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IMIA Interpreter Association Appoints Canada Representative

BOSTON, Feb. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- The International Medical Interpreters Association (IMIA) appointed a representative for Canada to continue building the organization's international structure. The IMIA is proud to announce Lola Bendana, President of Multi-Languages Corporation, as the IMIA Representative for Canada. Her role is primarily to represent and help IMIA members in Canada to organize and initiate activities that will promote the medical specialization of the interpreter profession, and to collaborate with other associations and organizations with similar goals in Canada. Lola Bendana is empowered to lead the IMIA Canada Chapter.

Canada is one of the leading countries in the development of the community interpreting profession, and it has developed the profession in a manner that is congruent with the country's public service needs. The IMIA believes this initiative will foster collaboration with other very active related associations in Canada, such as Health Interpretation Network, HIN.

"There is nothing more essential to the well-being of interpretation in North America, and indeed the world, than the creation and implementation of standards that cover all interpretation services. If interpretation is to become a viable sector, if it is to be regarded as an essential infrastructure to our economy and our communities, it has to demonstrate the maturity and self-respect that quality standards reflect. AILIA has contributed to the creation of the National Standards Guide for Community Interpreting Services and will continue to support standards initiatives in regional, Canadian, and international arenas. IMIA has demonstrated true leadership through its Medical Interpreting Standards of Practice and its collaborative approach. One of the highlights of the Canadian Language Industry Showcase 2009 was Izabel Arocha's presentation during the session 'Interpretation: Cutting Edge of Essential Services' -- we look forward to further exchanges and collaboration!" said Gonzalo Peralta, President of AILIA.

"Canada has made huge strides in achieving, through the commitment of a dedicated group of people, the development of the National Standards for Community Interpreting. In addition and after several years in the making, a curriculum was developed and a college training for community interpreters was born in Ontario. We are aiming to have in the near future both the Standards and the training available at national level," said Lisete Figueiredo, a key stakeholder in development of the Canadian Standards, member of the Board of Directors of the Healthcare Interpretation Network and Chair of the Critical Link Standards Committee.

This will also enable the IMIA to have more solid organizational structure to support the implementation of the recently launched National Medical Interpreter Certification Program, the first such global public/private partnership developed by IMIA, PSI, and LLU. These organizations are seeking the endorsement of their specialization exams by other interpreter organizations and in return will seek to endorse these other interpretation certifications, thus creating a web of mutual endorsements to promote a truly international medical interpreter certification and qualification program.

About IMIA

The International Medical Interpreters Association (IMIA) is 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 currently over 1,600 members, most providing interpreting services in over 100 languages, the IMIA is the oldest and largest medical interpreter association in the world. In 2007 it expanded to a more international focus, to promote and unite medical interpreters worldwide. While representing medical interpreters as the experts in the medical interpreting field, associate membership to the IMIA is open to those interested in medical interpreting and language access in health care. IMIA has a division of providers, corporate members, trainers and language specific groups. (


    Abbott Thayer

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SOURCE International Medical Interpreters Association
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