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Erika Shell Castro to be honored as Language Access Champion by NCIHC
The National Council on Interpreting in Health Care (NCIHC) will honor Erika Shell Castro as the 2016 Language Access Champion at the Interpretini Reception of the 10th Annual NCIHC Membership Meeting in Austin, Texas.
Castro's commitment is reflected in her numerous personal, professional, and community activities. NCIHC President Enrica Ardemani noted that Castro "is unique in that she represents multiple aspects of the field. She runs Interpreter Services, she trains interpreters, and she continues to also interpret to this day."
Castro's initial efforts to promote language access in health care began when she was hired as the Coordinator of Interpreter Services in 2000 at OhioHealth where she built the department from the ground up. The hospital had been issued a letter of concern by The Office of Civil Rights, shortly prior to her arrival. Erika was promoted to Manager and managed 24 interpreters, 10 agency contracts and served 4 hospitals as the Language Services Manager collaborating with area hospitals to create a comprehensive holistic Language Services program incorporating on-site, telephonic and video as resources. As a result, the hospital went from being threatened with a Department of Justice lawsuit to being a model program for Language Services. In her current role as Director of Language Services at Language Access Network, Castro has been instrumental in enhancing the quality of services provided via staff at 5 call centers who interpret in 58 different languages over video.
As example of Castro's community work is "Clinica Latina," a free health clinic for Spanish-speaking patients. Castro was a founding member of the clinic, has served as president, secretary, and has continued to work with the Clinica Latina for the past 16 years. Additionally, Castro has volunteered with the local Girl Scouts, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, the local school district, and the Catholic Diocese, among many other activities.
Ardemani added "Erika's life and career have been dedicated to improving the lives of others. As we celebrate our 10th Annual Membership Meeting with the theme of "A Decade of Working towards Social Justice," it is more than fitting that we honor Erika this year as Language Access Champion."
To learn more about NCIHC, or to register for the event, visit http://www.ncihc.org or write firstname.lastname@example.org.
Enrica J. Ardemagni, President