Temporary Transition to Remote Interpreting During Health Emergencies: Guidance and Tips for Language Access Stakeholders

with Wilma Alvarado-Little, MA MSW (moderator), Nick Arce, MA, MS, CHI, CPXP (presenter), and Jody Prysock, MS, CI (presenter)

Recording now available!

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 Cost
Free for NCIHC members
$30 for non-members

Webinar Q&A Responses (PDF)

Presentation Slides

NCIHC has been monitoring developments of the coronavirus, COVID-19 that has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. Healthcare organizations and interpreters are suddenly found in a situation with face-to-face interpreting may need to be done via telephonic or video interpreting. We brought together specialists in both signed and spoken language interpreting on how to make a temporary transition to these platforms. As disruptions continue to happen, we hope to bring you a webinar that will help stakeholders to assure language access. We will continue to stay abreast of what is happening and address issues as possible regarding the impact to all stakeholders, from healthcare providers to interpreters. 

Webinar Description

Providing interpreting services during times of crisis, specifically in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, is a shared priority among all language access stakeholders - interpreters, managers, interpreter referral agencies, patients, and healthcare providers. Delivering interpreting services via remote modalities offers one possible solution to minimize the risk of exposure and transmission of contagions. In this presentation, the panelists will address practical areas of concern and consideration for all stakeholders when transitioning from an on-site model to a remote model for interpreter services. The presentation will focus on delivery of both spoken and signed languages and include a moderated Q&A to address attendees' questions and concerns as best possible.

  1. Guidance for interpreter services managers and agencies on how to set up an emergency call center for Over-the-Phone Interpreting (OPI) and/or Video Remote Interpreting (VRI) and how to support staff interpreters in this transition
  2. Guidance for interpreters on transitioning from in-person to remote to make their service delivery smooth and less stressful, especially for those who have never done remote interpreting before
  3. Tips for healthcare providers in working with remote interpreters and strategies to ensure effective communication when adapting to the transition 

About the Presenters

Ms. Alvarado-Little joined the New York State Department of Health as Associate Commissioner and Director of the Department’s Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities Prevention in July 2017.  She has focused on health equity issues from a linguistic and cultural perspective in addition to her interests in public policy, research, health literacy and health disparities prevention. She has been instrumental in the development and implementation of hospital and clinic based programs and is a healthcare interpreter and trainer with over 30 years’ experience in the healthcare field. She is the former Co-chair of the Board of the National Council on Interpreting in Health Care, serves as a member of the National Project Advisory Committee for the Review of the CLAS Standards, HHS Office of Minority Health, and has served as a  member of the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine Roundtable on Health Literacy and immediate past Chair of the New York State Office of Mental Health Multicultural Advisory Committee. She also serves on various boards, at the state and local levels, which address multicultural and language access issues.  She has a Master Arts degree in Spanish Literature and a Master’s in Social Welfare.

Nick Arce is a Certified Healthcare Interpreter and Certified Patient Experience Professional who works as the Director of Patient Experience Program at MemorialCare Long Beach Medical Center and Miller Children’s and Women’s Hospital. He provides strategic vision and oversight for the following areas: Patient Relations, Interpreter Services, PBX Communications, Service Excellence, and Volunteer Services. In this role, Nick collaborates with hospital leadership to ensure patient and family centered care and reduce language barriers. Throughout the past decade, Nick has served as a Board Member for the California Healthcare Interpreting Association (CHIA) and has taught translation and interpreting at California State University, Fullerton, Denver University, University of California, Irvine and Spanish at Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science. He holds a Master of Business Administration, Master of Arts in Spanish Linguistics and Literature, Master of Library and Information Science, and Bachelor of Arts in Translation and Interpretation Studies. 

Jody Prysock is a nationally certified sign language interpreter and the owner of JP Communication Access Services, LLC.  In addition to her interpreting, she is an advocate for access to effective communication in healthcare settings for all Deaf, deaf, DeafBlind, and hard-of-hearing patients/families, and their healthcare providers.  She consults with hospitals, private offices, and other medical facilities to facilitate and support a change of culture, policy and practice when delivering care to these populations.  Jody is also co-author of the "Guide for Effective Communicating in Healthcare Settings” and the Communication Access Plan (CAP) for the Hearing Loss Association for America, which address the communication needs of deaf and hard of hearing people who do not use sign language and who rely on other auxiliary aids and services to achieve effective communication with their healthcare providers.