The National Board
Maria Schwieter, RN, CHI
Staff Interpreter and Trainer, IU La Porte Hospital, La Porte, Indiana
Ken Anders, Chief Operating Officer, TransPerfect Remote Interpreting, Tempe, Arizona
Janet Erickson-Johnson, MA, CMI, Director, Interpreter Certification, Language Line University, Monterey, California
Noemy Cochran, CMI
Staff Interpreter, Memorial Hermann Hospital, Houston, Texas
Eric Hardt, MD
Physician, Boston Medical Center, Massachusetts
Manager, Duke International Patient Services, Durham, North Carolina
Samuel Pino, CMI
Language Access Supervisor, Salem Health, Salem, Oregon
Darlene Daevu, MBA
Analyst, San Francisco Department of Public Health, California
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Casita Wild, MS
Research Analyst and Project Manager, Boston, Massachusetts
Beverly North, MS
Spanish teacher, Tulsa Community College, Tulsa, Oklahoma
Karin Chou, MBA
Business Professional, Walnut, California
Linda Joyce, MS, CMI, Interpreter, Walton, West Virginia
International Medical Interpreter Association (IMIA) represented by Izabel Arocha - Founded in 1986, with over 2,000 members, is a US-based nonprofit organization representing medical interpreters worldwide.
Language Line® University (LLU) represented by Louis F. Provenzano- LLU is the globally recognized interpreter testing, training and certification division of Language Line Services, the worlds founder and largest over the phone, video and on-site interpreter provider.
The mission of the National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters (National Board) is to foster improved healthcare outcomes, patient safety and patient/provider communication, by elevating the standards for and quality of medical interpreting through a nationally recognized and accredited certification for medical interpreters.
- To develop, organize, oversee and promote a national medical interpreter certification program in all languages.
- To promote patients and providers working with credentialed medical interpreters who have met minimal national standards to provide accurate and safe interpretation.
- To ensure credibility of national certification by striving to comply with national accreditation standards including transparency, inclusion, and access.
The National Board is established as an independent special division of the International Medical Interpreters Association (IMIA), to oversee the national medical interpreter certification program. The National Board is solely responsible for all policies and procedures and decisions related to establishing, reviewing and maintaining: certification eligibility, recertification requirements, examinations and other assessment instruments, budget development and fees, program planning, document and information retention, selection and supervision of qualified personnel, and resource allocation. The National Board has 501c3 public charity status, the non-profit status that ensures activities are for the public good.
To ensure the ongoing validity and reliability of the testing instruments, the National Board will develop, maintain and administer the certification examinations in accordance with nationally recognized testing standards such as the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing (American Educational Research Association, American Psychological Association, & National Council on Measurement in Education) and the NCCA Standards for the Accreditation of Certification Programs (Institute for Credentialing Excellence).
Maria Schwieter, RN, CHI, CHAIR
Maria Schwieter, RN, CHI is the IMIA Representative for the National Board. She works as the staff medical interpreter and trainer at IU La Porte Hospital. Maria has worked as a trauma nurse specialist, diabetes educator, nursing clinical educator, and mental health counselor. She holds Bachelors degrees in Nursing and psychology and a Masters of Science in Mental Health Counseling. In 2002, she became the first formally trained medical interpreter in northern Indiana. She was also the first medical interpreter instructor in the area and is the author of the Spanish/English text that is currently being used in her classes. She has been teaching medical interpreters for 9 years. Her text has recently been translated into Polish. Maria is also the founder and president of the Northern Indiana Medical Interpreters Association (NIMIA). Maria was raised in La Paz, Bolivia and came to the United States at the age of 20.
Ken Anders, VICE CHAIR
Ken Anders is the Chief Operating Officer for TransPerfect Remote Interpreting, Inc. His technical background began as a Sergeant in the United States Air Force in 1978. After an honorable discharge near the end of the cold war with the Soviet Union, Ken’s technical expertise grew to include technical and management positions with General Telephone of California where he developed the first of its kind automated analysis program designed to detect and identify faulty telephone systems. Following deregulation of the telephone industry in 1985, Ken worked for Hughes Aircraft Company as a Systems Engineer and then, The Walt Disney Company as a member of their Corporate Executive Team managing Disney’s voice and data communications world-wide for nearly six years.
Ken brought his expertise and background to the language interpretation services industry becoming President and CEO for CyraCom International 1997. Following this, Ken continued enhancement of his technology experience by becoming CIO for Misys Healthcare and later creating his own firm where he provided consultation to healthcare, government and business developing language access programs using technology and other resources. Ken’s passion for language access led him back to the industry in several consulting positions as well as positions with Language Line Services and finally an executive position with TransPerfect Remote Interpreting. In this position, Ken is responsible for evaluation, development and integration of leading edge solutions for the interpretation and translation service industry. He resides in Tucson, Arizona.
