represent various professional and industry stakeholder groups of healthcare interpreting and the public who come together to inform CCHI’s policies, strategies and decisions.
Earlier in October, CCHI honored and thanked the six founding Commissioners who completed their second term at its in-person session in Chicago. Shiva Bidar-Sielaff, Kathleen Diamond, Jonathan Levy, Virginia Perez-Santalla, Karin Ruschke, and Mara Youdelman have been among the thirteen Commissioners who founded CCHI in July 2009 with the vision to establish a national, valid, credible and vendor-neutral certification program for healthcare interpreters.
Kathleen Diamond, M.A., exiting Vice Chair of CCHI, summed up their reasons for establishing the Commission, “I became frustrated by the market’s lack of appreciation for the value of the role of the trained linguist. I strove to educate my clients, my cohorts, my staff, and my advisors on what I saw as essential to excellence in language services: professionalism. The key of course, is standards and certification. Thus, I supported the grassroots efforts to create a national certification program, and I was eager to serve as a founding member on the Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters from 2009 to 2015.”
After six years of CCHI’s existence and with over 2,100 certified interpreters throughout the U.S., the national certification program has a solid foundation and balanced infrastructure. However, there is plenty of room for growth. "It is no longer good enough to simply provide interpreting services in health care,” states CCHI’s Chair Elect, Margarita Bekker, CoreCHI™ and Lead Russian Interpreter in the Education and Training Department at Stanford University Medical Center. “Now is the time to provide higher quality service that all patients and providers deserve. The Commissioners will continue to educate healthcare and health administrators that national certification, either at the professional knowledge CoreCHI™ level or the language-specific performance CHI™ level, is an important part of quality control and professional development for healthcare interpreters."
Linda Golley, M.A., CCHI’s newly elected Vice Chair, Manager of Interpreter Services at University of Washington Medical Center, comments on another aspect of the Commission’s work, “As the process of certifying medical interpreters becomes the norm, CCHI can grow its offerings in continuing education, driving improvement across the profession rather than simply measuring the attainment of individuals.”
The current Commissioners include practicing interpreters – both CoreCHI™ and CHI™-Spanish certificants, interpreter services managers and educators, healthcare executives, representatives of language services companies, a state language access coordinator, and an executive of a national refugee resettlement agency. To see the Commissioners’ affiliations and bios, go to “Our Team” section of CCHI’s website.
Healthcare interpreting is our core and our strength. We know it well and have all of the leaders, pioneers and practicing interpreters depending on us to bring them an entire family of certifications that match their level of practice and give them something to work toward as they advance their knowledge and build their business.
The Commissioners of CCHI know healthcare interpreting to the depth and extent of their entire working lives in the industry and from relationships with thousands of healthcare interpreters.
Natalya Mytareva, M.A., CoreCHI™, CCHI Executive Director
Advisory Panels of CCHI
In addition to the outstanding group of professionals selected as CCHI commissioners, we have gathered advisors from organizations and groups that will bring credibility, respect and authority to the certifications created and administered by CCHI.*
These Advisory Panels, innovative in the world of credentialing, will help CCHI address the complexities of certification in a respectful manner and ensure the transparency of the development process.
These Advisory Panels include:
Policy & Industry Stakeholder Advisory Panel*
Certification Program Expert Advisory Panel*
* The participation by supporters and advisors does not constitute ultimate endorsement of CCHI's certification program.
Margarita S. Bekker, CoreCHI™
Russian interpreter and educator
Lead Interpreter, Education and Training
Stanford University Medical Center
Palo Alto, California
Margarita Bekker was born in Leningrad, Russia. In 1989, upon graduating from nursing school, she immigrated to the United States and continued her education at UC Berkeley, studying Slavic Languages and Literature. As a freelance Russian interpreter, Margarita worked with diverse populations ranging from political refugees to Russian musicians. Since 2002 she has been working at Stanford University Medical Center. She holds the position of Lead Interpreter, Education and Training. This job allows her to use her education in healthcare and literature to actively serve the Russian community. Margarita mentors interns, and participates in testing and training programs for interpreters and healthcare providers. Margarita is a certified Bridging the Gap Trainer. She also taught Russian students in her capacity as Russian Language Coach at the City College of San Francisco HCI program for several years. In 2012, she became a curriculum developer for Glendon School of Translation at York University, Toronto, Canada. She developed and then taught two Healthcare Interpreting Courses (Russian) for Glendon’s innovative master level distance learning program. Margarita is a former President of the California Healthcare Interpreting Association as well as a former Chairperson of the CHIA Conference Committee. Margarita was awarded the Interpreter of the Year award by CHIA in 2016.
Jaime Fatás-Cabeza, USCCI, CHI™-Spanish
Director of Undergraduate Program in Translation and Interpretation
Department of Spanish and Portuguese
University of Arizona
Jaime Fatás-Cabeza is the director of the undergraduate degree program in healthcare and legal translation and interpretation at the University of Arizona. He is an associate and examiner for the National Center for Interpretation, Testing, Research and Policy. He is a United States Court Certified Interpreter (USCCI, English/Spanish), a Certified Healthcare Interpreter™-Spanish, and is a certified translator by the American Translators Association (ATA). Jaime has been a staff judicial interpreter with the Trial Court of Massachusetts, president of the Judicial Interpreters of Massachusetts, Operations Supervisor of Interpreting Services at Harvard’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and official translator and interpreter for Spanish and Mexican consular offices. He is a conference interpreter. Jaime has taught Translation and Interpretation at the School for Professional Studies at Boston University and at Bentley College, MA; Music and Spanish Language and Culture at Tufts University and the University of Massachusetts/ Boston, as well as in Spanish educational institutions. His professional experience includes stints as staff translator and editor for school and college divisions at Houghton Mifflin Publishing Co., Prentice Hall, and Simon and Schuster. He has recently designed a bilingual assessment (English/Spanish) protocol and training course for dual-role healthcare professionals. Jaime is an elected member of the Board of Directors of the National Council for Interpreting and Healthcare (NCIHC) and a member of the Trainers of Trainers Committee of NCIHC.
