Cambridge, Mass. — Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA) medical interpreter Cira Vicente has won the International Medical Interpreters Association (IMIA) 2014 Interpreter of the Year Award. The award, which is the nation’s oldest and most prestigious prize for medical interpreters, recognizes an outstanding interpreter and role model whose professionalism and accomplishments have made a difference in advocating for the profession and for the patients who require interpreters all over the world. Ms. Vicente accepted the award at the IMIA’s Annual International Conference on Medical Interpreting, held from January 16-19 in Houston, Texas.
As a medical interpreter at Cambridge Health Alliance, a community health system serving Cambridge, Somerville, and Boston’s metro-north communities, Cira Vicente (pictured) plays a key role in caring for a diverse and complex patient population, nearly a third of which speaks a primary language other than English. Ms. Vicente, a Spanish-language interpreter who is based at CHA’s Cambridge Hospital campus, has a special interest in cases that involve mental health issues, domestic violence, and emergency room services. She joined CHA in 2002 and has also provided interpreter services at Boston Medical Center, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and Shriners Hospitals for Children – Boston. She completed her pre-medical school studies at the Instituto Alfredo Vasquez Acevedo in Montevideo, Uruguay.
"As a member of CHA's Multicultural Affairs & Patient Services team, Cira exemplifies our organizational commitment to providing equitable care to our limited English proficient patients,” said Mursal Khaliif, CHA’s Senior Director of Multicultural Affairs, Diversity, and Patient Services. Our entire team feels honored by and proud of the recognition Cira received, and we applaud her on 12 years of outstanding medical interpreting work here at CHA.”
The IMIA Interpreter of the Year is selected by a jury of peers from across the globe. Criteria for the award including identifying and supporting improvements in patient care delivery; finding creative solutions to assist patients to meet their needs; leadership in the field; quality of interpreting skills; and acting as an effective patient advocate who is comfortable in all interpreting roles.
The International Medical Interpreters Association (IMIA) promotes and develops standards and best practices in the field of medical interpreting. As an international US-based non-profit organization of medical interpreters, it represents over 2,100 practicing medical interpreters as the ultimate experts in medical interpreting and as the best option for equitable care for minority language patients around the world, promoting language access in healthcare as an essential human right. For more information, visit www.imiaweb.org.
Cambridge Health Alliance is a vital and innovative community health system that provides essential services to Cambridge, Somerville, and Boston’s metro-north communities. It includes three hospital campuses, a network of primary care and specialty practices, and the Cambridge Public Health Dept. CHA is a Harvard Medical School teaching affiliate and is also affiliated with Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard School of Dental Medicine, and Tufts University School of Medicine. For more information, visit www.challiance.org.