020714i-names-Cira-VicenteFrom the Cambridge Health Alliance, Jan. 28: Cambridge Health Alliance medical interpreter Cira Vicente has won the International Medical Interpreters Association 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 patients who require interpreters all over the world. Vicente accepted the award at the IMIA’s Annual International Conference on Medical Interpreting, held Jan. 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, Vicente 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. Vicente, a Spanish-language interpreter 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 provided interpreter services at Boston Medical Center, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Shriners Hospitals for Children in 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 and 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 help patients meet their needs; leadership in the field; quality of interpreting skills; and acting as an effective patient advocate comfortable in all interpreting roles.

The International Medical Interpreters Association promotes and develops standards and best practices in the field of medical interpreting. As an international U.S.-based nonprofit organization of medical interpreters, it represents more than 2,100 practicing medical interpreters.