Idolly F. Oliva, M.B.A.
Manager of Interpreter Services
Idolly Fajardo is originally from Guatemala. She has served many roles in the medical interpreting arena over the last decade: Spanish interpreter, trainer/educator, and administrator. Idolly has been a licensed trainer for the Bridging the Gap and The Community Interpreter Programs and has trained hundreds of medical interpreters in the metropolitan and Greater Minneapolis area. Currently, she leads Interpreter Services at Allina Health; a system composed of 13 hospitals and 95+ clinics in Minnesota and Wisconsin. As a former board member of the Interpreter Stakeholder Group (ISG) she actively collaborated with the State in developing the interpreter registry and also participated in workgroups that produced a report for the state legislature on access and interpreting services in the medical field. Idolly is committed to certification by making it a requirement in the job description for her staff interpreters. Ms. Fajardo is fascinated by cultures and is passionate about languages. Idolly holds a Master Degree in Business Administration from Hamline University and a BA in Management with an emphasis in International Business from Webster University.
Gabriela Flores, BA, MSM
Director, Office of Equity and Diversity
Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics (CMHC)
Kansas City, Kansas
Gabriela Flores creates and implements an organizational framework focusing on health equity, diversity and inclusion, which includes strategies specifically related to community engagement for Children’s Mercy Hospitals and Clinics. She has over seventeen years of experience working in the area of human services, specifically with refugee and immigrant populations in the Kansas City metropolitan area. Her area of emphasis has been in language access, diversity and health equity. Previously, Ms. Flores served as the Director of Interpreter Services for Truman Medical Centers (TMC). Gabriela is an adjunct faculty at Johnson County Community College and at the Metropolitan Community Colleges. Ms. Flores holds a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology, a Master’s in Business Management, and has completed the American Hospital Association’s Cultural Competency Leadership Fellowship.
Linda Golley, M.A.
University of Washington Medical Center
Linda Golley was raised in Germany, Peru, and Mexico, then came to the United States at age 17 to attend Stanford University. She combined pre-med classes with a major in international relations, focusing on the political economics of food distribution in the Third World. Linda has been a social justice activist ever since, both in her healthcare work and in her volunteer positions. She enjoys caring for immigrant, less educated, less affluent, differently-abled, and elderly patients, probably because she loves to engage with her patients and these folks have the best stories to share. With respect to medical interpreting, Linda’s primary concern is that the patients’ goals, needs, and preferences are served: Clinical outcomes are the bottom line. To that end, the medical interpreter who is well prepared technically, intellectually, and emotionally can provide the best support for patients traversing the American health care system. Linda enjoys developing and teaching curriculum for interpreters, including medical terminology, infection control, eliminating barriers to care, and interpreting at end-of-life.
Dylanna Jackson, M.A.
International Institute of Erie
PA office of USCRI
Dylanna Jackson has spent nearly two decades working to advance the rights of refugees and immigrants throughout the Midwest - becoming an expert in the field of refugee resettlement. Prior to becoming the agency Director at the International Institute of Erie in April 2012, Dylanna spent her time in both Pittsburgh, PA and Akron, OH in the non-profit world. Everywhere she has been, she has devoted her time and energy to developing strong client-centered programming and long-term community partners. Passionate about teaching, Dylanna has also spent over five years in the classroom teaching a myriad of courses to English Language Learners both domestically and internationally. Dylanna earned her B.A. in English from Kent State University, where she also received her certification in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL). She has her Master of Science in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution from Creighton University. She has lived and worked in Turkey and Germany. When not at work she loves to ride her bicycle and spend time with her dogs.
Mina Kini, M.S.W., M.S.
Language Access Consultant
Mina's most recent position involved directing and advancing Multicultural & Community Health Improvement strategies and initiatives for the Texas Health Resources, one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health care delivery systems in the United States and the largest in North Texas serving communities in 16 counties in North Central Texas, home to more than 6.2 million people. In her work within Texas Health’s Population Health, Innovation and Education Center, Mina is focused on defining strategies, designing programs and deploying interventions across the care continuum and within the community settings to address multiple factors that influence health, wellness and prevention and build health equity. Prior to her current position, Mina worked in various sectors from higher education, community building, human service organizations and social science research. She also is active and serves on multiple boards and coalitions in North Texas. With over 25 years of professional experience in international and US settings, Mina holds two Masters Degrees – one in Social Work from Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai, India and the other in Organizational Development & strategy from Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas. In addition, she is a Fellow of the American Hospital Association’s, Cultural Competence Leadership Program and has completed the Disparities Leadership Fellowship, a year-long executive education program of the Massachusetts General Hospital’s Disparities Solutions Center. Mina is fluent in Hindi, Marathi and Konkani, the languages of India.
