Multicultural Programs — Medical Interpreter Services

Medical interpreter services require more than just bilingual skills.  Interpreters need specialized knowledge in medical terminology, as well as the skills to accurately convey symptoms, diagnoses, and treatments.  UMass Medical School's Center for Health Policy and Research works with health care agencies to provide interpreter services and training.

Interpreter Proficiency Assessment

Assessments include an evaluation of oral fluency as well as a written test to gauge the interpreter's understanding of the parameters of the medical interpreter role. A summary report of results is provided and, if desired, a customized training program is developed.

Course Offerings

These courses prepare students for more accurate medical interpreting within the Standards of Practice developed by the Massachusetts Medical Interpreters Association (MMIA). Participants gain an understanding of the health care system and sharpen their skills with role-playing scenarios in clinical settings, as well as emergency situations.  The program explores topics such as HIV/AIDS, emergency room interpreting, domestic violence issues, and death and dying situations.

Training is available either on-site by our faculty or at scheduled workshops sponsored by our affiliated statewide network of Area Health Education Centers (AHECs). We offer several levels of training

  • Fundamentals of Medical Interpreting — 60 Hours
  • Advanced Training on selected topics
  • Train the trainer curriculum

Click here for a full description of courses. 

Translation Services

Through one of our affiliated partners, a skilled team of translators, editors, proofreaders, and quality control specialists are available to ensure that document translations, including both text and illustrations, reflect cultural and contextual accuracy and appropriateness. Recommendations on appropriate media and distribution strategies are also provided.

Translation services are routinely available in the following languages:  Albanian, Arabic, Chinese, English, Khmer, Polish, Portuguese (European), Portuguese (Brazilian), Russian, Spanish, and Vietnamese.  Upon request, translation for other languages may be arranged.

Language Link Interpreter Dispatch Services

Through our affiliated partner, the Central Mass Area Health Education Center (CMAHEC), well-trained and experienced interpreters are available to facilitate effective communication in clinical, legal, and conference settings.  These interpreter services are available to residents of Central Massachusetts and include the following languages:

  • Albanian
  • Arabic
  • Bosnian
  • Chinese
  • Greek
  • Hmong
  • Italian
  • Khmer
  • Krahn
  • Polish
  • Portuguese (European)
  • Portuguese (Brazilian)
  • Russian
  • Spanish
  • Twi
  • Vietnamese

Key Staff

Lisa Morris  Lisa Morris, M.S.T.D.
Director, Multicultural Programs

Learn More

Lisa Morris
(508) 856-3572


Official Website
Massachusetts Area Health Education Center Network