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Advocacy in Health Care Interpreting in the Context of Systemic Racism

  • October 02, 2022
  • 9:00 AM - 12:15 PM
  • Online
  • 13


Registration is closed

This session is intended for medical interpreters.


This event is FREE for OSTI members.
$25 for non-members. JOIN OSTI Today!

 The National Code of Ethics for Healthcare Interpreters states: “When the patient’s health, well-being, or dignity is at risk, the interpreter may be justified in acting as an advocate.”  Advocacy is understood as an action taken on behalf of an individual that goes beyond facilitating communication with the intention of supporting good health outcomes.  Conversations about ethics and advocacy in health care interpreting rarely consider the risks to a patient from micro-aggressions, patient inexperience with or ignorance of health care systems and structural racism.

 This participatory course will dive into the dominant cultural values that guide patient/provider interactions and how structural racism is embedded into the US medical cultural.  Participants will identify values from their respective cultures/communities and how these elements might present potential risks to patient health and well-being.  We will discuss what advocacy looks like in this context and create and practice strategies.

Instructors bios:

Amanda Wheeler-Kay is a Certified Health Care / Community Interpreter in Spanish/English who has interpreted in the Portland area since 2007.  She has worked for several years as an educator creating and teaching workshops, often in collaboration with other language equity advocates and organizations.  Topics include language equity, improving interpreter skills, best practices for working with interpreters, and the rights of LEP individuals.  Amanda previously worked as a bilingual social worker for multiple agencies including Child Welfare and North Clackamas School District, and as Executive Director for Los Niños Cuentan, a small local non-profit supporting Latino survivors of domestic violence.  She has served on the board of the Clackamas Volunteers in Medicine clinic and is a current board member of Nuevas Sonrisas.  Amanda is a member of the Health Care Interpreter Advisory Council and is currently co-chair of their Education and Training Committee.  She currently lives in Oregon, her home state, but has also lived in Washington DC and El Salvador.

Piyawee Ruenjinda works as a qualified Thai/English Health Care interpreter and as a legal interpreter for the Oregon Judicial Department.  Being from a community with a language of lesser diffusion, she recognizes inequalities derived from language access and literacy barriers and thrives to be part of the solutions.  Piyawee is an active Thai community member in translating and disseminating information—for example, regarding COVID-19, or assistance programs—and helping connect people with services.  Her experience in training includes facilitating a cross-cultural communication training program for Thais and non-Thais, recruiting speakers, and coordinating educational travel programs for Americans.  Prior to her relocation from Thailand to the US in 2016, Piyawee worked with people from diverse countries and backgrounds in management for private companies, specializing in business operations, quality assurance, and customer services.



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