NEW YORK, N.Y., June 26, 2013 – (Eteligis via Accesswire) -- Louis F. Provenzano, language advocate, co-founder of the National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters, and a renowned interpreter advocate, today announced the launch of a non-profit foundation to accelerate the certification of medical interpreters.
The Louis F. Provenzano Foundation for Certified Medical Interpreters, a 501(c)(3) foundation, will work to assist medical interpreters with training and National Board certification expenses. The foundation's Board of Directors, to be announced at a later date, will include leading subject matter experts globally in the medical interpretation industry.
In order to fulfill its mission, the Foundation will seek donations from hospitals, government agencies and other interested parties to fund grants to those interpreters who need assistance in getting trained and certified.
"Often, the difference between life and death is being understood by a highly trained and qualified medical interpreter," Provenzano said. "It is an honor to have my foundation support the cause through more extensive and better training that leads to an increase in the number of interpreters certified through the National Board."
Izabel Arocha, Executive Director of the International Medical Interpreters Association (IMIA), the world's largest association for medical interpreters, credited Provenzano with "continuing to remove language barriers for limited English speakers."
"As the previous CEO of Language Line Services (now LanguageLine Solutions) and the co-founder of the National Board, Louis brings unparalleled passion and respect to the cause," Arocha said. "His leadership on the issue of certifying medical interpreters has been critical in advancing patient safety and raising awareness for what it truly means to be a professional medical interpreter."
To date approximately 750 interpreters have received the Certified Medical Interpreters (CMI) designation. The oral performance exam is given in Spanish, Russian, Cantonese and Mandarin. The exam will be available shortly in Korean and Vietnamese. Plans to expand to other languages are underway by the National Board.
Tina Pena, Chair of the National Board, called Provenzano the "undisputed expert on language access, and the foremost spokesperson for the need of qualified and certified medical interpreters. "
"Louis is one of those truly exceptional leaders who puts his mind, heart and soul into all aspects of a critical issue," Pena said. "The impact of his support cannot be overstated."
More information will be available on the foundation's website www.medical-interpreters.org, which will launch in September.
About the National Board
The mission of the National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters (National Board) is to foster improved healthcare outcomes, patient safety and patient/provider communication, by elevating the standards for and quality of medical interpreting through a nationally recognized and validated certification for medical interpreters. The certified medical interpreter (CMI) certification program is governed by the National Board, an independent division of the International Medical Interpreters Association (IMIA). For more information, visit: http://www.certifiedmedicalinterpreters.org.
The International Medical Interpreters Association (IMIA) is a U.S.-based international organization committed to the advancement of professional medical interpreters as the best practice to equitable language access to health care for linguistically diverse patients. Founded in 1986, with over 2,000 members, most providing interpreting services in over 70 languages, the IMIA is the oldest and largest medical interpreter association in the country. For more information, visit: http://www.imiaweb.org.
About Louis F. Provenzano Foundation for Certified Medical Interpreter
The Louis F. Provenzano Foundation for Certified Medical Interpreters works to assist medical interpreters with training and National Board Certification expenses. Provenzano is a language advocate, co-founder of the National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters, a renowned interpreter advocate, and former President and chief executive officer of Language Line Services (now Language Line Solutions). For more information, visit http://www.medical-interpreters.org.
Chair, National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters