WASHINGTON, February 1, 2017— As a national certifying organization that values the principles of diversity, inclusiveness, and fairness, the Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters (CCHI) is extremely concerned about the impact of the executive order signed by President Trump on Friday, January 27. The order suspended refugee admissions with an indefinite ban on Syrian refugees, banned travel from seven Muslim countries for 90 days, and placed a cap on refugee admissions of 50,000 people in 2017.
The U.S. has a long and proud tradition of welcoming immigrants and protecting refugees. Healthcare interpreters are part of this tradition. Many patients served by certified interpreters are newly arrived refugees and immigrants. Moreover, many of our colleagues, the healthcare interpreters that serve these patients, are also immigrants and refugees. Healthcare interpreters and providers work together to provide patient-centered, culturally competent care to patients regardless of their health literacy, immigration status, or overall fluency in English. Thus, we improve health outcomes for these vulnerable patients. Across the country, we see this success playing out through close collaborations between resettlement agencies and area healthcare organizations. At CCHI, we contribute to those collaborations by setting the nationally recognized standard for quality in healthcare interpreting.
We urge the new administration to reconsider its Executive Order on Immigration and Refugees. We believe this policy will do more harm than good. It breaks down communication between people across cultures and nationalities–that is, the core value of a diverse society and the profession of healthcare interpreting.
CCHI Commissioners and staff:
Margarita S. Bekker, CoreCHI™, CCHI Chair
Scott Crystal, CCHI Commissioner
Jaime Fatás-Cabeza, USCCI, English/Spanish, CHI™-Spanish, CCHI Commissioner
Gabriela Flores, B.A., M.S.M., CCHI Treasurer
Linda Golley, M.A., CCHI Vice Chair
Mina Kini, M.S.W., M.S., CCHI Commissioner
Eliana Lobo, M.A., CoreCHI™, CCHI Commissioner
Natalya Mytareva, M.A., CoreCHI™, CCHI Managing Director
Idolly F. Oliva, M.B.A, CCHI Commissioner
Edna Y. Quartey, CHI™-Spanish, CCHI Secretary
Erin Rosales, B.A., CPLP®, CHI™-Spanish, CCHI Commissioner
Malika Sadi-Goodman, CCHI Director of Operations
Jorge U. Ungo, CCHI Commissioner
Lee D. Williams, CCHI Commissioner