Opening Remarks

Melissa Kam,Manager of Hospital Operations at Memorial Hermann – Texas Medical Center in Houston, Texas.

In her role, she oversees the operations of Interpreter Services, Signature Suites and Services, and Breaking New Ground, a $650M expansion and renovation project.She earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management from Texas A&M University and a Master of Science in Healthcare Administration from Trinity University in San Antonio. After completing her undergraduate degree, she joined TIRR Memorial Hermann as a unit clerk and staffing coordinator. She returned to Houston during the last year of her graduate degree as an Administrative Fellow at Memorial Hermann – Texas Medical Center. During her fellowship, Melissa was asked to be project lead for Breaking New Ground.

Mila Golovine,President and CEO, MasterWord Services, Inc.

A graduate of the first entrepreneurship class of the Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship at the Bauer College of Business at the University of Houston, Ludmila (Mila) Rusakova Golovine 22 years later runs the business that she presented in her class business plan. MasterWord Services has grown into a multi-million dollar company which has obtained the prestigious ISO 9001:2008 certification and has been recognized as a Top 100 Woman-owned business in Texas and a Top 500 Woman-owned business in the United States (DiversityBusiness.com) as well as ranked as one of the “10 Largest Language Services Providers in North America” and one of the “50 Largest Language Services Providers Worldwide” (Common Sense Advisory)Golovine is recognized nationally and internationally for her innovative management processes and industry-leading client solutions. She has groomed MasterWord Services’ scope and capabilities for two decades as a professional translator, interpreter, and business leader. Mila understands the complexities of the global marketplace and gives her teams the tools to hone razor-sharp plans of action that generate successful results. She excels at providing her clients international business solutions based on creative thinking and strategic planning.Originally from the former Soviet Union, Rusakova Golovine is an alumnus of the University of Houston and the Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship at the Bauer College of Business. Golovine is honored to be featured on the Bloomberg BusinessWeek profile of her alma mater as a most prominent alumni.

Houston’s Present is America’s Future: Tracking the Demographic Transformations through 34 Years of Houston Surveys

Dr. Stephen Klienberg,Co-Director, Rice University Kinder Institute for Urban Research

A graduate of Haverford College, Stephen Klineberg received an M.A. in Psychopathology from the University of Paris and a Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Harvard. After teaching at Princeton, he joined Rice University’s Sociology Department in 1972. The recipient of twelve major teaching awards, including the George R. Brown Lifetime Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Piper Professor Award, he is a faculty associate and divisional advisor at Lovett College, where he twice served as Interim Master.His wife, Margaret, is a practicing attorney. They have two children and five grandchildren, three of whom are currently Rice undergraduates.In March 1982, he and his students initiated the annual “Kinder Institute Houston Area Survey,” now in its 33rd year of tracking the remarkable changes in the demographic patterns, economic outlooks, experiences, and beliefs of Harris County residents. No other metropolitan region in America has been the focus of a long-term longitudinal research program of this scope. Houston recovered from the oil boom collapse in the early 1980s to find itself squarely in the midst of the new restructured economy and an accelerating demographic revolution. No city more clearly exemplifies the transformations that are refashioning the social and political landscape across all of urban America.The research has attracted great interest and generous support from foundations, corporations, and individuals in the wider Houston community and beyond. That support has made it possible not only to fund the annual surveys, but also to expand their reach with additional “oversample” interviews in Houston’s Anglo, African-American, and Latino communities, and to undertake more focused surveys on health, education, and the arts in the Houston area (the SHEA studies). In 1995, 2002, and 2011, the project reached large representative samples from Houston’s varied Asian communities as well, with one-fourth of the interviews conducted in Vietnamese, Cantonese, Mandarin, or Korean. Beginning with the 2012 study, the annual surveys are now reaching residents from the entire nine-county Houston metropolitan region.Co-author of The Present of Things Future: Explorations of Time in Human Experience, Klineberg has written numerous articles and appears frequently on radio and television, and in the print and socialmedia. A much sought-after speaker, he is completing a series of published reports (and soon, a book) on this ongoing research, while also serving as the founding co-director of Rice University’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research.

