March 17, 2017

First Graduating Class of the Health Care Interpreter Certificate Program

On Saturday, March 4, 2017, 12 students received a certificate of completion from the new health care interpreter certificate Program offered through the division of continuing education and workforce development. This inaugural class began in fall 2016, completing a semester of 100 hours of theoretical and classroom practice and a 20-hour fieldwork course interpreting in health care settings in the community. The languages represented among the cohort include Arabic, Farsi, Japanese, Korean, Russian, and Spanish. Funding for this program was provided by The Horizon Foundation.

“The program required students to engage in group learning activities such as role playing, which provided lots of opportunities for interaction with teachers and fellow students with different target languages and cultural backgrounds. The program also provided opportunities to shadow a professional interpreter in a real-life clinical setting and see the application of the principles we learned in class. I also had the opportunity to go to different clinical settings to practice my interpreting skills, which provided me first-hand experience with patients and their healthcare providers. Their appreciation of the interpreting services I provided was a real encouragement to me. I remember one case in particular, when I arrived at the clinic and the patient’s face lit up with a sense of relief that someone who knew Spanish was available to help communicate with clinic staff.”

– Yadira Gonzalez

Special thanks are extended to instructors, Lisette Albano, Maria Reed, and coaches Cheryl Howard and Suyeon Kim. In addition, many thanks to Jay Linn, Viviana Simon, Jean Svacina, Nilce Tamashiro, Rosie Verratti, and Minah Woo, who contributed to make the event a success.

Read about the program in the Howard County Times.