Setting the Standard for Quality in Healthcare Interpreting


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Healthcare Interpreters

The CoreCHI™ and CHI™ are the nation's highest certification credentials available to healthcare interpreters


Hospitals &
Healthcare Providers

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.


Language Service Providers

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.


Training Providers

Healthcare interpreters and providers choose CCHI accredited continuing education programs. CCHI accreditation ensures your program's credibility and visibility.


Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters

Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters Selected to Address Medical Interpreters & Translators at Annual TAHIT Educational Symposium


Washington, DC, September 17, 2015 – The national Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters (CCHI) announces that they have been selected to present at the 9th Annual Texas Association of Healthcare Interpreters & Translators (TAHIT) Education Symposium.   Alejandro Maldonado CCP, CHI™-Spanish, CCHI’s Chair, will address the importance of CCHI’s national certification for healthcare interpreters and their employers, as well as its impact on the job market. Managing Director for CCHI, Natalya Mytareva, M.A., CoreCHI™, will present on interpreting non-standardized U.S. healthcare terms & CCHI's Mini-glossaries Project. Additionally, CCHI will hold a Certified Interpreter Oath ceremony and be participating in a stakeholder panel answering questions and providing expert analysis on the industry. The educational symposium will take place at Galveston Moody Gardens Resort & Convention Center in Galveston, Texas, September 25 & 26, 2015. CCHI accredited 19 Continuing Education hours of the Symposium sessions (CEAP Accreditation ID #02373).

“CCHI is honored to be a part of such a tremendous event for healthcare interpreters and translators,” says Maldonado. “Healthcare interpreters, as a profession, have long since transitioned to the stage when certification has become a necessity and not just a personal preference. Healthcare providers are recognizing this need as it not only impacts the overall patient experience, but adheres to regulations and laws, best practices for language access, and quality of medical care for patients who do not speak or understand the English language. My educational presentation will address the vital importance of national healthcare interpreter certification through CCHI, for both interpreters and healthcare providers.”

Mytareva’s discussion, titled Interpreting Non-Standardized U.S. healthcare terms & CCHI's Mini-glossaries Project, will focus on terminology and skills of a healthcare interpreter. “Participants will practice and improve their terminology skills through demos, such as word mapping, evaluating quality of proposed equivalents for non-standardized terms, evaluating the quality of online search results, and more,” adds Mytareva. “We will also cover the mini-glossaries offered by CCHI to the healthcare industry as a free public terminology management tool for healthcare interpreters any level of experience.” Some highlights of the presentation are featured in a blog post at

Healthcare providers and interpreters may register for the TAHIT event at



CCHI is the certification program created by interpreters, for interpreters and the public good, and we have involved thousands of interpreters and users of interpreter services in our work. Our list of supporters continues to grow and we invite you to join us because your talents and expertise are critical to ensuring we get it right and that we respect the certification concerns and best practices established by many in the healthcare interpreting industry. We would like to spotlight one of our supporters - Language Services Associates (LSA).

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Founded in 1991, Language Services Associates (LSA) helps people and companies survive and thrive in an increasingly global environment through its full suite of language solutions. The company fulfills the multicultural communication needs of more than 1,400 clients worldwide, with a strong focus in the healthcare industry sector. Holding contracts with three of the largest healthcare Group Purchasing Organizations (GPOs) in the U.S. (including one exclusive contract), many of today's leading healthcare providers rely on LSA to deliver culturally competent patient care. The company's language solutions include telephone interpreting, translation and localization, video remote interpreting, face-to-face interpreting, sign language interpreting and language assessments.

LSA is proud to help healthcare providers meet the critical goals of their language services programs, including:

  • Increase patient safety and overall satisfaction
  • Meet HIPAA, HITECH, CMS and The Joint Commission compliance standards and government regulations
  • Reduce the risks of medical errors while protecting financial liabilities
  • Improve patient experience throughout
  • Reduce hospital readmission rates
  • Increase the utilization and productivity of bilingual staff
  • Cut costs by analyzing real-time reporting metrics to identify language usage and trends
  • Assess language proficiency and interpreting ability of dual-role bilingual employees and medical interpreters.

A professional language services provider in business for almost 25 years, LSA recognizes the importance of using specialty trained, highly-qualified medical interpreters in the healthcare setting, and the risks associated with relying on ad-hoc interpreters and bilingual family members. LSA promises to provide its clients with the most reputable and qualified linguists. Many of LSA's interpreters are nationally certified, or have completed a 40-hour medical interpreter training program as a stepping stone towards national certification (i.e., "Bridging the Gap").