Eliana Lobo, M.A., CoreCHI™
Language access policy consultant and medical interpreter trainer
Lobo Language Access
Eliana is a native speaker of English and Portuguese. Born in Brazil, Eliana obtained her master's degree in Bilingual Education from Brown University, where she taught Portuguese as a Teaching Fellow. She received a Fulbright Grant to conduct research in Brazil. She moved to Seattle in 2005, after 19 years in New York City, where she worked as a Spanish/Portuguese Translation Supervisor for Chadbourne & Parke, and as a Special Assistant within Citigroup’s Latin America Securities Services Division. An experienced court and medical interpreter, Eliana is a WA state registered court interpreter, a WA state authorized medical interpreter, a certified Trainer of medical interpreters, and a CoreCHI™ healthcare interpreter. She has partnered with the Washington state Dept. of Social and Health Services (DSHS) to deliver quality online test preparation and free training in medical interpreter ethics and standards of practice for all candidates preparing for the state certification exam. Prior to founding her own company, Eliana was National Director of Interpreter Quality & Education at InDemand Interpreting, and Supervisor and Trainer of Interpreter Services at Harborview Medical Center, a regional trauma center and teaching hospital, with 49 staff interpreters providing service in 23 languages. A member of NCIHC, IMIA and CHIA and a regular presenter at their conferences, Eliana is a member of NCIHC’s “Home for Trainers” workgroup, hosting webinars every other month for medical interpreter trainers, winning the ProZ 2014 Community Choice Award, for "Best Training Series" http://www.proz.com/community-choice-awards.
Alejandro Maldonado, M.A., CHI™-Spanish
Limited English Proficiency Coordinator
Minnesota Department of Human Services
St. Paul, Minnesota
Alejandro Maldonado serves on different committees related to language access to reduce disparities to people with LEP and addresses disparity to access and services in healthcare and social services in the state of Minnesota. He has worked in and with government agencies to move Minnesota towards developing an interpreter registry and served on an executive committee that produced a report for the state legislature on access and interpreting services in the medical field. He also works with the Interpreting Stakeholder Group, is an active member of the Latino Advisory Committee providing advice to the Minneapolis Mayor's Office and City Council, and has been a well recognized active professional interpreter by his colleagues in the medical field for almost two decades. In addition to the study of linguistics and interpreting, Alejandro founded Avante Enterprises and flies charitable missions for Angel Flight Central.
Natalya Mytareva, M.A., CoreCHI™
Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters
Natalya Mytareva, a Russian interpreter/translator, CCHI's Executive Director and one of the founding Commissioners, started her career as instructor of various Russian/English interpretation and translation courses at Volgograd State University (Russia) in 1991. From 2000 to 2013, she was Communications Director at the International Institute of Akron, a non-profit refugee resettlement agency in Ohio. Locally, she is actively involved in issues of equal access to health care for refugees. Natalya is the author and instructor of various courses for interpreters of languages of lesser diffusion. Natalya has delivered a variety of presentations for healthcare and social service providers on cultural competence, working with interpreters and serving newly resettled refugee populations. She holds a combined BA/MA degree from Volgograd State University in Philology and Teaching English as a Foreign Language.
Edna Y. Quartey, CHI™-Spanish
Manager, Language Services Department
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Edna Quartey was born in Guadalajara, Mexico. She and her family immigrated to the United States during her middle school years. Learning English as her second language made her discover her love for languages and learning about other cultures. She went to school at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and finished her bachelor’s degree with a double concentration in Political Science and French/Francophone studies including a year abroad program in Aix-en-Provence, France. After graduating college, Edna joined the Peace Corps and she lived and worked in the country of Mauritania in West Africa in which she taught English as a second language to middle and high school students for two years. She also worked alongside her colleagues to develop lesson plans to include in the country’s new curriculum. After Peace Corps, Edna’s passion for teaching English around the world continued and she moved to Thailand in which she worked at different private schools. Finally, in 2010, Edna moved back to Michigan and found a great demand for healthcare interpreters in the area. She gained experience through volunteer work while going through healthcare interpreter trainings and quickly started receiving freelance work. In 2011, she started working for Spectrum Health as a Spanish interpreter. Edna is committed to certification for all of Spectrum Health interpreters by making it a requirement in the job description which has set high standards for all agencies in the area. Spectrum Health is also committed to the changing times and understands that technology solutions are part of this evolution. Edna’s department offers in-staff video remote interpreting solutions as a model for the growing demand of interpreting services.
Erin Rosales, B.A., CHI™-Spanish, CPLP®
Vice President & Director of Interpreter Development
Connecting Cultures, Inc
Erin Rosales is Director of Interpreter Development for Connecting Cultures, Inc. She has a B.A. in Spanish and Ministry from Viterbo College. She holds a Certified Professional in Learning and Performance® designation from the Association for Talent Development. She is a member of the Standards and Training Committee of the National Council on Interpreting in Health Care and is co-lead for the Home for Trainers – Webinars Work Group. She is a member of the American Translators Association. Since 2003 Erin has been dedicated to actively interpreting in the healthcare field, designing training programs for healthcare interpreters, training interpreters, and developing interpreter trainers. She has a particular interest in workplace learning and performance and in integrating ongoing professional development into the professional practice of healthcare interpreters. She is a regular contributor to the Connecting Cultures blog and is a fan of using social media, especially Twitter (@RosalesErin), to learn from professionals across a variety of fields, to discover and share valuable professional development resources, and to enjoy a bit of whimsy on occasion.
