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August 2014 //   Connect with us: Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

CoreCHI™ Certification Opens Doors for a Refugee from Bhutan 

2014-08-damber-subba“I was two and half years old when my family had to flee Bhutan because the King deprived the ethnic Nepali minority of citizenship, forbade the use of the Nepali language, and started persecuting Nepalis,” starts his story Damber Subba, CoreCHI™.  “My family and I lived in the Beldangi II refugee camp in Nepal for 17 years, since 1991.”  In the refugee camp, Damber learned English, finished high school, and studied Physics afterwards.  His parents encouraged him and all his siblings to study hard so that they can help others.

On July 22, 2008, his family arrived to the U.S. through the refugee resettlement program of the United States Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI).  They were resettled by the International Institute of Akron, Inc. (IIA) in Ohio.  Damber decided from the very beginning that the best way to help his community thrive in the new country was to become an interpreter.  He attended English classes and completed a refugee interpreter training course at IIA.  And in 2009, he started working as an IIA interpreter.

“That’s when I began to realize that I cannot stop learning, that it’s impossible to go far in the interpreting profession without certification,” continues Damber.  “If you want to do the job right, if you want to get recognition and appreciation for your service, you must get certified! And CCHI’s CoreCHI™ certification was an easy choice for me.  It is the only national credential that is available for interpreters of any language.  It is the only certification that a refugee can achieve within a couple of years and then have a professional job that can support their family while helping the community.”

Damber was awarded the CoreCHI certification on February 4, 2013.  And within a couple of weeks, he was hired as a staff interpreter by Akron Children’s Hospital where he is currently employed.  “The CoreCHI certification opened the doors for me,” says Damber. “It allows me not only to provide the best quality interpreting service for my community, but also gives me an opportunity to mentor other interpreters.  We have several refugee communities in Akron – Burmese, Karen, Mon, Chin, Iraqi, Uzbek, etc. And I am honored to be an example of success for them as well. We all have come to the U.S. with the hope to live peaceful and productive lives, to provide safe homes for our parents and build good future for the new generations.”

This year, on May 2, Damber became citizen of the United States.  In addition to working as an interpreter, he studies Biochemistry at Kent State University.  He also volunteers for the Bhutanese Community Association of Akron, Inc., along with his older brothers Bishnu Subba (the current President of BCAA), Krishna Subba, and sister Renuka Subba.  “I want to think that my story is an ordinary story of a refugee in the U.S.  Because with the help of agencies like the International Institute of Akron, with proper professional training, any refugee who wants to be successful in the interpreting profession can achieve certification.  And with CCHI’s certification, they can be quickly employed either by a hospital or a language agency.  I know there are about 15 Nepali interpreters who have the CoreCHI credential in the U.S. now.  That’s not enough! We have 60,000 Nepali refugees here, and they all deserve the best interpreters! I hope now that CoreCHI is the full certification more refugee interpreters of any language will apply,” concludes Damber.CoreCHI logo


The CoreCHI examination is a multiple choice exam in English, available year-around, and delivered online in a secure test center environment at multiple locations throughout the U.S. To learn more about the CCHI’s certification and to apply, go to http://www.cchicertification.org/healthcare-interpreters/healthcare-interpreters. To be eligible for certification, a candidate must have proof of completing 40 hours of healthcare interpreter training before they apply.

Crosswalk: Comparing National CLAS Standards and TJC Hospital Accreditation Requirements

The Joint Commission has just released one more resource that can help hospital administrators, managers of language services, and other employers of interpreters make a business case about the value of investing in certification of interpreters.

This Crosswalk (http://www.jointcommission.org/assets/1/6/Crosswalk-_CLAS_-20140718.pdf) compares the Office of Minority Health’s National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) in Health and Health Care to The Joint Commission’s 2015 Standards for the Hospital Accreditation Program.  Each of the 15 National CLAS Standards is presented in a table format alongside the corresponding Joint Commission standards. There is not a one-to-one correlation between the National CLAS Standards and Joint Commission standards, as several of the Joint Commission’s requirements overlap with the overall intent and objective of each National CLAS Standard. 