Before a linguist is eligible to interpret for LSA's healthcare clients, they must successfully complete a Healthcare Interpreting Assessment. Administered by the company's Quality Assurance team, this assessment measures the interpreter's language proficiency and interpreting ability, as well as their knowledge of medical terminology across different clinical specialties.

LSA is committed to the advancement of professional medical interpreters for the benefit of the entire language services community, including linguists, medical providers, government agencies, language services companies and, most importantly, the patients. LSA has been a proud supporter of the Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters (CCHI) since 2010.

For additional information on LSA, please visit

Healthcare Interpreters Are Welcome at the National Court Interpreter Conference

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National Association of Judiciary Interpreters & Translators (NAJIT) is known for the quality interpreter education opportunities at their annual conferences.  This year NAJIT's 36th Annual Conference offers many sessions that are beneficial for healthcare interpreters as well. CCHI-certified interpreters can earn up to 19 Continuing Education hours

NAJIT's 36th Annual Conference will take place on May 15-17 in Atlanta, GA. CCHI will have two presentations - "Infection Control and Industrial Safety for Interpreters" by Linda Golley (May 16, 9:30 -10:30 am) and "Should Judiciary Interpreters Seek Healthcare Certification?" by Natalya Mytreva (May 16, 11 am - 12 pm).  We also encourage you to stop by our exhibit table to talk, pick up information about certification, and to apply.

NAJIT offers a special registration discount to CCHI-certified interpreters! Use the special code CCHIATL15 (all caps, no space) to get a 10% discount off the nonmember rate for May 16-17 sessions. (No discount for the pre-conference Friday sessions.)

We are excited to be part of the conference and hope to see many of you in Atlanta! To register, please go to NAJIT’s website at or click here.

CCHI accredited for Continuing Education the following sessions at this conference for 19 CE hours total:

1. Simultaneous Interpreting: It’s Not All about the End Product by James Plunkett (3 hrs) (Friday, pre-conference workshop)

2. Advanced Consecutive Techniques by Néstor Wagner (3 hrs) (Friday, pre-conference workshop)

3. Accent Reduction by Juanita Ulloa (3 hrs) (Friday, pre-conference workshop)

4. A New Spin on Simultaneous Practice by Kelly Varguez and Karen Bahr (1 hr, Spanish) (Saturday, May 16)

5. Mental Health Interpreting: Unique Challenges & Practical Solutions by Arianna Aguilar (1 hr) (Saturday, May 16)

6. Infection Control and Industrial Safety for Interpreters by Linda Golley (1 hr) (Saturday, May 16)

7. Transform Your Sound! A Live Vocal Session for Interpreters by Juanita Ulloa (1 hr) (Saturday, May 16)

8. Maya in the USA by Carmelina Cadena & Eileen Celis (1 hr) (Saturday, May 16)

9. Interpreting for Victims of Rape and Domestic Violence (Ethics) by Alvaro Vergara-Mery (1 hr) (Sunday, May 17)

10. Sight Translation: The Neglected Powerhouse Self-Trainer by James Plunkett (1 hr) (Sunday, May 17)

11. Interpreting in End of Life Medical Settings by Mohamad Anwar (1 hr) (Sunday, May 17)

12. Deciphering and Interpreting Therapyspeak by Ernest Niño-Murcia (1 hr, Spanish) (Sunday, May 17)

13. Vicarious Trauma and You by Lois Feuerle (1 hr) (Sunday, May 17)


Make sure you document your attendance of each of the sessions in addition to the conference certificate.

Strategies for Interpreting that Rocks

View Weibnar ppt slides here

Replay Webinar here




CCHI continues the new Continuing Education webinar series. We understand how hard it may be to find continuing education opportunities. We want to provide certified interpreters with an opportunity to obtain high quality online continuing education free of charge. This webinar was first delivered on December 19, 2014, and we repeated it on January 9, 2015 due to the numerous requests we received.  You can view the webinar ppt slides here.


Our guest presenter was Linda Golley who manages the innovative Interpreter Services program at University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle. She teaches interpreters and health care professionals on topics such as cultural competence at end of life, medical terminology, barriers to care, and non-print-based patient education methods. Linda’s B.A. is in International Political Economics. Her Masters is in Organizational Management. She builds content for the NCIHC Home for Trainers webinar work group, and is an active trainer for NOTIS and TAHIT.

Healthcare interpreters have long been considered language workers. While it is true that their expertise lies in communication, medical interpreters must also be considered part of the healthcare workforce. And as healthcare workers, interpreters must acquire the specialized knowledge to be safe members of the healthcare team.