Mateo C. Rutherford, MA, MATI, CHI™-Spanish
Project Manager, Interpreting Services
San Francisco, CA
Mateo Rutherford has worked for the Interpreting Services Department at UCSF Health since 2012 as a Supervisor, Administrative Director and Project Manager. UCSF has over 200,000 LEP patient visits in over 80 languages per year and offers patients and providers a mixed service model, including telephone, video and on-site interpreting services. UCSF Health now requires all per diem contract interpreters to be nationally certified and complete a full-day of shadowing in an effort to insure and enhance the quality of their language services. Mateo holds a Master’s Degree in Integrative Biology from the University of California, Berkeley and a Master’s Degree in Spanish Interpretation and Translation from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. He has worked as a freelance Spanish interpreter since 1987 throughout Latin America, Europe, Asia and the United States. He specializes in topics related to the life sciences and technology. Previously he worked as a bilingual disease prevention trainer under contract with the CDC throughout the US, Puerto Rico and Honduras and currently conducts trainings for healthcare interpreters through California Healthcare Interpreting Association (CHIA) and other organizations. Mateo is also a founding member of the University of California Medical Interpreting Consortium, including UCSF, UCLA, UC Davis, UC Irvine and UC San Diego Interpreting Services Departments. He serves on the Education Board of CHIA and is a CERTIFIED HEALTHCARE INTERPRETER™.
Jorge U. Ungo
Strategic Healthcare Account Executive
Jorge U. Ungo has dedicated his career to providing high quality language access services in health care. As the director of an international interpreting program, Jorge was responsible for all business operations including the development of specialized training programs and quality assurance processes. Today, Jorge is a Strategic Healthcare Account Executive for LanguageLine Solutions – a global leader in healthcare interpreting. In addition to his work with renowned language services providers, Jorge has served as President of the Texas Association of Healthcare Interpreters and Translators (TAHIT) and as a board member of the National Council on Interpreting in Healthcare (NCIHC). Additionally, Jorge has served on the boards of the Houston Interpreters and Translators Association (HITA), the Texas Alliance for Patient Services (TAPS), and Encuentro Latino. Jorge was also the founding acting administrator of the American Translators Association Medical Division (ATA-MD).
Lee D. Williams
Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants
Lee Williams joined USCRI as Vice President and Chief Financial Officer in August 2009. In this role, he has direct management responsibilities for USCRI’s operations, including programs and services through its Refugee Services and Immigrant Services Divisions, Field Office operations, Development, Communications, Advocacy, and Finance/Accounting teams. Prior to joining, he was the Executive Director of the International Institute of Akron, a USCRI partner agency serving the refugee and immigrant communities of northeast Ohio. Mr. Williams’ early career was in financial services, where he focused on global securities and markets with the Morgan Stanley Trust Company, Deutsche Bank Global Institutional Services, and Capco. Mr. Williams holds a Graduate Certificate of Non-Profit Management from Case Western Reserve University, a Master's degree in International Management from The Thunderbird School of Global Management, and a Bs.L. from Georgetown University in Arabic.
Policy and Industry Stakeholder Advisory Committee
Tricia Barrett, M.A.
Vice President, Product Development
National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA)
Tricia Marine Barrett joined NCQA in 2008, responsible for exploring new product concepts and evolving existing products to meet the needs of a changing healthcare environment. Previously Tricia was an associate vice president and program director for the Health Alliance Plan/General Motors Managed Care Consulting Team, responsible for evaluating the quality and efficiency of GM’s managed care offerings nationally and for establishing supplier development activities with all of GM’s HMOs. In this role, she participated on the NCQA Purchaser Advisory Council, the National Business Coalition on Health eValue8 Steering Committee and served as an author and scorer for the eValue8 RFI. Tricia attended the University of Michigan receiving her bachelor’s degree in sociology and a master’s degree in health services administration from the School of Public Health.
Health Policy Consultant
Ignatius Bau is an independent health policy consultant, working with organizations to advance patient-centeredness and equity in health care. For the past seven years, he was a program officer at The California Endowment, managing the foundation's work on language access, cultural competency, health care disparities, health workforce diversity, and health information technology, with grants to national accreditation organizations, health professions education institutions, hospitals and health systems, health plans, physician associations, local health departments, community health centers and community-based organizations. He previously worked at the Asian and Pacific Islander American Health Forum, directing health policy and programs for seven years, and at the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area, as a civil rights attorney for ten years. Bau has served on expert advisory bodies for the Institute of Medicine, National Quality Forum, Joint Commission, federal Office of Minority Health, Office of National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, and California Department of Health Services. He also has served on the board of directors of numerous community-based organizations, including the National Minority AIDS Council, California Budget Project, Northern California Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights and Services, and Asian and Pacific Islander Wellness Center.
Shiva Bidar-Sielaff, M.A., CHI™-Spanish, CCHI Commissioner Emeritus
Director of Interpreter Services & Community Partnerships
University of Wisconsin Hospital & Clinics
Shiva Bidar-Sielaff is a nationally renowned expert in the field of medical interpreting and published author, Shiva serves on the Board of the National Council on Interpreting in Health Care as the co-chair of the Standards, Training and Certification Committee. She was one of the founding Commissioners of CCHI. Working with other community healthcare partners, her leadership has been instrumental in the development of language access & cultural competency policies and practices in Dane County, Wisconsin. She is the vice-chair of the Dane County Latino Health Council and an Executive Committee member of the Latino Support Network. In April 2000, Shiva received the Dane County Public Health Leadership Award for Multicultural Health Care. She is the 2005 recipient of the Madison YWCA Woman of Distinction Award for her work in fighting inequality and eliminating racism. She obtained her B.A. from the School of Interpreters, University of Hainaut, in Mons, Belgium, and her M.A. from the Monterey Institute of International Studies in Monterey, California.