Building a Globally Welcoming City

Terence O’Neill,Division Manager, Office of International Communities,Department of Neighborhoods, City of Houston

O’Neill’s team promotes their well-being and connectedness and facilitates their successful civic, economic and cultural integration in Houston.Under O’Neill’s leadership, the City of Houston has emerged as an international destination, sparked with the initiation of a park at the Houston Dynamo Stadium honoring the Sister Cities of Houston. O’Neill’s team also has successfully brought together Houston’s diplomatic community, utilizing the sporting world in hosting two World Cup-related events.O’Neill has worked closely with former Mexican President Vicente Fox and former U. S. Secretary of State James Baker, alongside the World Affairs Council of Houston, to develop the www.GlobalHouston.org Web site that serves as a portal for Houston’s international community. The site was awarded by Leadership Houston for its extraordinary contributions toward the betterment of life in the greater Houston area.Additionally, he was instrumental in Houston signing trade agreements with Chiba, Japan and Mexico. In his latest project with the Office of International Communities, his top priorities include continuing to elevate Houston as an international city and raise awareness of the issues of Human Trafficking. Through promotion of the Global Houston Web site as Houston’s international portal, he hopes to build synergy throughout Houston’s international population.O’Neill studied Philosophy at the University of Houston-Downtown and the University of St. Thomas and is currently pursuing a master’s degree at Rice University

Accreditation Standards and Language Access: Improving LEP Patient Centered Communication; Lessons Learned from Joint Commission Surveys

Dr. Christina L. Cordero, PhD, MPH,Associate Project Director, Dept. of Standards and Survey Methods,Division of Healthcare Quality Evaluation, The Joint Commission

Dr. Cordero is focused on standards development projects for the hospital and laboratory accreditation programs. She developed the patient-centered communication standards and The Joint Commission monograph Advancing Effective Communication, Cultural Competence, and Patient- and Family-Centered Care: A Roadmap for Hospitals. Dr. Cordero has also provided research and technical support to The Joint Commission’s Hospitals, Language, and Culture: A Snapshot of the Nation study, and she is a contributing author of One Size Does Not Fit All: Meeting the Health Care Needs of Diverse Populations.Prior to joining The Joint Commission, Dr. Cordero conducted basic science and public health research at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. Dr. Cordero earned her Doctor of Philosophy in Immunology and Microbial Pathogenesis, and her Master of Public Health degrees from Northwestern University, Chicago, IL.

Equity and Inclusion: Reducing the Cost of Health Care Through Language Access

David Cardona, MD, MPH, UPAS, CMI,Language Access Coordinator, Oregon Health Authority,Office of Equity and Inclusion, State of Oregon

Dr. Cardona convenes multiple state agencies, government jurisdictions, community organizations and private sector representatives to advance Title VI of the Civil Rights Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act to improve access to services for persons with limited English proficiency (LEP) and with disabilities.Dr. David Cardona holds a medical degree from the Universidad Autónoma de Santa Ana, El Salvador, a Master of Public Health from Portland State University, and a Scientific Degree from the University of Basel, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute in Switzerland. He has executive management education from the School of Public Health at Harvard University and coursework in training of trainers for health care interpreting professionals from the Monterey Institute of International Studies in California. Dr. Cardona is the co-founder and former vice-president of the Oregon Health Care Interpreters Association, he promotes certification and training of health care interpreters. He is also a nationally recognized lecturer in language access services, and a civil rights advocate for the protection of LEP populations of the nation.