Linda Golley:


I was holding an iPad over the face of a Deaf patient lying face up in the Interventional Radiology unit. The patient was communicating with her care team about the abdominal procedure in process via an ASL interpreter on video. My arms were aching. Not only did I have to hold the iPad still so that the patient and interpreter could see each other clearly, but if I moved half an inch southward my elbow would be over the sterile field.

We had started the conversation before the procedure began, and once it became obvious that someone would have to hold the iPad over the patient, my coworkers in full surgical garb had been wrapping me in hair covers, layers of gowns, and gloves. After this experience, I have purchased a tall iPad stand that will hold an iPad over a surgical patient’s face, and which can be properly disinfected between patients.

Every interpreter present on the units finds himself in the middle of germ warfare and industrial hazards. I will share some of my learnings from my last 35 years working in direct patient care. These learnings inform the webinar presentation.

Health care is dangerous! The nurse running the Urgent Care pod at a clinic where I worked died of HIV/AIDS, back in 1990.

She was ready to retire, super competent. Her patient required an injection for something innocuous like a flu shot before he was discharged from the Urgent Care pod to go home. When he received the injection in his upper arm, he involuntarily spasmed and flung his arm out. The syringe and needle flew out of his arm and poked the nurse, who was standing next to him. He was HIV positive. Back then we did not have any way to deal with the virus. The damage was done. Patients as young as 3 or 4 can react unpredictably to injections and to procedures which involve cutting implements, or “sharps.” All health workers in the room have some risk of being punctured by an instrument or needle flying through the air or dropping off of the counter. Wearing proper clothing and standing well back from where sharps are being used is essential.

Many of our interpreters, and I, have been injured on the job over the years. Most of these injuries involve mechanics: Slipping on a highly polished floor with rain on it from people coming out of the weather with wet umbrellas. Descending internal stair wells quickly to get to the next assignment, and missing a step or catching a toe in a dangling garment. Slipping in water left by a janitor mopping. Falling in a hallway outside of the pathology lab due to a film from wax from specimens. We also have had several interpreters break their toes or feet by banging into equipment in narrow hallways. These injuries resulted in many surgeries, long and painful recoveries, and in one case permanent disability. Protective shoes, but even more importantly, slowing down to a safe pace and being alert to hazards, are the best prevention.

One of our female staff interpreters was accosted in the elevator while accompanying an elderly male patient to his clinic. The patient pressed up against her and kissed her on the mouth. This was very shocking and distasteful to the interpreter, who reported it right away. The consequent investigation and meetings with security and other agents of the administration were very uncomfortable for her. We now counsel interpreters to maintain space or some unknown person between themselves and their patients when in confined areas. Mirroring patterns of domestic violence in families, all of the complaints made to me over the years by staff interpreters about unwanted advances on the job involved their own assigned patients, not random members of the public!

Many of our staff and agency interpreters have been exposed to patients with latent or active TB, before these patients were known by their care team to have the disease. Although TB is a very scary disease once it gets a foothold in a person or in a population, not one of our hospital staff, doctors, or interpreters has gone on to develop TB from his/her exposure at work. The follow-up protocol involves a quick symptom check by a nurse, who asks the exposed worker questions about his health right after the exposure for a baseline, and then every 3 months to make sure that he has not developed symptoms. I have had interpreters who were terrified, others who have gone through the exposure process numerous times and don’t worry about it now. Some interpreters tried to avoid interpreting for patients with TB even when protected by respirators and masks. Part of the infection control training is to remind interpreters that as health care workers, they do not get to choose which patients they see. If they DO stay in healthcare, they must use precautions properly and see all assigned patients.

One of our Vietnamese interpreters is 5’2” and weighs 120 lbs. She is 50 years old and wears charming, feminine outfits. She is one of the bravest staff at the hospital. A male inpatient had been deteriorating in mental mood and function over his stay for a medical condition. His medication was being changed frequently to try to find a good combination to reduce the mental side effects, but he had made a number of lunges toward nursing staff, along with yelling at the care team frequently, and thus was put into 4 point restraints. Our interpreter knew this patient well, and when she found out that he was in restraints, she went to the unit and requested to be allowed to speak with the patient to calm him. She told the security officers to wait outside the door rather than accompanying her in. She spoke with patient calmly, respectfully, chatting with him about the situation. The patient was able to relax, agree to not yell or lunge at people, and to focus on getting better. He was taken out of restraints, and did well. I like to tell this story NOT because it is a normal interpreter activity to calm down violent patients, but to show how interpreters are truly an amazing part of the care team.

Please get trained in infection control and industrial safety to keep yourself and your patients healthy!