Of most importance for interpreters is National CLAS Standard 7: “Ensure the competence of individuals providing language assistance, recognizing that the use of untrained individuals and/or minors as interpreters should be avoided.”  It finds support in several HR Standards of The Joint Commission.  For example, Standard HR.01.06.01 states, “Staff are competent to perform their responsibilities.” And Standard HR.01.02.05 requires, “The hospital verifies staff qualifications.”

Requiring staff to have CoreCHI™ and CHI™ certifications is the most efficient way to comply with both the National CLAS Standard 7 and the applicable Joint Commission requirements.  The CoreCHI™ and CHI™ certifications are national standards of professional competencies for healthcare interpreters.  They are accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).

Plan Your CHI™ Testing Now


The last testing window in 2014 for the CHI™ exam, our performance certification exam for Spanish, Mandarin and Arabic interpreters, is scheduled for October 20 – November 8.  Plan ahead and have the prerequisite CoreCHI™ exam out of the way as soon as possible. If you want to take your Spanish, Arabic or Mandarin CHI™ exam in this upcoming testing window, you need to take and pass the CoreCHI™ written exam before October 5.

Alert for Oregon interpreters – CCHI is opening a new testing center in Portland this fall! Follow our announcements on the social media. Click on the Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn icon in this newsletter or at the footer of any page on our website – www.cchicertification.org to follow us.

If you have passed your CoreCHI™ exam, click here to log into your CCHI profile and take the next steps to schedule your CHI™ exam during this testing window.  We advise you to call a testing center to schedule your exam as soon as you get your Notice to Schedule in the email.  This way you can reserve the date and time most convenient for you!     

At the same time, keep in mind that you can take the CoreCHI™ at any time throughout the year.

Please check our “Testing Centers & Schedule” web page for the test center locations near you.

CCHI Webinar Series

September 18, 2014 at 1 pm ET/ 12 pm CT/ 10 am PT

Healthcare Interpreter Training: Why do I need it? Where do I find it? How do I know it’s worth it?

“I’ve been interpreting for 15 years, I have plenty of work, and I don’t need any training.”  “I don’t have the time or money to go to conferences.” “I took this training and I still failed the certification exam.” Do these statements sound familiar? 

How do we, interpreters, navigate the world of training opportunities so that we benefit the most?  What can we do to improve the quality of trainings?  How can we plan our professional development and career?

Join us for reflection on the current state of the healthcare interpreter training.  This webinar is for interpreters who need training so that they can apply for certification and those who seek continuing education opportunities, as well as for trainers who design programs for interpreters. Space is limited.

To register for this free webinar please go to our website at http://www.cchicertification.org/news/webinar-training-2014.

Interpreter Training Billboard

Accredited Continuing Education Programs

CEAP logoThe full list of continuing education programs accredited through CEAP is available by clicking the “Find an Accredited Training Provider” blue button from any page of our website (www.CCHIcertification.org) or at https://www.ceapcchi.org/FindAProvider.  


Tennessee Association of Professional Interpreters and Translators (TAPIT) has accredited via CEAP 8 sessions of the 2014 TAPIT & TAMIT Joint Annual Conference for a total of 9 CE hours. The conference is held in Nashville on September 13-14.   You can register at www.tapit.org.


Texas Association of Healthcare Interpreters and Translators (TAHIT) has accredited via CEAP 10 sessions of its 8th Annual Symposium “Communicate, Cultivate, Collaborate: Linking Skills for Advancement,” and the advanced level workshop for a total of 14 CE hours.  The Symposium is held in San Antonio on September 5-6.  You can still register by 9/2/14 at http://tahit.us.


Medical Interpreting Training School (MITS) has accredited via CEAP 4 online training modules, each for 4 CE hours.  MITS is a convenient online platform for those busy interpreters who need to comply with their continuing education requirements, but don’t have time to attend in-person classes or access to quality training in their area. MITS also offers the minimum forty hours of training that are required in order to be eligible for certification. These classes are presented online in a state of the art, user-friendly format. All of these classes are structured to address the new CCHI requirements for continuing education.

On MITS website (http://medicalinterpretingtrainingschool.com/) you’ll find great tools and resources to prepare you to take the certification exam or to fulfill your CEUs. So, whether you’re looking for a 40-hour fundamental program or a 4-hour CEU, you will be able to achieve your learning goals at your own pace and in the comfort of your own home.


