Sixth National Conference on Quality Health Care for Culturally Diverse Populations: Main Conference Concurrent Workshops Advancing Interpreter Training and Services Through Cooperation

E-3 Regional collaborations to improve access to language services and interpreter training and support

Advancing Interpreter Training and Services Through Cooperation
Wednesday, September 24, 2008: 10:45 AM-12:15 PM, Minn Marriott, 8th Floor - Excelsior/Lafayette
Since 2004, the MN Interpreting Stakeholder Group (ISG) has successfully worked together with health and human service providers, hospitals, health plans, interpreters, interpreter agencies, state agencies, state & private university systems, and others to create a common ground for analysis and understanding of interpreter issues. The ISG mission is to improve the delivery of spoken language interpreter services in Minnesota, and to promote the professionalization of the interpreting industry as a whole. The ultimate goal is to achieve equal access to health care and human services for limited English proficient populations. The current priorities of the work plan include developing a spoken language registry, increasing opportunities for training, and collaborating with other state and national partners in advancing the interpreter profession.
The ISG will describe its accomplishments in sponsoring and implementing interpreter training throughout the state, laying the foundation for establishing a statewide health care interpreter registry, advocacy for public policy addressing interpreter qualifications and standards, and collaborating with other states and at the national level to establish a certification process for health care interpreters.
We will discuss lessons learned to date and how participants can apply this partnership model in their own settings. Some of the lessons learned include:  
-It is essential to establish trust among diverse members of the stakeholder group,
-Must be willing to take on challenging issues even though consensus may be difficult to achieve,
-Need to emphasize common ground while working out differing view points on how to address the complex layers of improving interpreter training and service delivery,
-Having representatives from diverse public and private sectors at the table allows us to identify and address system issues in training and services.
  • Interpreting Stakeholders Group desc 08.doc (40.5 kB)
  • 2008 ISG blueandwhite48x96poster (2).pdf (125.1 kB)
  • ISG PP Sept 24 2008.pdf (571.4 kB)
  • Presentation Information:

    Program: Main Conference Concurrent Workshops
    Primary Category: Language Access
    Subtopics: Interpreter services—development and management, Interpreter training, assessment and certification, State, Standards (performance, organizational)

    Region Addressed by Presentation: US - Midwest
    Organization: Non-Profit Organization/Association
    Population/Demographic: Limited English Proficient populati
    Keywords: interpreter training, interpreter services, collaboration

    Veronica Newington, MA , University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
      Associate Director of Program in Translation and Interpreting
      University of Minnesota
      101 Westbrook Hall
      77 Pleasant Street SE
      Minneapolis MN, USA 55455

      Phone: 612-626-4898
      Email Address:

      Biographical Sketch:
      Veronica Newington has been working with the Program in Translation and Interpreting since completing an M.A. in Interpreting and Translation (French/English) at the University of Leeds, England, in 2005 and is currently the Associate Director. Veronica also holds an M.A. (Honors) degree in English Literature and French from the University of Edinburgh and has previously taught English in India and China. Throughout her service at the University of Minnesota she has been working on curriculum development as well as teaching courses and workshops.

    Carol E. Berg, RN, PHN, MPH , Government Programs, UCare, Minneapolis, MN
      Public Health and County Manager
      Government Programs
      P.O. Box 52
      Minneapolis MN, USA 55440-0052

      Phone: 612-676-3635
      Fax: 612-676-6501
      Email Address:

      Biographical Sketch:
      Carol Berg received her RN degree in 1977 from Lutheran Deaconess Hospital and a BS degree in Nursing in 1982 from the University of Minnesota. She received a Master of Science in Community Health in 1983 from the University of London. She spent 10 years in Madagascar and worked as Director of Nursing Education and Consultant for the Primary Health Care Program of the Malagasy Lutheran Church. After returning to the U.S., she was employed as Assistant Coordinator of Community Health Services at the Minneapolis Health Department for two years and then served as State Refugee Health Coordinator for 7 years at the Minnesota Department of Health. She is currently the Public Health and County Manager for UCare which is a health plan serving diverse members throughout the state. Carol is the Chair of the Interpreting Stakeholder Group (ISG) and recently published a chapter on interpreter services in a textbook entitled, Immigrant Medicine.