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Language Access Advocates Gather in D.C. for the 4th Annual NCIHC Membership Meeting

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Language Access Advocates Gather in D.C. for the 4th Annual NCIHC Membership Meeting

Once a year NCIHC members gather to promote and enhance language access in health care.

Washington, DC, February 28, 2010 --( Members of the National Council on Interpreting in Healthcare (NCIHC) will gather on April 29 & 30th, 2010 in Washington DC for the 4th Annual NCIHC Membership Meeting. The NCIHC membership is composed of leaders from around the country who work as medical interpreters, interpreter service coordinators and trainers, clinicians, policymakers, advocates and researchers. Once a year members gather to promote and enhance language access in health care.

Their special guests this year include Amy Wilson-Stronks, who is a Project Director in the Division of Standards and Survey Methods, and the Principal Investigator of the Hospitals, Language, and Culture study for The Joint Commission. Ms Wilson-Stronks will be discussing the Joint Commission’s newest standards related to cultural competence, effective communication, and patient-centered care. Mara Youdelman, Senior Attorney for the National Health Law Program and Chair of the Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters (CCHI) will discuss the latest steps toward national certification.

A unique component to this year’s meeting will be the “Advocacy Café” This session, moderated by Ignatius Bau, former Program Director of The California Endowment, will give attendees the opportunity to learn from experts in different fields about their experiences advocating for the needs of their constituents.

This year members have the opportunity to learn about the NCIHC’s Standards, Training and Certification Committee project on National Standards for Training of Interpreters, and provide direct input into the process. “(A) report on what and how training programs are teaching healthcare interpreters around the country, as well as background on adult education, the establishment of educational standards, and interpreter tasks, will be completed this month after an arduous quest for input from current training programs,” stated Standards, Training and Certification Committee member Cynthia Roat in her most recent report published in the NCIHC newsletter.

“While individuals in our field have many opportunities to attend conferences around the country, this event really is unique. No PowerPoint. No pyrotechnics,” stated Joy Connell, Co-Chair of the Board. “Since 1994, NCIHC has grown from a small informal working group to an established national organization that provides multidisciplinary leadership to an emerging field and a united voice on behalf of language access in health care,” added Enrica Ardemagni, Co-Chair of the Board.

The NCIHC leadership consists of a 14-member volunteer Board made up of two Co-chairs, a Secretary, a Treasurer, and two Co-chairs for each of the six committees that support the organizational goals and mission, along with an Advisory Group of individuals who provide expert insight and support. The Annual Membership Meeting is part of the Council’s ongoing effort to engage with its members in an inclusive and transparent manner. Past meetings have been held in Chicago, Atlanta and Las Vegas. This year, the NCIHC Board of Directors chose the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in the Dupont Circle neighborhood of Washington DC for the site of this engaging event.

For more information about NCIHC or to become a member and register for this event, visit

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