Language Access Advocate (TX)
For over two decades, Jorge U. Ungo supported healthcare organizations in their efforts to deliver compassionate, culturally competent, patient-centered care to their diverse patient population. Jorge is a CCHI Commissioner Emeritus and has served in leadership roles on the National Council on Interpreting in Healthcare (NCIHC), the Texas Association of Healthcare Interpreters and Translators (TAHIT), the Houston Interpreters and Translators Association (HITA), the Texas Alliance for Patient Services (TAPS), the American Translators Association Medical Division (ATA-MD) and Encuentro Latino.
Language Access Consultant (OR)
Born in Gold Beach, Oregon, Alex graduated from Portland State University with a major in political science and a minor in Spanish. He spent significant time living and working in places such as the Dominican Republic and Costa Rica, where he set up operations for a leading provider of telephone interpreting services. After working for over a decade in the telephone and video language interpreting industry, Alex currently offers consulting services specializing in language services. He is a board member of Consejo Hispano, a community-based organization located in Clatsop County. Consejo Hispano focuses on the equitable integration of the Latinx community into the broader social and economic fabric of Oregon and Washington. He is passionate about working to build safe, equitable, and prosperous communities, and he sees interpreting not only as a way to help LEP communities but also as a way to elevate their voices in the medical interpreting community. He enjoys film, music, NBA basketball, and spending time in the forest, mountains, and beaches with his family.
Sr. Director, Quality & Member Engagement,
Paras and Associates/Health Care Interpreter Network (FL)
CCHI Vice Chair
Vonessa Costa is Sr. Director of Quality & Member Engagement at Paras and Associates/Health Care Interpreter Network since June 2021. Prior to this position, Vonessa directed language access initiatives at Cambridge Health Alliance and was director of the Cross Cultural Communication Institute at CCCS, Inc., where she specialized in interpreter education and provider training in intercultural communication. Vonessa is a CoreCHI™ practitioner credentialed by the Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters. She was secretary of the Forum on the Coordination of Interpreter Services (FOCIS) and a member of the America’s Essential Hospitals Education Committee. Vonessa is a graduate of the America’s Essential Hospitals Fellows Program, and a 2019 MassAHEC Tony Windsor Award recipient for advocacy in language access and the professionalization of healthcare interpreters.
Assistant Vice President of Language Access, Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Atrium Health (Charlotte, NC)
Danilo Formolo is the Assistant Vice President of Language Access, part of the Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at Atrium Health. Danilo is entrusted with leading and transforming one of the largest and most robust healthcare language access programs in the country. The nationally recognized program features over 110 interpreters that primarily serve the Charlotte, NC region, where Atrium Health is headquartered. In addition to operational leadership, strategic initiatives include building a large, scalable infrastructure through the use of technology to increase access, optimize efficiencies, and contain costs on a system level. Danilo earned two Bachelor’s Degrees from UNC Charlotte, plus an MBA. Danilo is well known in the industry and has delivered conference presentations around the country on numerous occasions. Danilo is also responsible for organizing the 2nd largest medical interpreter conference in the U.S., drawing 400 interpreters from the Carolinas and beyond. He also co-leads the Carolinas Association of Medical Interpreter Leaders (CAMIL), a consortium of healthcare language access leaders dedicated towards advancing the profession. Danilo has also served on various boards and committees within Atrium Health and the local community, including the Latin American Chamber of Commerce of Charlotte.
Spanish interpreter, researcher,
Children's Healthcare of Atlanta (GA)
Andrea has enjoyed working professionally in the field of healthcare interpreting for 25 years. Most of those years have been in face-to-face interpreting of dialogue in both adult and children’s healthcare settings. Interpreting on the frontlines is her biggest joy. Additionally, Andrea has learned a great deal from many roles in this field having worked as a freelance interpreter, full-time OPI interpreter, interpreter coordinator for two healthcare organizations, interpreter trainer, full-time F2F interpreter in a level 1 trauma center, and interpreter researcher. She has extensive experience in written translation (e.g., English > Spanish home care instructions), public speaking, and mentoring novice interpreters. Andrea’s areas of interest and expertise include specialization (e.g., pediatric cancer, pediatric heart defects, etc.), outside-the-box methods for navigating technical speech and sociolinguistic bumps, and value-added scripting for improved encounter interaction. Andrea is strongly invested in moving our field forward by sharing strategies that improve communication and the patient’s clinical outcome, as well as raise our perceived value. Finally, Andrea is the principal investigator on grant-funded research on development and validation of a tool that measures complexity and mental fatigue in the healthcare encounter.
