Associate Commissioner, New York State Department of Health Director, Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities Prevention (NY)
Ms. Alvarado-Little 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. Currently residing in New York, Wilma dedicates her time to issues involving the provision of linguistically and culturally appropriate health services.
Freelance Interpreter, Interpreter Educator (TX)
Sandra Dejeux holds a B.A. in International Studies and a Master in Spanish Translation and Interpretation. She is Spanish Master Court Interpreter in Texas and a CCHI Healthcare interpreter. She moved to Texas in 2000 and started her interpreting carrier as a legal and medical interpreter. As a healthcare interpreter she has worked as a freelance in many hospitals and clinics, such as the Texas Children’s Hospital and the Methodist Hospital in Sugar Land, Texas. She has participated on several occasions as a Subject Mater Expert for CCHI during the development and revision of their Healthcare interpreter exam. As a master licensed court interpreter, she has worked as a freelance for immigration, municipal, county, and district courts in many different counties. In 2016 she participated in a pilot project lounged by Fort Bend County and co-authored the county’s first language access program. She has served as HITA President, participated as HITA Liaison to the TAJIT Legislation Committee, and is currently serving as a member of the NAJIT Bench and Bar Committee.
Mrs. Dejeux was the UT Austin Center for Professional Education instructor for the medical interpreter certificate program in Houston, Texas in 2018. This year she was asked to create the training materials for the CPE legal interpreter certificate program and is currently the instructor for the cohort offered in Sugar Land, Texas.
Interpreter, Translator, Interpreter Educator (TX)
Esther is a certified translator and interpreter trainer who has been promoting language access in the Austin area by training interpreters for 20 years. She was a co-founder of the Austin Area Translators and Interpreters Association and the Texas Association of Healthcare Interpreters, as well as former Medical Division Administrator for the American Translators Association. She has also served in a variety of capacities with the National Council on Interpreting in Health Care.
She has taught interpreter workshops for refugee resettlement agencies throughout Texas and created the Translation and Interpreting Program at Austin Community College. She has more than 30 years of experience as a medical translator and trainer and received the Texas STAR Award for Language Access in 2014.
Esther received her Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and Master of Education in Adult Education and Human Resource Development Leadership from the University of Texas at Austin.
Founder and Partner in Seven Sisters Training & Consulting (IN)
Liz Essary began working as a healthcare interpreter in 2002. She is a CERTIFIED HEALTHCARE INTERPRETER™, a certified state court interpreter, and she holds a Master’s of Conference Interpreting from the Glendon School of Translation at York University in Toronto. From 2011 to 2015, Liz served as Supervisor of Language Services at Indiana University Health in Indianapolis, where she developed and delivered workshops for staff interpreters. For over ten years Liz has trained healthcare interpreters and coached interpreters getting ready for certification exams. She is a founder and partner in Seven Sisters Training & Consulting.
Language Access Services Department for hospitals in the State of Texas hospital system in Galveston; TAHIT President (TX)
Manuel Higginbotham, CHI™-Spanish, is a language professional with a passion for advocating on behalf of the Limited English Proficient community. He has leadership experience in VRI, OPI, and hospitals, as well as having owned his own language consulting and training company. More than 40 hospitals across the US have relied on his expertise in developing language access plans and training interpreters. Manuel oversees the Language Access Services Department for hospitals in the State of Texas hospital system and is based in Galveston. He has written curricula for his own 40-, 64-, and 80-hour interpreter training courses and provides CEU trainings and prep courses for national certification. He sits on the Texas Advisory Committee on Qualifications for Health Care Translators and Interpreters and currently serves as the president of the Texas Association of Healthcare Interpreters and Translators. In his spare time, you can find him playing volleyball or watching his alma mater, The Ohio State University, become national football champs!