That Interpreter (Indianapolis, IN): On Saturday, October 4th, the South Eastern Medical Interpreters Association is offering two 90 minute workshops for trained interpreters at the University of Louisville, Shelby Campus in Louisville, KY.  The first workshop, “The Other Interpreter Did It”: Ethics for Interpreters, will begin at 9:15am, and the second workshop, Interpreting in Mental Health: The Basics, will begin at 11:15am.  Fee per workshop is $40, and workshop size is limited to 20.  Both workshops are approved for CE hours through the CEAP and are taught by Liz Essary, CHI™, Supervisor of Language Services at Indiana University Health in Indianapolis.  Go to www.semia.org for more information and to register.


Prerequisite Beginner-level Programs

The listing of the training opportunities in this section is sponsored by the training providers.  CCHI does not accredit, preapprove or endorse beginner-level programs. For more information about beginner-level programs, visit our website at http://www.cchicertification.org/prepare-for-your-exam/prerequisite-programs.

Bridging the Gap™ in Kansas City, 2014-15

Bridging the Gap™ is a well-known forty-hour training course in healthcare interpreting. Course objectives are to be able 1) to understand and apply the Interpreter’s Code of Ethics; 2) to demonstrate the appropriate roles of an interpreter; 3) to demonstrate the modes of interpreting; 4) to demonstrate knowledge of cultural competency practices; and  5) to demonstrate knowledge of basic medical terms.  The course is presented by Jewish Vocational Service (JVS) and taught by Raul O. Guerrero at two sites in Kansas City: The Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center in Kansas City, Missouri and Donnelly College in Kansas City, Kansas. Participants will take a final exam on the last day of class. A certificate of completion is awarded based on attendance and a passing score on the final exam.

For more information, contact Catherine Anderson, Manager of Language and Cultural Services, JVS at 816-471-2808, Ex. 1124 or email her at canders@jvskc.org

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The Language Initiatives Program (New York, NY) at the Immigrant Health and Cancer Disparities Service of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center offers an array of innovative and highly interactive trainings for interpreters, providers, and patients. Our student-centered medical interpreting courses encourage active and creative participation. Students act as providers, patients, and interpreters as they explore the role and the ethics of the interpreter in a healthcare setting and learn about the complexities of the biomedical culture through a collection of nationally recognized videos presented as case studies. Students are required to submit voice recording interpreting assignments of medical exchanges that resemble real life encounters and receive timely and structured feedback from our language coaches. They also have access to a wealth of resources on our website, including bilingual glossaries and local and national interpreter organizations dedicated to the growth of the profession. Our students acquire the cultural and linguistic competencies to seamlessly facilitate clear and cohesive patient-provider communication.

Founded by a medical doctor in 1989, our Program is staffed with linguists certified as interpreters by CCHI and medical researchers. We have trained over 2,000 individuals in more than 20 languages and host the Program for Medical Interpreting Services and Education, PROMISE (a highly popular NYC based training and employment program for interpreters). We offer: Medical Interpreter Training (Consecutive and/or Simultaneous), including Dual Role; Preparation Workshops for the CCHI Examinations; an Online Practicum through our Multilingual Virtual Language Lab (VITAL); Interpreter Screening and Evaluation, among others. We also train providers and health care staff on how to effectively work with medical interpreters. Courses can be held on-site, at the provider facilities or online. All our trainings include a language specific component.

For additional information visit us at http://www.mskcc.org/research/immigrant-health-disparities-service/eliminating-language-cultural-barriers-care, and/or contact: Javier González at gonzalc3@mskcc.org.

Talk with Commissioners!

Take advantage of the opportunity to meet our Commissioners and learn more about CCHI at the following conferences:

8th Annual TAHIT Educational Symposium, September 5-6, 2014, San Antonio, TX, - let’s talk about the new developments  and have fun together! If you are certified, stop by our table to pick up a free CHI™ lapel pin.

This email was sent by CCHI Commissioners at 1725 I Street NW - Suite 300, Washington, DC, 20006, United States.

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