Educational Innovation: Teaching Medical Students About Interpreting Interventions

Todd Agan,Lead Interpreter, Division of Hospitalist Medicine,UT Health Science Center

Todd began interpreting professionally in 1994 and received his Bachelors Degree in ASL/English Interpretation from Western Oregon State College in 1996. In 1999, he began his medical interpreting training by designing an independent study/professional mentorship in Minneapolis, MN, through the College of St. Catherines. Since that time, Todd has spent the majority of his career focused on working in medical settings, specifically interpreting for deaf healthcare providers. His other professional commitments include mentoring interpreters, teaching both in the continuing education realm as well as in the local interpreter training program, and consulting regarding interpreting for deaf medical professionals.Seeing the medical environment in a unique way, Todd realizes that there is much more to medical interpreting than just interpreting. Strong ethics, a working knowledge of medical terminology, understanding the American healthcare system, and how interpreters in medical settings play a role in public health are all issues that Todd feels every interpreter working in a medical setting should understand. Additionally, Todd spends time working as a performing arts interpreter and is a 2002 graduate of the Juilliard Schools Interpreting for the Theater summer workshop.

Administrators Track

Joint Commission Standards and Recommendations for Hospitals; Attaining and maintaining compliance for communication with LEP patients

Dr. Christina L. Cordero, PhD, MPH,
Associate Project Director, Dept. of Standards and Survey Methods,
Division of Healthcare Quality Evaluation, The Joint Commission

Dr. Cordero is focused on standards development projects for the hospital and laboratory accreditation programs. She developed the patient-centered communication standards and The Joint Commission monograph Advancing Effective Communication, Cultural Competence, and Patient- and Family-Centered Care: A Roadmap for Hospitals. Dr. Cordero has also provided research and technical support to The Joint Commission’s Hospitals, Language, and Culture: A Snapshot of the Nation study, and she is a contributing author of One Size Does Not Fit All: Meeting the Health Care Needs of Diverse Populations.

Prior to joining The Joint Commission, Dr. Cordero conducted basic science and public health research at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. Dr. Cordero earned her Doctor of Philosophy in Immunology and Microbial Pathogenesis, and her Master of Public Health degrees from Northwestern University, Chicago, IL.

Exploring the Availability of Reimbursement for Language Access

Jeanette Anders,
International Medical Interpreters Association (IMIA)

UK born, resided in Italy and Germany, Jeanette is a longtime advocate for professional medical interpreters and an IMIA member since 1999 with extensive experience working with public, private and non-profit sectors.
Jeanette’s background includes conception, development and execution of linguistic and cultural programs within healthcare specifically to help align with quality standards, legal and regulatory compliance.

Jeanette developed the entire sales and marketing strategy for the healthcare sector for two leading language service companies, CyraCom International and Language Line Services. She developed strategic partnerships with multiple state hospital associations and group purchasing organizations creating a double digit multi-million dollar business unit. She also co-developed that nation’s first national certification for medical interpreters.

Jeanette has been an active Board member of CHIA; a State Representative for IMIA, and National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters Director. She has participated in committees for NCIHC, VOL and ATI and also serves SAI Global for HIPAA to help organizations manage risk, achieve compliance and drive business improvement. Her board experience ranges from governance to bylaw development, management and development.

In her capacity as a board of committee member, Jeanette developed a forte for fundraising through donor identification and cultivation as well as grant writing.

She also has significant experience in event planning, marketing PR, social media and special event planning and management for association, conferences and created the Festival of Cultures.
She is recognized as an effective collaborator with high standards of practice and keen ability to work with diverse stakeholders, apply creative problem solving and diplomacy to diverse viewpoints to serve the good of the field.

Steven Wolfe,
Principal, Cardinal Point Partners, LLC, Washington, DC

Steven Wolfe has over three decades of experience in government and public affairs. He is co-founder of Cardinal Point Partners, a government relations and federal marketing firm in Washington, DC. He has represented clients before Congress and the Executive Branch since 1997, almost all of it as head of his own firm. He provides management consulting and representation to companies and universities as they seek policy support and business opportunities with the federal government. His practice specializes in the defense, medical technology, healthcare, and energy industries. His firm’s work in the field of medical interpretation includes its representation of the International Medical Interpreters Association in Washington, DC from 2009-2011.