Translation Coordinator and medical interpreter/translator in the Language Services Department at University of Louisville Hospital (KY)
After a career as a Spanish language and culture instructor on three continents, Alma Kuhlemann has transitioned into the field of interpretation, working first as a Kentucky state-certified court interpreter, then as a CCHI-certified medical interpreter at Family Health Centers in Louisville, and currently as Translation Coordinator and medical interpreter/translator in the Language Services Department at University of Louisville Hospital. Alma’s educational background truly comes together in her work at ULH, for which she draws from her undergraduate degree in legal translation from the University of the Republic of Uruguay, her master’s degree in technical translation from the University of Mainz in Germany, and her doctoral degree in Latin American Literatures and Cultures from The Ohio State University. Alma has always believed in the connection between theory and praxis, and so she has dedicated a significant part of her life to putting her knowledge and skills to the service of others, with special attention to children’s welfare in Uruguay, social justice for immigrants in Germany, and access to health care in Louisville, where she volunteered most recently at the Family Community Clinic in Louisville, a free clinic for the uninsured.
Staff interpreter at UCSF Medical Center (CA)
Eduardo Mendelievich is a CCHI certified healthcare interpreter since 2012. He works full-time for UCSF Medical Center since 2013, having worked as a full-time interpreter for Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital (Stanford) before that. He has been a language coach for the City College of San Francisco’s Health Care Interpreting Program between 2011 and 2017. He has been a lecturer for CHIA (California Healthcare Interpreting Association). He is a member of CHIA and NCHIC (National Council on Interpreting in Health Care). Mr. Mendelievich currently works freelance for worker’s compensation and legal deposition cases. He holds a master’s degree in music education. His hobbies are motorcycling and water-related activities.
Educator & Specialist at UNM Hospitals; Co-founder and CEO of Cloud 18 Productions Inc. (NM)
E. 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 CUNY Graduate School and pursued Translation and Interpretation Studies at Hunter College (New York). Thereafter, she became a NYS Certified Spanish Court Interpreter and a Nationally Certified Healthcare interpreter (CHITM). She is a licensed trainer for The Community Interpreter International (TCII), Medical Terminology for Interpreters (MT) and Interpreting for Pediatric Genetics (IPG). Zoe is Co-founder and CEO of Cloud 18 Productions Inc., an international technology-driven creative enterprise. Its mission is to realize intrinsically multidisciplinary and multicultural events.
A seasoned linguist, Zoe has taught at institutions of higher education and trained individuals to become qualified medical interpreters. She has developed and enhanced curricula, assessment and quality assurance protocols, and she has provided linguistic and culturally appropriate expertise to varied research endeavors. Her 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 development, trans-creation and translation of literary, research, outreach, and educational materials.
Since becoming Educator & Specialist at UNM Hospitals (Albuquerque, NM), Zoe has elevated training and competency assessment standards for staff and dual role medical interpreters alike. She has mentored interpreters (ASL, Arabic, Farsi/Dari, Hindi, Mandarin, Navajo, Romanian, Spanish, Swahili, Vietnamese, etc.) and propelled new avenues for interpreters’ continued development. Furthermore, she has cultivated system-wide regulatory adherence and partnerships with key institutional and community stakeholders. Prior to UNM Hospitals, Zoe worked for four fruitful years at The Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Immigrant Health & Cancer Disparities Service (IHCD), in New York.
Manager of Translation Division and Japanese Interpreter at Michigan Medicine (MI)
Megumi Segawa was born and raised in Osaka, Japan. She has a Ph.D. degree in education and her specialization is intercultural communication. She started her interpreter career as a contract interpreter at the Port of Osaka when she was in college. She has also worked as an interpreter at community events and academic settings. Megumi started working as a staff Japanese healthcare interpreter at Michigan Medicine’s Interpreter Services in 2007 and has been managing the department’s Translation Division since 2010. She was a co-chair of the Michigan Medicine Interpreter Conference in 2018. She is hoping to create more professional development opportunities for healthcare interpreters. She is also interested in promoting self-care for interpreters using physical activities such as low-impact exercises and stretching.
