National, valid, accredited, inclusive

CCHI – The Voice for Healthcare Interpreting Standards and Certification

Language barriers between healthcare providers and their patients not only cause confusion, but can open to the door to poor quality of clinical care and severe racial and ethnic health disparities. That’s why healthcare providers of all types and sizes rely on the Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters (CCHI) as the nationally recognized voice for setting the standard for quality in healthcare interpreting. Requiring your medical interpreters to obtain a national CCHI certification is a most efficient way to comply with Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act and The Joint Commission Accreditation requirements.

Language Access Requirements and Risk Management

CCHI’s medical interpreter certifications  help ensure that you comply with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, ADA, The Joint Commission and other regulatory requirements for providing language access.

National Certification of Medical Interpreters

The healthcare interpreting profession has changed dramatically over the years. Heightened public awareness, demographic shifts, technology, national standards, new regulations, and financial pressure have affected the way healthcare providers ensure language access for their patients. It is in response to this progression that CCHI developed and operates a national certification program for healthcare interpreters to provide an assurance of competency.

  • CCHI's Webinar "Leading a Healthcare Language Access Program in the Midst of a Pandemic" (05/19/20)

    We are all in a deep state of unknown with everything changing daily. We are all adapting. One thing we know is that the future will look different. The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting how language services are provided, who provides them, and how LEP patients are treated. Let’s hear from people on the front lines from the Midwest, West Coast and in the South. CCHI’s Commissioner Jorge Ungo will lead the conversation with Valerie Huang of Nationwide Children’s (OH), Meredith Stegall of Parkland Health (TX), and Angélica Villagrán de Gonzales of Stanford Health (CA).

    You may watch the free recording of the live webinar held on May 19, 2020 at our YouTube channel

  • CCHI's Webinar on COVID-19's Impact on Healthcare Interpreting (03/21/2020)

    You may watch the free recording of the live webinar held on March 21, 2020 at our YouTube channel:

    In these trying times, CCHI Commissioners would like to have a conversation about the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic for healthcare interpreters individually and for the profession as a whole. While there is plenty of information about the coronavirus itself and community protection measures, other aspects affecting our profession are worthy of discussion. Join our Commissioners, practicing hospital interpreters and managers, Margarita Bekker, CoreCHI™, Mateo Rutherford, M.A., CHI™-Spanish, Idolly Oliva, M.B.A., the Associate Commissioner of the New York State Department of Health Wilma Alvarado-Little, M.A., M.S.W., and CCHI’s executive director Natalya Mytareva, M.A., CoreCHI™, for this important conversation. The issues include infection control and ethical dilemmas during the pandemic, challenges of switching to remote modality from the interpreter’s and manager’s perspectives, implications of cancelled CE events, interpreter self-care, and CCHI’s testing practices.

    This webinar is for medical interpreters and mangers. It is especially beneficial for freelancers and novice interpreters as well as managers coordinating interpreting services in face-to-face modality.

    Presenters’ bios:

    Wilma Alvarado-Little, M.A., M.S.W., joined the New York State Department of Health as Associate Commissioner and Director of the Department’s Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities Prevention in July 2017. She has focused on health equity issues from a linguistic and cultural perspective in addition to her interests in public policy, research, health literacy, and health disparities prevention. She has been instrumental in the development and implementation of hospital and clinic- based programs and is a healthcare interpreter and trainer with over 30 years’ experience in the healthcare field. Previously, she served as the Program Director and an NIH Principal Investigator for Community Engagement and Outreach for the Center for the Elimination of Minority Health Disparities, University at Albany, SUNY, where among her responsibilities, she fostered community collaborations and analyzed adolescent pregnancy and prevention programs identified as being culturally and linguistically appropriate and relevant. She is the former Co-chair of the Board of the National Council on Interpreting in Health Care, served as a member of the National Project Advisory Committee for the Review of the CLAS Standards, HHS Office of Minority Health, a past member of the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine Roundtable on Health Literacy and past Chair of the New York State Office of Mental Health Multicultural Advisory Committee. She also serves on various boards, at the state and local levels, which address multicultural, health literacy, and language access issues. She has a Master Arts degree in Spanish Literature and a Master’s in Social Welfare.


    Margarita Bekker, CoreCHI™, is CCHI Chair and Lead Russian Interpreter, Education and Training, at Stanford University Medical Center. She interprets in face-to-face and video remote modalities at her hospital. Since 2012, she has been a curriculum developer and instructor of healthcare interpreting courses (Russian) for master-level distance learning program at Glendon School of Translation at York University, Toronto, Canada. Margarita is a certified Bridging the Gap trainer. She was a Russian Language Coach at the City College of San Francisco HCI program. Margarita is a former President of CHIA and received its Interpreter of the Year Award in 2016.


    Idolly F. Oliva, M.B.A., is CCHI Commissioner and Treasurer. Originally from Guatemala, she has over a decade of experience in healthcare interpreting, as a trainer/educator, administrator, vendor management, and large-scale language services operations. Currently, as the Director of Language Services at Fairview Health (Minneapolis, MN), Idolly leads the strategic direction and operations of Language Services across an integrated system combining Fairview and HealthEast. Together both systems make up the 3rd largest employer in the State of Minnesota. Idolly is committed to national healthcare interpreting certification as she truly believes certification help ensure compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, ADA, Joint Commission, Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act-Nondiscrimination in Health Programs and Activities, and other regulatory requirements for providing language access. Idolly holds an undergraduate degree in international business and a master’s degree in business administration.


    Mateo Rutherford, M.A., CHI™-Spanish, CCHI Vice Chair, has worked as Supervisor, Administrative Director, and Technology & Systems Manager for Interpreting Services at UCSF Health since 2012. He has worked as a freelance interpreter since 1987 throughout Latin America, Europe, Asia and the U.S. Mateo was a disease prevention trainer/curriculum developer for the CDC, has presented on topics related to medical interpreting nationally and internationally. Mateo holds a Master’s Degree in Biology from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Master’s Degree in Spanish Interpretation & Translation from the Monterey Institute of International Studies. Mateo serves on the Education Committee of CHIA.

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