MassHealth, UMass Medical School sponsor 12th annual medical interpreters and translators conference June 2-3

June 02, 2017

A keynote on language access in healthcare settings, the third annual presentation of the Tony Winsor Award and workshops on the opioid crisis and the interpreter role in neuropsychological testing will be featured at the 12th annual Paving the Way to Health Care Access Conference sponsored by UMass Medical School and MassHealth, the Massachusetts Medicaid program. This year's conference has expanded to two days on June 2-3 and is being held at the Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel in Marlborough.

At the event, Estela McDonough, a medical interpreter and training coordinator at UMass Memorial Health Care, will receive the Tony Winsor Award which honors a person who has advocated for professionalizing the work of a medical interpreter to improve language access for all. McDonough has been committed to this line of work for over 25 years, and has in the past organized and taught medical interpreter training programs to undergraduate students through the UMass Memorial Medical Center.

The keynote speaker, Mara Youdelman, is the managing attorney in NHeLP’s Washington DC office. Recognized as a national expert on language access in healthcare settings, Youldelman has written a number of reports and participated on expert advisory panels on the subject. She is co-author of Ensuring Linguistic Access in Health Care Settings: Legal Rights and Responsibilities and Language Services Resource Guide for Pharmacists. Youldelman also directed the National Language Access Advocacy Project, funded by the California Endowment to increase awareness of language access issues at the federal level, and served as a founding commissioner on the national Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters.  

Of the over 25 workshops featured at the two-day event, topics include: The Importance of the Interpreter Role in Neuropsychological Testing, Interpreting for patients with HIV, The Challenges of and Training to Interpret for Sexual Minorities, Dental Literacy, Interpreting in a Mental Health Encounter, and the Opioid Crisis. The event is generously being sponsored by the Massachusetts’ Medicaid program, Masshealth, the MassAHEC Network, a unit within UMass Medical School’s Commonwealth Medicine division, and 13 other corporate sponsors.

“The conference this year expanded to two days to address the interest of both interpreters and translators and respond to the request of past attendees,” said Lisa Morris, MSTD, MassAHEC director of Cross Cultural Initiatives. “Ninety percent of the attendees are attending both days.”

More than 250 medical interpreters and translators from throughout New England and the East Coast are expected to attend the conference.

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