Jeff Caballero, M.P.H
Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO)
Jeffrey Caballero has been with the AAPCHO since 1993. Having more than 20 years experience in community health, Jeffrey now advocates for programs and policies that aim to increase access to quality, comprehensive community health care services that are culturally and linguistically appropriate. He has overall authority for all AAPCHO programs, finances, operations and serves as chief spokesperson for the association. He also serves on numerous national committees addressing health issues disproportionately affecting Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders including tuberculosis, hepatitis B and diabetes. Jeffrey received his bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and cell biology from the University of California, San Diego, and his master’s in public health from University of California, Los Angeles.
Deputy Director, Clinical Strategies & Health Care Equity
America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP)
Rita Carreón oversees AHIP’s chronic care and health care equity initiatives, including a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation-funded project to assess health plans’ efforts to collect and use race, ethnicity, and primary language (REL) data for quality improvement. Rita works with health equity contacts, quality directors, and chief medical officers of AHIP’s member health insurance plans to increase awareness of the influence of REL on health and health care; identify and develop effective approaches to reducing health inequities; and showcase innovative health plan strategies, including effective chronic care management. She coordinates the work of the National Health Plan Collaborative and staffs AHIP’s disparities advisory workgroup and health literacy task force. Rita also collaborates with key stakeholders to advance efforts to improve access and quality of care and serves on several national advisory panels, committees, and coalitions as AHIP’s liaison, including participating as the health plan facilitator for the Disparities Leadership Program led by the Disparities Solutions Center at Massachusetts General Hospital. Prior to joining AHIP, Rita managed public health/quality improvement initiatives at national trade associations in Washington DC and community-based public health programs at community health centers and a hospital in California.
Kathleen A. Curran
Senior Director, Public Policy
Catholic Health Association (CHA)
Kathleen Curran coordinates the development of public policy positions for the Catholic Health Association and works with other CHA staff to interact with Congress and the Executive Branch to promote CHA’s advocacy agenda. Previously, Ms. Curran was with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops where she served as Interim Director of the Office of Domestic Social Development and as a policy advisor on health and welfare issues. Ms. Curran has also worked at the U.S. Department of Labor and on the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, and Pensions. Prior to coming to Washington, DC, Ms. Curran practiced law in Boston, MA, following a year serving with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps. Ms. Curran received her law degree from the University of Virginia and her undergraduate degree from Yale University.
Kathleen K. Diamond, M.A., CCHI Commissioner Emeritus
Consultant, Language Access and Entrepreneurship
Kathleen Diamond is a consultant, entrepreneur, and business leader in the language services industry. In 1979, she founded Language Learning Enterprises, Inc. (LLE®), a full-service language company based in Washington, D.C. Over the next 30 years, under her leadership, the company grew from a sole proprietorship to a dynamic, multimillion dollar corporation, serving a wide range of clients, in both the private and public sectors, across the United States, and worldwide. In 2009, Kathleen negotiated the sale of LLE to CyraCom International, a language service company in Tucson, Arizona.Today, Kathleen continues her work advocating for the importance, and relevance of language services, as Commissioner, Vice-Chair for Outreach on the Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters (CCHI), Chair of the Task Force on Standards for the Association of Language Companies (ALC), and serving as Membership Secretary of ASTM F43 Language Services and Products. Her consultancy focuses on helping companies grow by increasing value, maximizing resources, diversifying revenue streams and building a strong succession plan. She earned her Master's degree and Bachelor's degree from the University of Florida, and is an alumna of IES Abroad, Nantes, France. She is fluent in both Spanish and French.
Carlos Javier González, B.A.
Immigrant Health and Cander Disparities Service (IHCD)
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
New York, New York
Javier González has worked to develop curriculum in the areas of interpreting and translating in healthcare, including screening, testing and evaluation, training and standards. He worked to implement the Remote Simultaneous Medical Interpretation (RSMI) project, developed a simultaneous medical interpreting training curriculum and a quality control program. Javier is the founder and facilitator of the Language Advisory Working Group and has created nationally recognized educational videos. He has participated in research and in numerous national and international panels. Javier has a B.A. in anthropology from George Washington University.
Jonathan Levy, M.A.
Director of Linguistic Services
Jonathan Levy is an experienced educator involved in the testing, training, and provision of interpreters for over 10 years. Jonathan is Director of Linguistic Services at TransPerfect. During his career, he was also director of language services of CyraCom and assistant director of the University of Arizona’s National Center for Interpretation where he oversaw the creation and implementation of multiple state and federal interpreter testing and training programs. Additionally, he co-directed the Professional Language Development Project, a highly successful program to train bilingual secondary students in interpretation and translation techniques. Jonathan was one of the founding Commissioners of CCHI. Jonathan holds a master’s degree from the University of Arizona in cultural studies and comparative literature and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Chicago in Asian and African history. He was a member of the Board of Directors of the California Healthcare Interpreting Association and a member of the National Association of Judicial Interpreters and Translators, sitting on the Community Liaison Committee.
