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College of Liberal and Fine Arts


Dr. Melissa Wallace Obtains Healthcare Interpreter Certification

September 24, 2013

Melissa Wallace, Assistant Professor of Translation and Interpreting Studies in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, recently attained Certified Healthcare Interpreter (CHI)  status from the Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters (CCHI).

CHI certification signifies to healthcare providers and administrators that the interpreters they are hiring have an understanding of the ethical implications of interpreting in health settings, that they can manage the flow of an interpreting encounter, that they are familiar with pertinent legislation, and that their interpreting skills meet a minimum threshold of accuracy and quality.

"The call for qualified, professional health care professionals is becoming absolutely necessary as it is the only way healthcare providers sometimes are able to communicate effectively with patients," Wallace said. "Understanding technical health and medical terms is often difficult in your own native language, imagine the difficulty and major negative implications it has when healthcare is explained in a second and/or foreign language."

As the new coordinator of the department's Translation Studies Certificate program, Wallace plans to expand it to include interpreting studies and training for these kinds of professional credentials, in addition to the research-driven theoretical path that the coursework currently provides.  This will better prepare UTSA graduates to engage in academic and professional dialog at the highest levels.

Read more about the CCHI here.

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