Nouria Belmouloud, MA
Nouria Belmouloud, BA & MA in English, Linguistics and Literature. Nouria was born and raised in Algeria. She Speaks English, French, Arabic and Berber. She moved to the US in 1996 and worked as an interpreter at Duke University Health System since 1998. She was promoted to Supervisor of International Patient Services and Language Services in 2006. She received training of trainers by CCHCP in 2000 and has since provided and facilitated a number of Bridging the Gap training sessions in the Carolinas along with her team of trainers. She is an active member of IMIA and of the Forum of Coordinators of Interpreter Services, North Carolina and South Carolina Chapter. She was recently trained to become a TeamSTEPPS LEP module trainer to endorse the involvement of medical interpreters in supporting a culture of safety for LEP patients.
David Cardona, MD, MPH, CMI-Spanish, SECRETARY
Dr. David Cardona is Language Access Coordinator for the Oregon Health Authority’s Office of Equity and Inclusion. He oversees the implementation of the Coordinated Care Organization’s law which requires each healthcare interpreter to be qualified or certified by a state approved national certification organization. In his role, Dr. Cardona’s convenes multiple state agencies, government jurisdictions, community organizations and private sector to advance Title VI of the Civil Rights Act to improve access to services for persons with limited English proficiency (LEP). His duties also include: developing technical assistance, data collection, evaluation of compliance of health systems on language access service to LEP, develops training, testing and certification policies and procedures. Dr. Cardona is developing a comprehensive Language Access Service Policy for the Oregon Health Authority and the Department of Human Services.
Dr. David Cardona holds a medical degree from the Universidad Autónoma de Santa Ana, El Salvador, and a master of public health from Portland State University. He has executive management education from Harvard University's School of Public Health and has a Scientific Degree from the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, at the University of Basel, Switzerland. Dr. Cardona’s educational background also includes coursework in training of trainers for health care interpreting professionals from the Monterey Institute of International Studies in California. He served as an adjunct instructor for the Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at Oregon Health & Science University. He now teaches Spanish for Healthcare Professionals at Oregon State University to ensure delivery of culturally and linguistically appropriate care for Spanish speaking patient.
Dr. Cardona is the co-founder and vice-president of the Oregon Health Care Interpreters Association. Their mission encourages interpreters to become nationally and state certified and assists them to get formal health care interpreting training. He is the founder and Director of Operations of Donostia D’Carmendi Consulting Group, LLC, participates in self sponsored global health missions in El Salvador, is a former member of the Advisory Board of the International Medical Interpreters Association, and continues to be a passionate advocate for the respect of civil rights of the LEP populations of the nation.
Janet Erickson-Johnson, the Certification Manager for Language Line Services and Director of Interpreter Certification for Language Line University, has overseen the development and administration of certification testing since 2000, as well as language proficiency and interpreter skills assessments through Language Line University since 2002. She has also played a lead role in the development of basic interpreter training and Medical Interpreter Training, which she has delivered in the U.S. and abroad. She holds a Masters’ Degree in Translation and Interpretation from the Monterey Institute of International Studies, where she taught Medical Interpreting, completed a Medical Interpreting Internship at Stanford University Hospital, and worked as a professional free-lance interpreter for 10 years prior to Language Line Services. In addition to being a presenter on various topics of interest to the profession at many professional interpreter conferences over the years, Janet was also an integral part of the Test Design Team that developed the National Medical Interpreter Certification Test in 2009.
Eric Hardt, MD
Dr. Eric Hardt is Associate Professor of Medicine at the Boston University School of Medicine and a member of the Geriatrics Section of the Department of Medicine at Boston Medical Center (BMC). He graduated from Yale University in 1970 and from Tufts Medical School in 1974. Prior to coming to Boston City Hospital in 1984, he worked at Harlem Hospital Center, Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, and Jacobi Hospital in the Bronx. He is board certified in Internal Medicine, Medical Oncology, Geriatrics, and Palliative Care Medicine. He remains clinically active with a diverse group of elderly patients in their homes, in the Geriatrics Clinic, and on the wards at BMC. He is an active educator of medical students, residents, fellows, and interdisciplinary staff on clinical issues in geriatrics, home care, cross-cultural medicine, language barriers, and medical interpretation.
Dr. Hardt’s activities are well known around the country. He has produced videotape and print educational materials for medical interpreters and other health care workers. He has authored chapters and articles on the bilingual medical interview and related areas. He has published on issues of exclusion of non-English-speakers from medical research, on costs and outcomes related to language, and on medical errors resulting from inadequate interpretation. He is regularly invited to speak to physicians and other providers on issues related to language barriers; he consults on educational and program development related to interpreter services.
Dr. Hardt is a founding member of the International Medical Interpreters Association and currently serves as Chair of the Providers’ Division. In 2011 he was honored as the IMIA’s inaugural Provider of the Year. He is also a founding member of the National Council on Interpretation in Health Care, has served on its Executive Board, and has co-chaired its Policy and Research Committee. For over 25 years he has served as Medical Consultant to Interpreter Services at BMC.