Senior Research Associate
Office of Physician Health and Health Care Disparities
American Medical Association (AMA)
Tanya Lopez has been an outspoken advocate for underserved communities. She manages the Commission to End Health Care Disparities working to increase awareness of and eliminate health care disparities nationwide. Tanya earned a bachelor’s in sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she began her career in the field of HIV/AIDS as an HIV counselor at the Blue Bus Clinic. She has been a program assistant for the State of Wisconsin’s Minority HIV/AIDS Program and a case manager at AIDS Network, organizing the agency’s first African American support group. Tanya also developed a series of reproductive health related workshops for youth for the NIH-sponsored “Connect to Protect” project at Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center in New York City.
Edward L. Martinez, M.S.
Consulting for Quality Health Care in U.S. Communities
Edward Martinez has over 30 years of experience as an executive leader in the public sector. He became a consultant for the National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems (NAPH) after coordinating initiatives assisting member organizations in accessing resources for improving operations and responding to the health care needs of culturally and linguistically diverse populations as assistant vice president for NAPH. He joined NAPH after being associate program director for the American International Health Alliance where he managed hospital and health system partnerships in the former Soviet Union and in Central and Eastern Europe. Edward also managed one of the largest public hospitals in the United States as executive director of Los Angeles County-University of Southern California Medical Center. He is a member of a number of national advisory committees addressing issues of health care quality, cultural and linguistic competence, disparities and literacy, and was recently appointed to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Advisory Committee on Minority Health. Edward has a bachelor’s degree in philosophy, a master’s degree in political science/public administration, and has completed NAPH/Pew Fellowships in healthcare policy and management.
Maria Michalczyk, M.A., RN, CCHI Commissioner Emeritus
Coram Specialty Infusion Services
Maria Michalczyk has worked as a healthcare professional for well over 40 years including critical care, utilization review services and general nursing duties. For a decade, Maria worked for the Oregon Health Sciences University as a Medical Interpreter Manager and Diversity Training Instructor. Before taking this position she worked as an RN in a variety of clinical settings including working in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Maria was the founder, director and instructor of the Healthcare Interpreter Training program at Portland Community College in Portland, Oregon which was created in 1998 and stepped down from her position in March 2011. She presently works as a branch manager at Coram Specialty Infusion Services in Portland, Oregon and has been with Coram since 2010. Maria was one of the founding Commissioners of CCHI. She has served on the Board of Directors of the National Council on Interpretation in Health Care, been chair for the Governor’s Council on Healthcare Interpreting in Oregon, amember of the Health Equities Committee for the Oregon Health Board Fund, and Vice President for the National Hispanic Nursing Association. Maria has a Bachelor's degree and Master's degree in Anthropology from Portland State University and a degree in Nursing from the University of Guam.
Immigrant Policy Project
National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL)
Ann Morse advises the State and Local Coalition on Immigration, a collaborative of six national organizations representing state and local government. She conducts research and policy analyses on immigration and immigrant policy issues to inform state and local policymakers of federal activities, state and local innovative programs, and state legislation related to immigrants. Ann's current projects include refugee and immigrant integration, immigration reform, and civic engagement. She co-directs the NCSL Executive Committee Task Force on Immigration and the States with the dual purpose of providing a forum for states to exchange ideas and promising practices while helping legislators understand the implications of federal immigration reform proposals on their states. Ann was awarded the Ian Axford (New Zealand) Fellowship in Public Policy in 2007.
Guadalupe Pacheco, Jr., M.S.W.
Pacheco Consulting Group, LLC
Guadalupe Pacheco assists in developing policies and initiatives to mitigate health disparities that affect racial and ethnic minority communities. He served at the Office of Minority Health’s Center for Linguistic and Cultural Competence in Health Care and the Office of Minority Health’s Center for Emergency Preparedness in Underserved Communities portfolios. Guadalupe also served on departmental committees that focus on health literacy, limited English proficiency, health information technologies, disaster preparedness, and border health service delivery policy issues. He is on the board of directors of the Mary’s Center for Maternal and Child Care, Inc.; the National Latino Diabetes Action Council; the planning committee of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy in Latino Communities; a technical advisory member to The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations’ Hospitals, Language, and Culture Study; an expert advisor to The Joint Commission for the development of culturally competent patient-centered hospital standards; and an expert panelist of CLAS/Health Disparities of the National Committee for Quality Assurance. Guadalupe received his B.A. and M.S.W. from California State University of Fresno.
American Hospital Association (AHA)
Ellen Pryga is one of AHA’s top policy analysts and hospital advocates, She has helped Washington policymakers stay focused on the “big picture,” even as they deliberate the most intricate details of a regulation or legislative proposal. During her 40 years of service to AHA, Ellen recognized her “knack for listening to complex information, asking the right questions and explaining it in an accessible way.” She has displayed her intellectual firepower on significant issues of the day – the association’s 1971 concept of health care corporations, called “Ameriplan;” the 1972-74 overhaul of Medicare and the health planning law; implementation of peer review organizations in the 1980s; helping AHA’s governance structure articulate its community care network vision in the early 1990s; and negotiating solvency standards for Medicare provider-sponsored organizations in 1998. Ellen is now focusing on convincing Washington to reexamine policies that impede the ability of hospitals and physicians to work together to coordinate patient care from one setting to another, and fighting for AHA members to receive fair treatment from Medicare Advantage private fee-for-service plans.
Elena V. Rios, M.D., M.S.P.H.