Language Services Manager
Nationwide Children's Hospital (Columbus, OH)
Valerie Huang joined Nationwide Children’s Hospital as a Language Services program manager in 2011. Originally from Taiwan, Valerie holds a B. A. in International Business and M.A. in Human Resource Development. She later completed a 2-year Alternative Licensure Program for Foreign Language Education, and found her passion in heritage language teaching and interpreter education. During her career, Valerie has been involved in the development of interpreter training curriculum and capacity building projects focused on grassroots leadership and workforce development. In addition, Valerie has extensive experience in developing and presenting programs on cultural competency and cultural sensitivity care; she has worked with healthcare and social service providers to incorporate cultural understanding into their practice. Because of her drive and dedication to serve the community, Valerie received the Community Action Award from the Ohio Commission of Minority Health in 2017. Prior to Nationwide Children’s Hospital, she served as the program director for Asian American Community Services, and was an international staff administrator for Citibank in Taiwan. As a Certified Healthcare Interpreter™ and trainer of healthcare and community interpreters, she speaks widely at conferences across Ohio and the U.S. and is a frequent contributor for community social service projects in central Ohio.
Language Coach & Medical Interpreter
Children’s Mercy Kansas City (Kansas City, MO)
Francisco Martinez, born in Mexico City, raised in San Luis Potosí, joined Children’s Mercy Kansas City as a staff medical interpreter in 2014. His position now is a Medical and Culture Language Coach who works with bilingual residents to ensure that encounters with Spanish speaking families are safe and free of misunderstandings, and to improve residents’ communicative skills, and understanding of Spanish-speaking patients’ cultural beliefs. At the beginning of his career, Francisco worked in the hospitality industry, run a school of English as a foreign language (EFL), and a translation/interpretation firm. He did technical translations, conference and business interpreting, and video dubbing for companies such as Cummins Engines, Aceros San Luis, Mexinox, Cigarrera la Moderna, and the Secretaria de Comercio Exterior among others. In the ‘90s, Francisco worked for Richmond Publishing, the EFL/ESL branch of Santillana Editores, supervised and trained new EFL instructors, and taught TOEFL preparation courses at Instituto Angloamericano in Leon, Guanajuato, and was the Academic Chair of Instituto De La Salle de Leon, from kindergarden to High School. In 2001-2013, he was a visiting lecturer of Spanish at Northwest Missouri State University, faculty at their Spanish study-abroad program, and was the interim chair of the Foreign Language Program. Francisco is a strong advocate for high quality language access to health care for all as well for the exploration and creation of new roles for the professional, certified healthcare interpreters.
Director of Language Services
M Health Fairview (MN)
Idolly Fajardo Oliva is 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 M Health Fairview , 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 a CCHI Commissioner Emerita. 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.
Summit Keynote Speaker
Lead Interpreter for Education and Training
Stanford Health Care (San Francisco, CA)
Johanna Parker holds an M.A. in Translation and Interpretation (Spanish <>English) from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS) and is a federally and California certified court interpreter and CCHI Certified Healthcare Interpreter™. She is Lead Interpreter for Education and Training at Stanford Health Care, a freelance conference interpreter, and a contract seminar interpreter for the U.S. Department of State. Johanna trains interpreters around the country and is an adjunct professor at MIIS, where she teaches medical interpreting. She also educates providers on the importance of interpreter services and language access as a matter of health equity. She was awarded the California Healthcare Interpreting Association’s Trainer of the Year award in 2015.
Vice President & Director of Interpreter Development,
Connecting Cultures, Inc. (WI)
Erin Rosales is Director of Interpreter Development for Connecting Cultures, Inc., and a CCHI Commissioner Emerita. She has a B.A. in Spanish and Ministry from Viterbo College. She holds a Certified Professional in Learning and Performance® designation from the Association for Talent Development. She is a member of the Standards and Training Committee of the National Council on Interpreting in Health Care and is co-lead for the Home for Trainers – Webinars Work Group. She is a member of the American Translators Association. Since 2003 Erin has been dedicated to actively interpreting in the healthcare field, designing training programs for healthcare interpreters, training interpreters, and developing interpreter trainers. She has a particular interest in workplace learning and performance and in integrating ongoing professional development into the professional practice of healthcare interpreters. She is a regular contributor to the Connecting Cultures blog and is a fan of using social media, especially Twitter (@RosalesErin), to learn from professionals across a variety of fields, to discover and share valuable professional development resources, and to enjoy a bit of whimsy on occasion.
