WASHINGTON, Jan. 27 Leaders and advocates for the medical interpreting profession will gather in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, May 1, 2010 for the fourth annual National Medical Interpreter Certification - Open Forum. The focus of this year's forum will be expansion and implementation of the national certification launched in October 2009 by the National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters.
"While medical interpreters across the country are thrilled with the achievement of a national certification, there is still more work to be done," said Orlin Marquez, President of the Medical Interpreter Network of Georgia (MING). "Now is the time to embrace the new national standard and educate our peers and the public of its value. Forum participants can take an active role in this process by joining various task forces, whose roles will be discussed at the forum."
To further spotlight the vital role played by medical interpreters in the delivery of care, this year's forum will be preceded on April 30, 2010 by a special lobby day and rally at the U.S. Capitol. Participants will visit with members of Congress to gain support for reimbursement of interpreter services and to end health care disparities.
"IMIA, Language Line Services and other organizations have been working collectively on national lobbying efforts to raise the visibility of the medical interpretation profession and the need for reimbursement of language access services," said Suzy Dumont, Vice President with Cardinal Point Partners, a Washington, D.C.-based government relations firm assisting with the push for a federally mandated medical interpreter certification standard and reimbursement of interpreter services. "The congressional meetings and rally on Capitol Hill is an opportunity for individuals and other stakeholders to lend their voices to this cause."
Attendance has grown every year since the first annual open forum was held in Boston, MA, in 2007. More than 100 industry stakeholders participated in last year's forum in Denver, CO, and organizers are planning for an even larger turnout in Washington, D.C.
The forum creates a transparent, inclusive and diverse collaboration that crosses state lines and industry sectors. Participants include representatives of various state and national interpreter associations, interpreters and providers of interpreter services, advocates and policy makers, state officials, educators, trainers, hospitals and health care organizations, as well as international stakeholders.
"Recognizing that a piecemeal approach to medical interpreter certification was not in the public's best interest, we started this annual forum to bring together the ideas and needs of all industry stakeholders and create a vehicle to consolidate forces and elevate national certification from an issue only discussed within the industry to an initiative at the top of the national agenda," said Louis Provenzano, President and Chief Operating Officer of Language Line Services. "All stakeholders are welcomed and encouraged to participate in what has become an industry staple and one of the most important annual gatherings of the year for the medical interpreting profession."
Key topics to be discussed at the fourth annual forum include a review of recent milestones towards a uniform medical interpreter certification standard in the United States and internationally; ongoing efforts to expand and implement national medical interpreter certification throughout the industry; state and federal subsidies for certification; and certification as a path to language access reimbursement.
The annual forum is hosted this year by Language Line(R) University; the International Medical Interpreters Association (IMIA); the Medical Interpreter Network of Georgia (MING); and PSI Services, LLC, with more organizations joining as organizers. It is funded through a grant from Language Line University.
There is no registration fee to attend the annual forum though space is limited. Online registration is now open at http://www.imiaweb.org/conferences/2010May1.asp. For more information about the Fourth Annual National Medical Interpreter Certification - Open Forum, please contact May1NationalForum@gmail.com.
About National Medical Interpreter Certification - Open Forum
The National Medical Interpreter Certification - Open Forum is an annual convening bringing together industry leaders and stakeholders, large and small, private and public, working together to collaborate with a specific focus on the topic of National Medical Interpreter Certification. The purpose of this initiative is to improve and support standardization of the quality of language services in our nation's health care institutions and to give every organization and individual a voice and opportunity to participate in an inclusive and transparent environment.
Shawn Yanan / firstname.lastname@example.org / 305-962-1768
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SOURCE Language Line Services