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5th Annual International Language Services Conference to Address Healthcare Challenges in Serving Limited English Proficient Patients


BY Alex Wang [ October 12, 2016 at 15:29:37 ]

Editor’s Note: Expert speakers and organizers, including certified deaf interpreter Cody Francisco of Houston, are available for advance media interviews to discuss issues in diversity, inclusion and language access strategies in the health care sector. #iamlanguage access

Primum Non Nocere – Translation: First Do No Harm
5th Annual International Language Services Conference to Address
Healthcare Challenges in Serving Limited English Proficient Patients
Houston, TX – September 6, 2016 . . .
Medical care for Houston’s diverse, multinational population and for the thousands of international patients coming for treatment each year means the role of language services in the healthcare industry is expanding here and nationwide. On Friday, October 14, more than 100 leading experts in medical translation and interpretation, the healthcare industry, patient advocacy and quality control from across the US will convene at the Fifth Annual International Language Services Conference (ILSC) to share their best practices for compliance according to state and federal language services access guidelines to serve patients’ diverse communication needs.

“We’re all familiar with the medical oath, ‘Primum Non Nocere’ or ‘First Do No Harm’ (Roman translation of Hippocrates’ original Greek credo for physicians),” said Ludmila (Mila) Golovine, President and CEO, MasterWord Services, Inc. (MWS), founding ILSC sponsor. “But to be able to adhere to this oath today, we must ensure our health care providers can communicate properly with their patients, including those with Limited English Proficiency (LEP). And they need to do so with the utmost precision in language and medical terminology, with respect, sensitivity and prompt, real-time access,” she said.
Sponsored by MWS, a Houston-based global language solutions company, the full-day, multi-tiered conference, is set for 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. at The Junior League of Houston, 1811 Briar Oaks Lane. Continuing education credits will be provided for interpreters and translators certified by RID, BEI, ATA, CCHI, and IMIA.

By bringing together representatives from all aspects of the interpreting encounter, ILSC 2016 will:
Identify and address challenges from all stakeholder groups
Facilitate dialogue across these groups to enhance understanding of these challenges
Broaden stakeholders' perspectives to encompass a more nuanced familiarity with all aspects of Language Access for Limited English Proficiency (LEP), deaf, and hard of hearing patients
Encourage collaboration in creating actionable plans to address gaps in regulations, implementation and reality
A new conference format will facilitate the collaboration that conference organizers feel is crucial to tackling unique stakeholder challenges. The morning session consists of presentations from a representative of each of the following stakeholder groups: Interpreting Services Consumers, Hospital Administrators, Federal Compliance Advisors, Interpreter Certification Organizations and Interpreter Educators.
Presentations include:
“Language Access from My Perspective” – A demonstration of what it’s like to need to communicate through a medical interpreter. Anecdotes will be presented in the speakers’ preferred languages to the audience through an interpreter.
- M. Cody Francisco, CDI – Houston’s only currently active certified deaf interpreter (sign language is his native language); Adjunct Professor of American Sign Language (ASL) for Interpreter Training Programs at Lone Star College
- Dr. Isaac Ndzaka – General Medicine and Specialist in tropical diseases, such as malaria, TB, ebola and cholera (French speaker)
“In Dialogue with Mara Youdelman”, J.D., L.L.M., Federal compliance expert; staff attorney in the National Health Law Program, working on language access, civil rights, Medicaid and racial and ethnic disparities in health care. Joining her will be Melina Kolbeck, Director of Language Access Services at Children’s Health in Dallas.
“Specialized Education and Credentialing in Healthcare Interpreting”
- Laurie Swabey, Ph.D. (Linguistics) is Professor of Interpreting at St. Catherine University and director of Collaborative for the Advancement of Teaching Interpreting Excellence (CATIE) Center. She has served on the advisory boards for the National Council on Interpreting in Healthcare and the Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters. “Qualified interpreters are essential for healthcare communication. No one's health, well-being or mortality should depend on the language they use,” said Dr. Swabey.
“The Brave New World of Language Professionals”
- Winnie Heh, M.A. (Translation and Interpretation) brings more than 20 years of diversified executive experience in in the language services industry. She is one of the trailblazers of remote interpretation and an advocate for the professionalization of language industry, and has developed national standards for written and oral certification examinations.

After lunch, Katharine A. Allen, Co-Founder of InterpretAmerica LLC, will kick off the afternoon workgroup session. This session is led by trained facilitators to help participants work together to address the most prevalent challenges in the provision of Language Access. Her talk, “Interpreting: Impacting the Big Picture with Individual Action” will help participants focus the knowledge and insights gained from the morning session into concrete actionable goals.

Upon conclusion of the workgroup sessions, the Chairperson of the Advisory Committee on Qualifications for Health Care Translators and Interpreters, Whitney Gissell will provide a call to action with her presentation, “Affecting Change through Systems Thinking.” Participants will leave with enhanced insights to Language Access challenges. Workgroup products will be gathered and synthesized to publish as a post-conference paper as a resource for industry professionals to better serve LEP, deaf, and hard of hearing patients.

To discuss Limited English Proficiency and ILSC needs online, please use #iamlanguage access.

The registration fee is $65 for the early bird rate through September 14 and increases to $85 thereafter; lunch is included. Registration is available online at http://www.masterword.com/ilsc/. For further information, please contact Lauren Davis or Whitney Gissell, MasterWord Services, Inc., 281-589-0810 x 8956 or events@masterword.com.

# # #

About MasterWord Services, Inc.

MasterWord Services, Inc., founded in Houston, TX in 1993, is currently providing language access solutions in more than 250 languages representing more than 50 countries. The company serves energy, engineering, healthcare, government, insurance and social services organizations around the world including Fortune 500 companies. Certified to the prestigious ISO 9001:2008 and ISO 13611:2014 standards, as designated by the Geneva, Switzerland-based International Organization for Standardization (ISO), a rare achievement in the language services industry, MasterWord is also recognized as a Top Workplace in Houston Chronicle rankings, one of the “Top 100 Women Owned Businesses” in Texas, and one of the “Top 500 Women-Owned Businesses” in the United States by DiversityBusiness.com.
www.masterword.com / @masterword

MasterWord Services Media Contact:
Susan Farb Morris, Susan Farb Public Relations
713-805-2608 or susan@farbulous.com
# # #


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