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MULTICULTURAL ASSOCIATION OF MEDICAL INTERPRETERS OF CENTRAL NY's Fundraiser:

Bridging the Gap: Supporting a Higher Standard for Medical Interpreters

MULTICULTURAL ASSOCIATION OF MEDICAL INTERPRETERS OF CENTRAL NY's Photo
MULTICULTURAL ASSOCIATION OF MEDICAL INTERPRETERS OF CENTRAL NY's Photo
MULTICULTURAL ASSOCIATION OF MEDICAL INTERPRETERS OF CENTRAL NY's Photo
MULTICULTURAL ASSOCIATION OF MEDICAL INTERPRETERS OF CENTRAL NY's Photo

THE STORY:

During the past twenty-five years, Central New York has become a hub for refugee settlement and immigration. About 100,000 refugees and immigrants live in the region spanning from Syracuse to Troy and south to Binghamton. Oneida County alone has the fourth highest concentration of refugees in the entire country. Upstate New York has undoubtedly become the home to an unprecedented diversity. Simultaneously, the growth of the refugee and immigrant population presents a daunting language and culture barrier that must be overcome. To communicate, people with limited English proficiency (LEP) need a qualified interpreter. An “interpreter” is a bilingual and bi-cultural person trained “to facilitate communication and understanding between people speaking different languages.” The ability to communicate enables people with LEP to enjoy their civil rights to equal access and to become fully contributing members of society.

However, our society has not yet developed the framework for ensuring the quality of the medical interpreter, which puts us all at risk. For example, to address the challenge of a limited-English proficient (LEP) patient, health care providers have used with impunity untrained or minimally trained interpreters that often lack any medical background. When health care facilities use untrained interpreters, misunderstanding and cultural barriers often endanger the patient by subjecting them to improper diagnosis, unnecessary medical treatment, and even complete exclusion from proper treatment. The fact is, untrained interpreters are a danger to the client they serve, both in the health care field and in the community at large.

Therefore, MAMI is dedicated to providing highly trained interpreting services enabling the LEP population of Upstate New York to enjoy their civil right to equal access to health care. In keeping with this mission, MAMI has recently revised its credentialing requirements for its interpreters. Among these revisions is the new requirement for our staff interpreters to take the recently introduced national credentialing exams. Full credentialing is now available in three languages and associate credentialing is available in all others. The cost per language for the full credentialing exams is $475 and for the associate credentialing, $210. For more information about the CCHI exam and credentialing, please refer to the link below:
http://www.cchicertification.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=91&Itemid=4)

MAMI has been funded through the Workforce Development Institute [WDI] to create and teach a course preparing interpreters for these credentialing exams, but the WDI funding does not cover the rather significant costs of taking the exam itself. Therefore, MAMI needs your help to enable our interpreters to take the national certification exam. Our interpreters are local community members that provide an essential service to the local LEP population. By donating, not only will you help send highly qualified interpreters into local health care facilities, but above all, you will help give our neighbors access to a higher, healthier standard of living. So help MAMI complete our mission of promoting a higher standard for medical interpreting in our community by donating.

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