President & CEO, National Hispanic Medical Association
President, National Hispanic Health Foundation
Dr. Elena Rios serves to improve the health of Hispanics through her dual leadership positions. As Foundation president, she is affiliated with the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, New York University, to direct educational and research activities. She is chair of the National Coalition on Hispanic Health and has lectured and published articles. Elena has received several leadership awards, including awards from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; the Congressional Black; Hispanic, Asian and Native American Caucuses; American Public Health Association Latino Caucus; Association of Hispanic Health Executives; Minority Health Month, Inc.; Hispanic Magazine; Verizon’s First Pollin Community Service Award and Amerimed. She was appointed to the Minority Alumni Hall of Fame of Stanford University in October, 2006 and the New York Academy of Medicine in 2007. Elena earned her BA in human biology/public administration at Stanford University, MSPH at the University of California School of Public Health, and MD at the UCLA School of Medicine in 1987.
Ho Tran, M.D., M.P.H.
President & CEO
National Council of Asian and Pacific Islander Physicians (NCAPIP)
San Francisco, California
Dr. Ho L. Tran is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Council of Asian and Pacific Islander Physicians (NCAPIP). The NCAPIP represents physicians committed to the advancement of the health and well being of diverse Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities, promoting adequate and fair public and private funding to ensure quality health care services, advancing equitable representation of the AA and NHPI medical professionals throughout the private and public health care delivery and management systems at executive and senior level and building educational pipeline, culturally appropriate professional development initiatives and mentorship. Dr. Tran holds a doctor of medicine degree with the specialty in Pediatrics and a master’s degree in Public Health, focusing on Community Health Services. Prior to taking the leadership of the NCAPIP in November 2009, Dr. Tran was the President and CEO of the Asian and Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF). Founded in 1986, the APIAHF is a national policy advocacy organization dedicated to promoting policy, program, and research efforts to improve the health and well-being of Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. Dr. Tran came to the United States in 1979 as a refugee from Vietnam.
Lois Wessel, R.N., C.F.N.P.
Associate Director for Programs
Association of Clinicians for the Underserved (ACU)
Tysons Corner, Virginia
Lois Wessel is a Certified Family Nurse Practitioner and the Associate Director for Programs at the Association of Clinicians for the Underserved (ACU). She practices clinically at Community Clinic, Inc. and Celebremos La Vida at Georgetown University. Lois is bilingual, English-Spanish, and has worked as a medical and legal interpreter in the United States and in Latin America. She has worked training healthcare providers in issues related to the underserved, including the use of medical interpreters. Presently, she is a clinical instructor at the School of Nursing and Health Studies at Georgetown University. Lois is a recipient of an American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Foundation grant to improve access to low literacy health education materials for immigrant patients.
Amy Wilson-Stronks, M.P.P., C.P.H.Q.
Independent Advocate, Consultant, and Researcher
Amy Wilson-Stronks focuses on building systems for promoting health equity through research, policy, and practice. Previously, Amy was the Project Director for Health Disparities at The Joint Commission. She was the Principal Investigator for the study, Hospitals, Language, and Culture: A Snapshot of the Nation, funded by The California Endowment and co-investigator of a Commonwealth Fund grant, Developing Hospital Standards to Advance Effective Communication, Cultural Competence, and Patient- and Family Centered Care, which resulted in recently adopted hospital accreditation standards for patient-centered communication. Amy serves on a number of national advisory boards and expert panels and holds a master’s of public policy in health policy from the University of Chicago and a graduate certificate in health administration and policy from the University of Chicago.
Ellen Wu, M.P.H.
California Pan-Ethnic Health Network (CPEHN)
Ellen Wu leads a statewide health policy organization whose mission is to eliminate health disparities by advocating for public policies to improve the health of communities of color. During her tenure since 2001, CPEHN has played a critical role in advancing policy requiring health plans and insurers to provide language services to their enrollees. Ellen received her master’s degree in public health from UCLA and is an adjunct faculty member at San Francisco State University. She serves on numerous boards and advisory committees including the California Budget Project, Healthy Families Quality Advisory Committee and as a Governor’s appointee to the Department of Public Health’s Advisory Committee. Prior to joining CPEHN, Ellen consulted with the Community Health Center Network, was a program officer at the Tides Foundation, and served as director of health education and Cultural Linguistic Services for the Alameda Alliance for Health.
Mara Youdelman, J.D., LL.M., CCHI Commissioner Emeritus
National Health Law Program (NHeLP)
Mara Youdelman has worked at the National Health Law Program (NHeLP) since August 2000. At NHeLP, Mara engages in federal legislative and administrative advocacy to improve language access policies and funding. Mara is co-author of Ensuring Linguistic Access in Health Care Settings: Legal Rights and Responsibilities and, for The Commonwealth Fund, three reports on promising practices for providing language services in healthcare settings, small healthcare provider settings and state and local benefit offices. Recognized as a national expert on language access, she has participated on expert advisory panels for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the National Committee for Quality Assurance, the American Medical Association’s Ethical Force Program, the National Quality Forum, and The Joint Commission. Mara is one of the founding Commissioners of CCHI and was its first Chair in 2009-2012. Prior to NHeLP, Mara completed a teaching fellowship at Georgetown University Law Center’s Federal Legislation Clinic. Mara earned her J.D. from Boston University School of Law and her LL.M. in Advocacy from Georgetown University Law Center.