Technology and Systems Manager, Interpreting Services
UCSF Health (Berkeley, CA)
Mateo Rutherford has worked for the Interpreting Services Department at UCSF Health since 2012 as a Supervisor, Administrative Director and Project Manager. UCSF has over 200,000 LEP patient visits in over 80 languages per year and offers patients and providers a mixed service model, including telephone, video and on-site interpreting services. UCSF Health now requires all per diem contract interpreters to be nationally certified and complete a full-day of shadowing in an effort to insure and enhance the quality of their language services. Mateo holds a Master’s Degree in Integrative Biology from the University of California, Berkeley and a Master’s Degree in Spanish Interpretation and Translation from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. He has worked as a freelance Spanish interpreter since 1987 throughout Latin America, Europe, Asia and the United States. He specializes in topics related to the life sciences and technology. Previously he worked as a bilingual disease prevention trainer under contract with the CDC throughout the US, Puerto Rico and Honduras and currently conducts trainings for healthcare interpreters through California Healthcare Interpreting Association (CHIA) and other organizations. Mateo is also a founding member of the University of California Medical Interpreting Consortium, including UCSF, UCLA, UC Davis, UC Irvine and UC San Diego Interpreting Services Departments. He serves on the Education Board of CHIA and is a CERTIFIED HEALTHCARE INTERPRETER™.
Co-Founder & CEO
Cloud 18 Productions, Inc. (Columbia, SC)
Zoe Schutzman grew up in Seville (Spain) and moved to Connecticut where she completed her BA in East Asian Studies and Architectural Design at Wesleyan University. She received her MA in Linguistics from the City University of New York Graduate School and pursued Translation and Interpretation Studies at Hunter College. Thereafter, she became a New York State Certified Spanish Court Interpreter and a Certified Healthcare InterpreterTM (Spanish) professional. She is a licensed trainer for The Community Interpreter® International and Medical Terminology for Interpreters, a trained presenter of Interpreting for Pediatric Genetics, and a graduate of The Interpreter Trainer Online. Zoe is Co-founder and CEO of Cloud 18 Productions Inc., a global technology-driven and multidisciplinary creative enterprise.
A seasoned linguist, Zoe has taught at institutions of higher education, trained nascent and experienced interpreters, language coaches and interpreter trainers, as well as developed, enhanced, and implemented curricula, assessment, and quality improvement protocols. She has provided linguistic and culturally appropriate expertise to varied research and creative endeavors, presented to diverse audiences, propelled system-wide strategic initiatives, led and supported new avenues for sustainable professional growth, and forged high-value partnerships with community and institutional stakeholders.
Zoe’s contributions (published and otherwise) have encompassed meaningful access to healthcare for limited English proficient and languages of lesser diffusion communities; sociolinguistic, language acquisition, language documentation, and performance projects; analyses of internal and national regulatory policies; and the development, trans-creation, and translation of literary, research, outreach, and educational materials. Since 2020, Zoe has served as Commissioner at the Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters (CCHI) and, as of 2023, she also serves as SC Director at Large for the Carolina Association of Translators and Interpreters (CATI), a regional chapter of the American Translators Association (ATA).
Director of Education & Recruitment,
Translation & Interpretation Network (TX)
Originally from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Fabio Torres has been an interpreter since 1989. His passion for this profession started in Rio when he was interpreting for Americans and other English-speaking medical professionals at medical clinics in the slums of Rio. After moving to the US to pursue an undergraduate and graduate education in 1996, Fabio started working at Catholic Charities Fort Worth in the language services program – Translation & Interpretation Network (TIN) and continued to work for TIN as a social enterprise for 20+ years.
During his tenure, his passion for language, culture, and interpreter education increased as he worked through the local parishes to create and implement healthcare programs and deliver health services in rural and urban communities in North Texas. Fabio holds a Master of Arts degree in Church and Community Ministries from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth (TX), and a BA in Religion, with a minor in Psychology from North Greenville University (SC).
Director Interpreter Services,
Boston Medical Center (MA)
Alegna has been the Director of Interpreter Services at Boston Medical Center since 2019, one of the oldest interpreter services departments in MA. In her role as director, she manages and oversees more than 50 employees and ensures language access to 25% of our patient population via in-person, phone and video interpretation. Alegna holds a Bachelor’s degree in Translation and Conference Interpretation from Universidad Central de Venezuela. In 2011, she moved to Boston and completed Boston University’s Medical, Legal and Community Interpreting Certificate Program. After completing this training, she worked with different regional agencies and the Office of Court Interpreter Services of Massachusetts. In 2013, Alegna became a Spanish Certified Healthcare Interpreter with CCHI. She has been a board member of the Forum on the Coordination of Interpreter Services (FOCIS) since 2021. This is a nation-wide organization that aims at creating best practices for hospital-based interpreter services departments and enhance language access.