From 1993 through 1997 he served as military legislative assistant and senior advisor for defense policy to Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA). In this position he supported the Senator in his role as a senior member of the Armed Services Committee and as Chairman of its Subcommittee on Seapower, and advocated for Massachusetts industry in its work with the Department of Defense. Prior to his service with Senator Kennedy, Wolfe conducted research on national security affairs at the Henry L. Stimson Center, a policy research organization in Washington, DC, where he focused on the roles and missions of the US armed forces and confidence-building measures in Latin America. Previously he was a research analyst at the Brookings Institution, where he was staff to Alice Rivlin, Gen. David Jones (USAF-ret.), and Gen. Eugene Meyer (USA-ret.) on a study of U.S. security policy after the cold war.

Wolfe is a cum laude graduate of Harvard College, and received his masters in international affairs from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. Wolfe is a founding board member of Partners for International Development, a non-profit organization that develops healthcare infrastructure in central and Southwest Asia.

Building a Language Access Program From the Ground Up

Eber Lopez, MBA,

Eber Lopez is a senior level executive with extensive expertise in metrics and evaluation methods used to gauge the effectiveness of programs, processes and initiatives. He has spent the last 16 years establishing himself as a subject matter expert in workforce and client relationship development. Using these abilities, he has been able to streamline business process, develop and create programs and initiatives, improve day to day operations, forecast business needs while ensuring the organization meets their milestones and objectives. He has an exceptional ability to facilitate cohesive teams, interface with public agencies and liaise with key stakeholders.

Prior to joining MasterWord in January 2015, he was the Director, Patient Communication and Experience Evaluation for University Health Systems in San Antonio TX, where he oversaw the University Health Systems comprehensive program to measure and evaluate the consumer, employee and physicians experience across all areas of the organization, assuring survey tools complied with the Centers of Medicaid and Medicare Consumer Assessments of Health Providers and Systems (CAHPS) requirements and met Joint Commission standards. He also coordinated system initiative and developed training initiatives for 25 facilities. During his career history, Eber has also held positions at University of Texas – Medical Branch Galveston, Memorial Hermann Healthcare Systems – Southeast Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine.

In 2003, Eber obtained an undergraduate degree from University of Houston. He later went on to obtain a Masters’ degree in Business Administration from the University of Houston, Clear Lake and is a member of the Texas Gulf Coast Chapter HFMA (Healthcare Financial Management Association).

Nurses Track

Enhancing the Patient Experience through Language Access and Cultural Competency

Mila Golovine,
President and CEO, MasterWord Services, Inc.

A graduate of the first entrepreneurship class of the Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship at the Bauer College of Business at the University of Houston, Ludmila (Mila) Rusakova Golovine 22 years later runs the business that she presented in her class business plan. MasterWord Services has grown into a multi-million dollar company which has obtained the prestigious ISO 9001:2008 certification and has been recognized as a Top 100 Woman-owned business in Texas and a Top 500 Woman-owned business in the United States (DiversityBusiness.com) as well as ranked as one of the “10 Largest Language Services Providers in North America” and one of the “50 Largest Language Services Providers Worldwide” (Common Sense Advisory)

Golovine is recognized nationally and internationally for her innovative management processes and industry-leading client solutions. She has groomed MasterWord Services’ scope and capabilities for two decades as a professional translator, interpreter, and business leader. Mila understands the complexities of the global marketplace and gives her teams the tools to hone razor-sharp plans of action that generate successful results. She excels at providing her clients international business solutions based on creative thinking and strategic planning.

Originally from the former Soviet Union, Rusakova Golovine is an alumnus of the University of Houston and the Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship at the Bauer College of Business. Golovine is honored to be featured on the Bloomberg BusinessWeek profile of her alma mater as a most prominent alumni.