Certification Program Expert Advisory Committee
Lois M. Feuerle, Ph.D., JD
Lois Feuerle is the former Coordinator of Court Interpreter Services for the New York State Unified Court System Office of Court Administration, and former Coordinator of Court Interpreter Certification, Testing & Training, Oregon Judicial Department. She served on the Oregon Governor’s Commission for Healthcare Interpreter Certification from 2002 until 2007, and is the former Coordinator, Translation & Interpreting Certificate Program at New York University School of Continuing Education. She has had extensive experience in the field of test development, administration and rating. She chaired the Exam Committee for the New York state interpreting examinations and oversaw the development and videotaping of the 1998 New York Spanish Civil Service Examination as well as the new exams for per diem interpreters in Arabic, Cantonese, Korean, Mandarin, Russian and Spanish. She was a subject matter expert and developer of the Consortium Court Interpreter Exam for German and has been a rater of the German exam since 1998. She was also a voting member of the Consortium’s Technical Committee and has served as a proctor and administrator for both the Consortium exams and the Federal Written and Oral Interpreter Examinations in Spanish. She works in German and English.
Michael C. Martin
Past-President, Institute for Credentialing Excellence (formerly NOCA)
Michael Martin has a great deal of experience in running credentialing programs and has worked extensively with a variety of federal agencies and military service branches on enhancing certification and licensure opportunities for veterans. Michael has served as executive director for the Commission for Certification in Geriatric Pharmacy and is a member of the Pharmacy Compounding Accreditation Board (PCAB).
Holly Mikkelson, M.A.
Associate Professor, Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey
San Diego, California
Holly Mikkelson is a Spanish state and federally certified court interpreter, and is also certified by the American Translators Association. She is an Associate Professor at Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. She has served as a consultant to court interpreter regulatory and training entities such as the California Judicial Council and the National Center for State Courta, and has published extensively on court and community interpreting, including a very popular series of interpreter training manuals (published by Acebo). Ms. Mikkelson is a member of the American Translators Association, California Helathcare Interpreting Association, the National Association of Judiciary Translators and Interpreters, and the Conference of Interpreter Trainers.
Virginia Pérez-Santallá, C.T., CCHI Commissioner Emeritus
Spanish/English Translator and Interpreter
ATA Eng>Spa and Federally Certified
New Brunswick, New Jersey
Virginia Pérez-Santallá was born and raised in Cuba. She became a translator and received her American Translators Association certification in the early '80s. She then diversified into interpreting. She took the New Jersey court interpreters examination in 1989 being classified as Master Interpreter. In 1993 Virginia passed the Federal Court Interpreters Examination. She is also a sought-after conference interpreter, experienced in many fields. Virginia became assistant administrator of the Spanish Language Division of the ATA from 2000 to 2004. As chairperson of the committee, she was instrumental in organizing the division’s first three conferences. In 2003, Virginia was nominated as candidate for a Board of Directors position in the American Translators Association and was elected at the conference in Phoenix, AZ. In 2007, she was then nominated, unopposed, and elected to the position of ATA Board Secretary and member of the Executive Committee. In 2009, she is on the slate again for the same position, running unopposed. Virginia was one of the founding Commissioners of CCHI.
Karin Ruschke, M.A., CoreCHI™, CCHI Commissioner Emeritus
International Language Services, Inc.
Karin owns International Language Services, Inc., a full-service interpreting agency providing telephone and on-site interpreting, written translation services and training to clients nationwide. She has developed a comprehensive 65-hour training program improving the professionalism of interpreting by going beyond basic classroom instruction to include a rigorous mentorship program. Skill development training materials can be found on her website at www.ilschicago.com. Karin is actively involved in all aspects of developing the healthcare interpreting industry, playing an integral role in advancing the field of healthcare interpreting. She ended her service as a board member of the National Council on Interpreting in Health Care in May 2011 after co-chairing the Standards, Training and Certification Committee (STC) from 1999 – 2011, during which time the committee published the National Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice for Interpreters in Health Care, as well as National Standards for Healthcare Interpreter Training Programs. A technical advisor on The Joint Commission research project, Hospitals, Language and Culture: A Snapshot of the Nation, Karin was one of only 26 members on the expert advisory panel for the Commission’s project, Developing Hospital Standards for Culturally Competent Patient-Centered Care: A Roadmap for Hospitals. During Karin’s tenure as CCHI’s Vice-Chair, Certification, the first nationally accredited certification exam was released. Karin is a nationally recognized speaker on topics such as healthcare interpreter assessment, training and mentoring, interpreter services issues relating to LEP patient care and other topics related to language access issues.
Laurie Swabey, Ph.D.
Collaboration for the Advancement of Teaching Interpreter Excellence (CATIE)
St. Paul, Minnesota
Dr. Laurie Swabey is a professor of interpreting at St. Catherine University and the director of the CATIE Center, one of six centers of the National Consortium of Interpreter Education Centers (NCIEC). She is leading the national initiative on effective practices in teaching medical interpreting. Before coming to St. Catherine University, she developed curriculum and taught courses for the multi-lingual program for spoken language community interpreters at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Swabey has been a member of the RID for over 30 years and served the organization as an evaluator and member of the National Review Board. She has also served on the national board of the Conference of Interpreter Trainers (CIT) as treasurer, secretary and regional representative, and recently served as a member of the Advisory Committee for the National Council on Interpreting in Health Care. Dr. Swabey holds a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in linguistics and her areas of interest include the cognitive status of referring expressions in ASL, discourse management skills of interpreters working in healthcare settings and effective practices for teaching interpreting. She has presented papers on interpreting in the United States, Canada, Australia and Europe.
Director of Interpreting Services at the US District Court for the District of Columbia.