The Jackson Sun reports in this article that Jackson resident Espi Ralston is recruiting health care interpreters:
"Espi Ralston wants to help the growing Hispanic community in Madison County by training health-care interpreters."
"Ralston was born in Seville, Spain, and moved to the United States in the 1970s."
"'My older two daughters were born in Nashville, and at that time, I only spoke Spanish,' she said. During the birth of her first daughter, Ralston didn't have an interpreter. For the second daughter, she had two bilingual friends who were studying nursing with her. 'There was a major difference,' she said."
"In an effort to increase the number of medical interpreters and the quality of medical interpretation, Ralston is offering a health-care interpreter certificate program in Jackson."
"The classes, to be held from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Sept. 14 through Nov. 16 at Jackson-Madison County General Hospital, will train existing medical interpreters or bilingual people who would like to become health-care interpreters. The registration deadline is Sept. 7."
"Ralston and partner Martha Kantor 'are initiating collaborative efforts with other local hospitals, such as Regional Hospital, to offer cultural competence seminars, Spanish for health-care professionals, translations, implementation of language access services, and meeting Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations and National Committee for Quality Assurance federal mandates for limited English proficient patients,' Ralston said in an e-mail."
Sandra Atherton, the director of volunteer and pastoral care at Jackson-Madison County General Hospital, supported the efforts by providing this example of the importance of the service: "How would you like to sign a consent form in a foreign country and not understand what you are signing?" she told the Sun.
"For more information or questions about the course, call Ralston at (901) 763-2045 or (901) 218-4691 or by e-mail at esmartTrans@aol.com."