Health Equity Consultant, Educator
Healthcare Interpreter Certificate Program, City College of San Francisco (CA)
Gayle Tang, MSN, RN, is an educator and a consultant. She works with organizations to transform care delivery, promoting quality, patient safety, and health equity, through cultural competency, policy advocacy, and systems changes. Gayle is the principal architect of the award-winning Healthcare Interpreter Certificate Program, the Qualified Bilingual Staff Model and Program, and the Clinician Cultural & Linguistic Assessment – a Language Concordance Strategy aimed at setting industry standards.
As a former National Executive at Kaiser Permanente, Gayle led design and execution of the organization’s firsts: National Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) Strategy; Centers of Excellence and Institute for Culturally Competent Care; Gender Orientation and Identity Agenda; Diverse Population Business Strategies; Workforce Development Strategies, and Member Demographic Data Collection Initiative among others. She also designed and led a Comprehensive Language Access Research Agenda where she was the Principal Investigator. The work resulted in education and training curriculum development and systems changes in the health care industry.
Her leadership was instrumental in business performance enhancement and health disparities reduction. Gayle is a member of the Office of Minority Health’s National Project Advisory Committee on the National Enhanced CLAS Standards. She is a director on multiple Boards, including the California Healthcare Interpreter Association (CHIA) and Asian Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF), and served as advisory member with The Joint Commission (TJC), National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and others. She is also on the Santa Rosa Community College and LaVerne University advisory committee. Gayle co-authored the California Standards for Healthcare Interpreters – Ethical Principles, Protocols, and Guidance on Roles & Interventions and published articles related to language, culture, and systems.
Gayle received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) at University of San Francisco, Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) with a focus on science, leadership, and diversity at Sonoma State University. She also completed a Disparities Leadership Program at the Disparities Solutions Center, Massachusetts General Hospital and an Executive Leadership Program at Harvard Business School, Boston Massachusetts.
Manager and interpreter at Language Access Services of Barton Health (CA)
Eder Vázquez is a critical part of the Language Access Service’s Administrative and Interpreting Team at Barton Health, in South Lake Tahoe, CA. In addition to working as a Certified Healthcare Interpreter, Eder leads and manages several major programs such as ZipDx; Remote Simultaneous Interpreting Platform, Interpreter Intelligence; On-Line Interpreter Scheduling Program, and 30 plus Video Remote Interpreting Units. He has collaborated with the Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters(CCHI) as a Subject Matter Expert. Eder has a particular interest in reducing disparities among people with Limited English Proficiency (LEP) and addresses disparity to access and services in healthcare and social services. His ability to remain calm under pressure is truly unparalleled, and his myriad contributions help make Barton Health a leader in language access.
Clinical Services and Education Manager, Children’s Mercy Hospital (MO)
Rio Zamarron has a master’s degree in Health Professions Education from the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) and completed the Training of Trainers for the Healthcare Interpreting Profession from Monterey Institute of International Studies (MIIS). She also completed Bridging the Gap Course (40-hour medical interpreting course) and Spanish Bilingual Assistant Course (60- hour introduction in medical interpreting course) and just recently served as Subject Matter Expert in the CCHI EtoE Project.
Rio has worked in the Interpreting and Translation profession since 2005 in a Pediatric hospital and has served as faculty member at a Community College where she’s developed and taught medical interpreting courses. She also developed a 60-hour Advanced Medical Interpreting Course (AMI) with the purpose of enhancing medical interpreting skills and pass National Certification.
In 2015, she developed a workshop and training titled “Coaching & Mentoring Strategies” for senior medical interpreters that serve as mentors to interpreting students (practicum) and new hires.
This provides senior interpreters with coaching strategies to provide effective feedback.
In addition, Rio has worked closely with our Simulation Department in developing simulation scenarios that provides interpreters with challenging real-life situations (trauma, child abuse, end-of-life) to better manage those encounters in a fun learning environment.
Rio’s drive and commitment is towards enriching the profession of medical interpreting through education and research.