Working with Interpreters to Improve the Patient Experience

Priscilla Chavez, RN,
Nurse Educator and Spanish Interpreter, University Health Systems

Ms. Priscilla Chávez, is a staff nurse with six years of clinical nursing experience in direct patient care and two years of experience as a nurse educator in the ambulatory care setting. Priscilla graduated with her BSN from the University of the Incarnate Word nursing program, and upon graduating, she immediately accepted a position in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit at University Hospital. As a staff nurse, Priscilla participated in many efforts to help assist in the University Health System Magnet journey, which include participating in a task force that redesigned the professional practice model and the clinical advancement program.

Priscilla went on to obtain her MSN from Texas Woman’s University focusing on Nursing Education. As a nurse educator in the ambulatory care setting Priscilla helped to develop a training program for nursing staff that became known as Ambulatory Clinical Orientation. Ms. Chavez is currently adjunct faculty for San Antonio College’s nursing department, where she teaches Maternal-Child clinicals. As an educator she realized that her true passion was in the clinical setting providing direct patient care.
In addition to her clinical responsibilities, Priscilla is also a CPR instructor, Neonatal Resuscitation Program instructor, a Child Passenger Safety Technician, and a trained medical interpreter. Ms. Chavez is a member of Sigma Theta Tau National Nursing Honor Society Beta-Beta chapter in Dallas and a member of the National Association of Neonatal Nurses.

Diversity and Inclusion as it Relates to Language Access Across the Institution

Patricia Mayers,
Diversity and Inclusion Administration, Parkland Hospital

Patricia Mayers is the Inclusion and Diversity Administrator at Parkland Health and Hospital System in Dallas, TX. In this role, she is the designated administrator for coordinating Parkland’s inclusion and diversity strategy. In her current role, Mrs. Mayers works directly with the Chief Diversity Officer to implement workforce diversity and inclusion initiatives at Parkland.

She acts as a thought leader and champion in the design and implementation of innovative diversity strategies and is a key consultant in the development of the organization’s diversity education curriculum. Prior to joining Parkland, Ms. Mayers managed Diversity and Inclusion programs for more than 20,000 employees at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas.

She was the program lead, providing leadership and direction to the organization’s Diversity Council and employee resource groups. She was also responsible for MD Anderson’s affirmative action plan program, its development and implementation. With more than 15 years of experience managing diversity and inclusion she is known for integrating diversity, inclusion, and cultural competence into the fabric of healthcare organizations. She is experienced with workshops on Diversity and Inclusion, LGBT Patient Centered Outcomes, and panel roles with the American College of Healthcare Executives.

As a member of the Society for Human Resource Management’s Diversity and Inclusion taskforce, she works with national diversity and inclusion leaders in developing national standards for diversity practitioners. She has been listed in Who’s Who of American Women. Mrs. Mayers received her Masters of Business Administration and Bachelors in Health Studies with a concentration in Community Health from Texas Woman’s University. She is also a Certified Diversity Professional/Advanced Practitioner (CCDP/AP) from Cornell University in New York.

Interpreters Track

Interpreter Ethics Forum and Case Study Review

(Moderator) Linda Joyce, M.S., CMI-Spanish,

is a professional language access consultant and medical interpreter certification subject matter expert. Linda also continues to engage as a medical interpreter, interpreter trainer to stay current and aware of the changing landscape in the field and also in the delivery of language services.Linda was the former Director of Language Interpretive Services at Grady Health System in Atlanta, GA where she helped develop a professional, multi-service language services department. Linda has presented workshops nationally and internationally on aspects of best practices for providing linguistically and culturally competent language services. She was one of the core team members who developed and implemented the first national certification for medical interpreters and previously served as the Executive Director of the National Board.Linda is the West Virginia State Chapter Chair of the IMIA and also a member of the ATA and NCIHC. Linda has lived and worked in Spain, Brazil and Mexico and was a former Gulbenkian scholar in Lisbon, Portugal.

