Press Release

Natividad’s Victor Sosa Named a Language Access Champion by the National Council on Interpreting in Health Care

SALINAS, CA., Sept 3, 2013 – Victor Sosa, Language Access Coordinator at Natividad in Salinas, was recently honored as a 2013 Language Access Champion at the National Council on Interpreting in Health Care (NCIHC) annual meeting in Seattle. One of four healthcare professionals recognized by the NCIHC, Victor has spearheaded Natividad’s medical interpreting program, including the training of 64 indigenous speakers from Mexico and Latin America who speak native languages like Mixteco, Zapoteco and Triqui.

Natividad’s medical interpreting and training program is philanthropically funded by Natividad Foundation with a variety of grants from donors including TALC-​The Agricultural Leadership Council, The Women’s Fund of Monterey County (a field-​of-​interest fund of the Community Foundation for Monterey County) and other foundations and community donors.

The NCIHC award honors a person, program or organization whose work contributes to improving the lives of all people through the promotion of language access in healthcare. “We are delighted to be able to shine a light on these individuals whose efforts should be known to all,” said NCIHC President, Joy Connell. “They work tirelessly behind the scenes to make sure that everyone, regardless of ability to speak English, has access to services. Each of these individuals is contributing to what makes sense, is fair, and is right in health care.”

“Mixteco and Triqui are in the top five most common languages spoken by patients at Natividad. Training indigenous medical interpreters has become critical to providing quality care,” said Linda Ford, President & CEO of Natividad Foundation.

Of the 201 people trained through Natividad’s medical interpreting program, 64 are indigenous people from Mexico and other parts of Central and South America who don’t speak English or Spanish; they speak native languages like Mixteco, Zapoteco and Triqui.

“Not only do our indigenous interpreters help Natividad deliver better patient care, the interpreters gain a valuable skill to help provide for themselves and their families,” said Victor Sosa.

While the overall number of Mexican immigrants to the U.S. is decreasing, the proportion of indigenous immigrants is increasing. It is estimated that 38% of newly arrived farmworkers living in the U.S. less than two years are indigenous; about 28,000 people from Mexican states like Oaxaca and Guerrero live in the Salinas Valley.

Victor Sosa also recently addressed the International Council for the Development of Community Interpreting at its annual Critical Link Conference in Toronto and the InterpretAmerica Summit in Reston, VA.

About Natividad

Natividad in Salinas, California, is a Monterey County owned and operated 172- bed acute care hospital providing health care services to the people of the county for more than

127 years. Natividad offers inpatient, outpatient, emergency, diagnostic and specialty medical care. NMC provides more than 34,000 patient days each year and more than 47,000 emergency department visits per year. NMC is ranked #1 in newborn deliveries in Monterey County. Natividad is the only teaching hospital on the Central Coast, through its affiliation with the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). With a medical staff of more than 228 physicians, Natividad’s mission is to continually improve the health status of the people of Monterey County through access to affordable, high-​quality health care services. For more information, please visit www​.natividad​.com.

About the National Council on Interpreting in Health Care

The NCIHC is a 501(c)(3) non-​profit organization whose mission is to promote and enhance language access in health care in the United States. The multidisciplinary group, founded in 1998, is composed of leaders from around the country who work as interpreters service coordinators, trainers and educators, language service providers, hospital administrators, healthcare interpreters, clinicians, policymakers, researchers, and advocates. To learn more about NCIHC visit http://​www​.ncihc​.org.