Samuel Pino, CMI-Spanish
Samuel Pino is the Language Access Supervisor for Salem Health in Salem, Oregon. He was born in Santo Domingo, Ecuador and was raised in the Amazon region of Ecuador. After entering medical school he realized that besides health and wellness, his real passion was for languages and cultures. What resulted was so a career change in which he became a tour guide for a successful travel agency in Quito Ecuador, quickly obtaining his certification as a national tour guide. He studied French, English and Italian, currently maintaining fluency in each (including Spanish- his native language). He moved to the U.S. in 2002. Samuel began working at Salem Hospital as a health care interpreter in 2003 and since then has been promoted to supervisor of Language Access. He holds both national and state certification as a medical interpreter. Samuel is leading his department into collaborative and innovative ventures such as a partnership with Western Oregon University to train and employ medical interpreters. He was recently appointed by the President of the state of Oregon senate as a member of the Oregon Council on Health Care Interpreters. He is passionate about mono-lingual patients having the opportunity to access quality medical care in a caring environment by providing interpretation for non-English speaking patients.
Kiara Raazi coordinated the interpreter services department at Mammoth Hospital, where he was a staff medical interpreter for seven years. In addition to being a graduate of IMIA’s inaugural Leadership Academy, he has a bachelor’s degree in Latin American studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz and a master’s degree in public administration from the Monterey Institute of International Studies. Prior to entering the medical interpreter field, Kiara worked as a language instructor in Japan and Brazil for a number of years. In addition to having studied, worked, and travelled in Latin America for over four years, Kiara spent a year in Afghanistan working with the United Nations as an information officer. He is an avid outdoor enthusiast and holds several black belts in different martial arts. Kiara was born in Pakistan to Iranian parents who raised him in California and speaks Spanish and Farsi fluently.
Linda Joyce, MS, CMI-Spanish, CERTIFICATION CONSULTANT
Linda Joyce is a Language Access Specialist and a telephone and conference interpreter. Linda presents workshops nationally and internationally on various aspects of best practices for providing competent language access. She is the IMIA West Virginia State Chapter Chair and served on the IMIA Board of Directors in 2010 and 2011. She is a member of the American Translators Association and the National Council on Interpreting in Healthcare. Linda was the former Director of Language Interpretive Services at Grady Health System in Atlanta, Georgia and has worked for 25 years as an interpreter, trainer and educator; has lived and worked in Spain, Brazil, and Portugal and speaks Spanish and Portuguese. She is an advocate for the continuing development of the medical interpreting profession and is passionate about issues related to equal access to healthcare. Linda lives on a farm in Walton, West Virginia.
Casita Negron Wild, MA, ADMINISTRATIVE MANAGER
Casita has worked on a number of research projects designed to measure health care disparities in diverse communities nationally and internationally. In 1999, Casita was part of a research team that evaluated the efficacy of Boston based community organizations servicing diverse HIV positive populations. Her passion for understanding the AIDS epidemic brought her to Cape Town, South Africa where she worked as a consultant to design and implement an HIV prevention curriculum in Pollsmore Prison.
After returning from South Africa, Casita earned a Master degree in Intercultural Relations with a focus on cultural competency in health care. In 2005 she was a training and organizational development intern at the Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA). She worked with the director of interpreter services to improve the hospitals cultural competency profile. She developed and implemented a training program for CHA interpreters designed to address issues in multicultural health care, including cultural barriers, and general access.
Casita also manages projects for the International Medical Interpreters Association. She conducted a national salary survey to document and track salary trends for medical interpreters over a five year period. Casita believes that medical interpreters are essential players to narrowing the health care disparities gap.
Beverly North, MS, REGISTRAR
Beverly North spent the first eighteen years of her life in the Denver, Colorado area, where she first learned Spanish. She met her husband, a native of Tulsa, Oklahoma, while attending Oral Roberts University, and settled down in Tulsa. While helping her husband raise two sons, she worked as an administrative assistant for various oil companies in the Tulsa area, and then became a Spanish teacher. Beverly has taught Spanish, including her own beginner's curriculum, to levels pre-school through adults in both private and public schools, and currently teaches at Tulsa Community College.
In 2007, Beverly earned her Masters of Science degree from Oklahoma State University (Stillwater) in International Studies. She has made several trips to Mexico and has studied for one summer in Costa Rica. She is one of the advisors for the Hispanic Student Association at Tulsa Community College and is active in the United Nations Association of Eastern Oklahoma. As the registrar for the National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters, she helps candidates navigate through the testing process toward national certification.
Karin Chou, MBA TESTING FACILITATOR
Karin Chou is a freelance accounting professional and has worked as an entrepreneur in technology and the private sector since 1995. Her managerial functions involve overseeing the areas of accounts receivable, accounts payable, bookkeeping, business administering, and real-time client support. She was selected to participate in the International Trade Workshop for Overseas Chinese Young Entrepreneur and completed it in June 2013. Along with her family and professional life, she continued to study and learn and earned the medical interpreter certificate from PALS for Health in Los Angeles, California during 2009. Following her heart, she is passionate about social issues and felt the tremendous need to advocate for the medical interpreting profession. Therefore she decided to dedicate her talents to this end and joined the National Board in August 2013. She assists in overseeing testing and working with candidates and the testing centers in the western half of the country. She is bilingual, and speaks, reads and writes fluently in Mandarin and English.