Natalya Mytareva,

a Russian interpreter/translator, CCHI’s Managing Director and one of the founding Commissioners, started her career as instructor of various Russian/English interpretation and translation courses at Volgograd State University (Russia) in 1991. From 2000 to 2013, she was Communications Director at the International Institute of Akron, a non-profit refugee resettlement agency in Ohio.Locally, she is actively involved in issues of equal access to health care for refugees. Natalya is the author and instructor of various courses for interpreters of languages of lesser diffusion. Natalya has delivered a variety of presentations for healthcare and social service providers on cultural competence, working with interpreters and serving newly resettled refugee populations. She holds a combined BA/MA degree from Volgograd State University in Philology and Teaching English as a Foreign Language.

Maria Schwieter, RN, CHI,

is the Secretary for the National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters. Maria also works as the staff medical interpreter and trainer at IU La Porte Hospital where she has worked as a trauma nurse specialist, diabetes educator, nursing clinical educator, and mental health counselor. Maria holds a Bachelor degree in Nursing and psychology and a Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling.In 2002, Maria 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. Maria has been teaching medical interpreters for 15 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 theage of 20.

Sharon Grigsby Hill,

has been a freelance sign language interpreter for over 19 years and is currently the Program Coordinator in the American Sign Language Interpreting program. She graduated from Houston Community College’s Interpreter Training Program, after which she obtained a Bachelor’s degree from UH-Victoria and an MBA from Texas Women’s University. Her specialty is receptive interpreting (voicing), interpreting in for platform/lecture events, post-secondary education, mental health facilities, and drug & alcohol rehabilitation. Sharon is a Master Level interpreter, which is the highest level of interpreting certification awarded by Texas Board for Evaluators of Interpreters (BEI). Currently, she serves as Chair on the State BEI Advisory Board which advises the State regarding the application of rules, policies and procedures as they relate to certified sign language interpreters, and evaluates and certifies interpreters to work in the State of Texas.

Esther Diaz,

is a self-employed translator and interpreter trainer who serves as the Vice-Chair of the Advisory Committee on Qualifications for Translators and Interpreters in Texas, was a founding member of the Texas Association of Healthcare Interpreters and Translators and former Medical Division Administrator for the American Translators Association. She has served in a variety of capacities with the Austin Area Translators and Interpreters Association, and the National Council on Interpreting in Health Care. She learned Spanish while living and studying in Mexico for ten years and is certified by the American Translators Association for translation from Spanish to English and from English to Spanish. Esther worked as an in-house medical translator, disability examiner, and training director for the Texas Rehabilitation Commission and taught medical terminology there for 19 years. She has more than 30 years of experience as a medical translator and trainer.A co-founder of the Austin Area Translators and Interpreters Association, Esther also created the seven-course Translation and Interpretation Certificate Program at Austin Community College. She has taught interpreter workshops for refugee resettlement agencies throughout Texas and is an adjunct faculty member of Austin Community College. Esther received her Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and Master of Education in Adult Education and Human Resource Development Leadership from the University of Texas at Austin.

Billy Collins,

has a solid background in deafness, interpreting, management and the provision of video relay services. He has an extensive experience in providing services for individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing, experienced in planning, procuring, managing and providing services on the local, state-wide and national levels.  He has also managed and then advised statewide interpreter assessment program and helped to implement statewide legal certification requirements.  As well as established statewide interpreter services programs, Hard of Hearing Services programs, programs for deaf senior citizens,  programs for deaf children and adults.  He has established a statewide telephone equipment distribution program and was a founding member of the Telecommunications Equipment Distribution Program Association (TEDPA). Mr. Collins has extensive legislative and advocacy experience, skilled in developing and implementing standardized policies and procedures, setting up programs and projects as well as providing on-going training and support. He is a founding member and officer of RID Interpreters with Deaf Parents (IDP) sig. President of CODA International 2013-2015 and board member since 2013.

