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MED-1 (F, 10:00-11:30am) - ALL
The NCIHC Forum Series: Listening to Your Voice about Telephonic Interpreting
Shiva Bidar-Sielaff, manager, Interpreter Services/Minority Community Services, University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics, and co-chair, National Council on Interpretation in Health Care, Madison, Wisconsin; Bruce Downing, co-chair of the NCIHC's Standards, Training, and Certification Committee, and associate professor of linguistics and director, Program in Translation and Interpreting, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota; and Cynthia E. Roat, MPH, Pacific Language Consultants, and co-chair, National Council on Interpretation in Health Care, Seattle, Washington

The National Council on Interpretation in Health Care is a multidisciplinary national organization that promotes professional medical interpretation. As the NCIHC establishes standards and policy, its leadership is vitally interested in hearing the voices of all those involved with interpreting in health care settings. One voice often missing is that of the interpreter. This NCIHC forum, the first in a series designed to solicit input from working interpreters, will focus on the most appropriate use of telephonic and face-to-face interpretation in health care settings. A structured process will be used to elicit participants' experiences and register their opinions and recommendations. Come have input into the development of our profession!

MED-2 (S, 8:00-8:45am) - BEGINNER
Providing Translation and Interpretation Services in an Unprepared Arena
Belen Ledezma, supervisor, Translation and Interpretation Program, Spectrum Health, Grand Rapids, Michigan

The lessons learned by establishing a translation and interpretation services program have provided great insight into the supply and demand and the challenges and rewards of this critical service. Creating this service required risk taking, and the result has been mistakes we have learned from and successes we have celebrated. In a health care environment of constant change, multiple challenges that include staff shortages and dramatic declines in reimbursements, and with no clear national standard to benchmark or emulate in the world of translation and interpretation services, we charted our course by following "what is the right thing to do." We began by focusing on quality. Defining quality services, building the infrastructure, and securing quality resources. The second phase has involved providing quality services in a cost-effective manner and optimizing efficiencies. We have a unique centralized system that promotes minority vendors, empowers staff, and creates community awareness and support at all levels. We would like to share our knowledge and provide a means of open discussion for medical interpreters to discuss the challenges encountered in everyday interpreting, and the approaches that can be taken to address some of those obstacles.

(S, 8:45-9:30am) - ALL
Translation of Health Insurance Information for Immigrant Communities
Laurence H. Bogoslaw, director, Minnesota Translation Laboratory, Bloomington, Minnesota

The Minnesota State government mandated in 1999 that certificates of health insurance coverage be translated into several languages currently spoken by large populations of immigrants and refugees. Since then, the Minnesota Translation Laboratory has translated and/or edited this medical information in the following languages: Cambodian, Hmong, Lao, Russian, Spanish, and Vietnamese. This presentation will discuss the stages required to produce accurate translations of this complex material, focusing particularly on the review process by bilingual policy experts and concurrently by monolingual focus groups conducted in the target languages. Instances of terminological difficulties and how they were handled will be highlighted.

MED-3 (S, 10:00-10:45am) - ALL
Biomedical TranslationA Challenge for the Translator, the Agency, and the Client
Kaj Rekola, medical translator, Mountain View, California

Biomedical translation presents special challenges. Topics include instructions for use for devices used in new and innovative (sophisticated) surgical and other interventional procedures, and applications for marketing approval for new drugs and preparations, including bio-engineered products. In addition to the linguistic skills of the translator, biomedical translation requires a basic understanding of the sciences and technologies behind these products, ranging from gene technology to computer programming. The purpose of this presentation is to describe some frequently occurring problems in biomedical translation and to suggest ways to improve the localization process.

(S, 10:45-11:30am) - ALL
Working as a Medical Interpreter
Azucena Rigney, language and cultural specialist, Children's Hospital (Los Angeles), Reseda, California

Working as a medical interpreter is a very rewarding, yet demanding, experience. Medical interpreters must be knowledgeable of the subject. They must be able to convey quickly and accurately what the speaker communicated in his or her own language in an efficient manner. They must also have a good knowledge of the cultures they bring together and to be aware of medical practices and family traditions that may clash. But medical interpreters are also required to be good psychologists and spiritual counselors in order to absorb the impact of emotionally distressed patients and families. This session will present the day-to-day issues of working as an interpreter in a clinical hospital.

MED-4 (S, 1:30-2:15pm) - ALL
Initial Assessment of Interpreter Skills: A Case Study in Screening Medical Interpreters
Cynthia E. Roat, MPH, Pacific Language Consultants, and co-chair, National Council on Interpretation in Health Care, Seattle, Washington

In the absence of a nationally-accepted certification process for medical interpreters, initial assessment of potential interpreters becomes a crucial step in assuring quality interpretation. Pacific Language Consultants, a sister company to Pacific Interpreters, has been experimenting with an expanded process of initial assessment for telephonic and face-to-face interpreters that is based on an approach outlined by the National Council on Interpretation in Health Care in its April 2001 paper on the subject. In this session, PLC's assessment process will be described and the lessons learned during its refining will be discussed.

(S, 2:15-3:00pm) - ALL
Medical Interpretation at the Crossroads: Overview of the Los Angeles Area Hospital Project and CSULB Training Strategies
Alexander Rainof, professor, Romance, German, and Russian Languages, and Literatures Department, California State University-Long Beach, Santa Monica, California

The state of medical translation and interpretation in the US has recently resulted in a great deal of concern. This presentation will discuss some of the issues raised by physicians in medical journals (JAMA, JAMWA), by the Office of Civil Rights of the Health and Human Services Department, by the press (Los Angeles Times, etc.), and by translators and interpreters throughout the country. A project to bring in hospital language personnel into a summer institute on medical translation and interpretation will be outlined. Last, but not least, training strategies in medical T/I, both in the classroom and in hospitals, for language staff to use for self-education and improvement in group form will be introduced.