Keynotes for Language Access Event in Portland

WASHINGTON - Feb. 21, 2020 - PRLog -- Dr. Anisa Ibrahim and Toc Soneoulay-Gillespie, MSW will be the Keynote Speakers at the National Council on Interpreting in Health Care's (NCIHC) 14th Annual Membership Meeting to be held on May 1-2, 2020 in Portland, Oregon.

Anisa Ibrahim is a UW Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and the Medical Director at Harborview Pediatric Clinic. Dr. Ibrahim's specific clinical interests include caring for and outreach to immigrant and refugee populations, specifically those with medical or social complexity. She is committed to caring for low income, socially vulnerable populations with limited English proficiency in order to connect them to the resources and services they need for their health and well-being. Dr. Ibrahim is a strong advocate for community focused work and partnerships. She is the president of the Board of Directors of the Somali Health Board, a local community organization addressing health disparities in the Somali community. Nationally, Dr. Ibrahim is an executive committee member of the American Academy of Pediatric's Council on Immigrant Child and Family Health.

Toc Soneoulay-Gillespie has over 20 years of experience working with and advocating for refugees and immigrants. As a 1.5 generation refugee, she brings a unique perspective for understanding the strengths and complexities of this community. She holds a bachelor's degree in Anthropology/Sociology from Eastern Oregon University and a Master of Social Work from the University of Alaska Anchorage. Her graduate research focused on the disparities in language access for limited English proficient individuals in healthcare and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services naturalization process. As an interpreter, consultant, trainer, and community organizer, she believes strongly in raising awareness about meaningful language access and when introduced with humility, can reshape the narratives of historically underserved limited English proficient communities, and ultimately transform systems.

Ms. Soneoulay-Gillespie was appointed by Governor Brown to serve as commissioner on the Oregon Commission on Asian Pacific Islander Affairs and as a council member of the Governors Behavioral Health Advisory Council. In her current role as the Social Services Manager for Population Health at Care Oregon, she works to identify opportunities to collaborate with community partners regarding social determinants of health strategies and promote health equity to improve health outcomes for vulnerable populations. Prior to this role, she served as the Director of Refugee Resettlement at Catholic Charities of Oregon.

The theme for the NCIHC's 14th Annual Membership Meeting is "Trauma, Language, and Social Justice."  "This work is not without its challenges and often faces strident opposition. We know that interpreters often work in less than ideal settings, and often interpret very challenging exchanges. As interpreters, we understand the importance of language, and indeed of a single word, especially when the consequences can be life-changing. Encounters such as these can be emotionally triggering, especially on top of events taking place on the national landscape from which none of us are immune," according to NCIHC President Enrica Ardemagni.

Ardemagni added, "We are thrilled to have two such outstanding Keynote Speakers who can bring their personal lens to this topic.  Now, more than ever, it is voices such as theirs that need to be heard."

For more information about the NCIHC AMM in Portland, visit .

Enrica J Ardemagni, PhD
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