Interpreter Ethics Forum and Case Study Review

(Moderator) Manuel Higginbotham, CHI™, CMI,

Manuel Higginbotham is a language professional with a passion for advocating on behalf of the Limited English Proficient community. He has leadership experience in VRI, OPI, and hospitals, as well having owned his own and language consulting and training company. More than 40 hospitals across the US have relied on his expertise in developing language access plans and training interpreters. Manuel oversees the Language Access Services Department at the University Medical Center Brackenridge in Austin. He is a certified instructor for the Bridging the Gap curriculum and provides CEU trainings for interpreters and preparation courses for national certification. He sits on the Texas Advisory Committee on Qualifications for Health Care Translators and Interpreters and currently serves as the president of TAHIT. In his spare time, you can find him playing volleyball or watching his alma mater, The Ohio State University, become national football champs!

Cristina Helmerichs,

Cristina Helmerichs D. has more than 25 years of interpreting and translation experience is a double AA (English-Spanish) conference and judicial interpreter that is certified by the Administrative Office for the US Court and by the National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators (NAJIT). She has served as an at-large member of American Translators Association Board of Directors, and presently she is Chair of the Interpretation Policy Advisory Committee. Ms. Helmerichs has also served Chair of the Texas Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators. Previously, she was a member of the NAJIT Board of Directors first serving as Treasurer and then as Chair. In 2001/2002, as a member of ATA’s Interpretation Advisory Panel, Cristina represented ATA and NAJIT as a technical advisor to the European Union’s Grotius II Project that was charged with developing judicial interpretation protocols for use in EU legal and administrative matters. Besides working as a successful free-lance interpreter and translator, Ms. Helmerichs is a recognized trainer in the field of court interpreter as well as a consultant to the National Center for State Courts’ Federal Court Interpreters Certification Program and as a trainer during some of the National Center’s annual state courts meetings.

Esther M. Navarro-Hall,

is the owner of 1Culture (www.1culture.net), an interpreting, training and consulting company. She is an Adjunct Professor at the Monterey Institute of International Studies (MIIS, now the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey), where she teaches Conference Interpreting (EN>ES, FR>ES) and Court Interpreting (EN<>ES). She holds a B.A. from Southwestern University in French and German Literature, and an M.A. in Conference Interpretation from MIIS. She has worked as a freelancer in the Conference, Court, Medical and Community specialties for the past 30 years. Ms. Navarro-Hall provides training for interpreters and interpreter trainers at a national and international level. She is a pioneer in online training, practical technologies and social media for interpreters. She is also the creator of the Sim-Consec™ method (an innovative combination of two interpreting skills plus various digital technologies), and has taught it to hundreds of interpreters around the world. She is a Federally-certified Court Interpreter and a State-certified Court and Medical Interpreter (CA). In addition, she has interpreted for the U.S. State Department and is an ATA-certified EN>ES Translator. Ms. Navarro-Hall is currently the Chair of the National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators (NAJIT).

Sherri Roberts,

Sherril Roberts holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry and Biology Education, a Masters Degree in Educational Psychology and has been a certified ASL/English interpreter since 1989. She currently holds Texas BEI Master and Court Certification in addition to her national RID Certificate of Interpreting and Certificate of Transliterating. Sherri owns and operates SLIS, LLC, a sign language interpreting agency in College Station, TX wher she routinely interprets high stakes medical and legal appointments. She was recently appointed to serve on the BEI Advisory Board which oversees sign language interpreting certification in Texas. Sherri has spent decades presenting interpreter training workshops and mentoring interpreters, and is always happy to share her knowledge and experiences in hopes that other can learn from them.

Closing Remarks

Melissa Kam,
Manager of Hospital Operations at Memorial Hermann – Texas Medical Center in Houston, Texas.

In her role, she oversees the operations of Interpreter Services, Signature Suites and Services, and Breaking New Ground, a $650M expansion and renovation project.

She earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management from Texas A&M University and a Master of Science in Healthcare Administration from Trinity University in San Antonio. After completing her undergraduate degree, she joined TIRR Memorial Hermann as a unit clerk and staffing coordinator. She returned to Houston during the last year of her graduate degree as an Administrative Fellow at Memorial Hermann – Texas Medical Center. During her fellowship, Melissa was asked to be project lead for Breaking New Ground.