Interpreter Course Information

Fall 2018 Class


A new Level II Health Care Interpreter Course will be held during three weekends in March 2019. The dates are March: 1, 2 ,3, 8, 9, 10, 15, 16. Please click here for the course flyer. Please contact course instructor, Espi Ralston, at for more information.

The Level I and II Health Care Interpreter Training Courses, administered by School of Public Health, are part of a specialized educational program for individuals who are proficient in two or more languages; it is the first program in the US to be accredited by the International Medical Interpreter Association (IMIA).

Level I is an intensive sixty-hour IMIA accredited course offered on an annual basis at the UOM campus. Students spend sixty hours in the classroom learning the fundamentals of medical interpreting such as the roles and modes of medical interpreting, protocols of the session, cultural competence, medical terminology, basic Anatomy and Physiology, diseases, Code of Ethics, Standards of Practice and laws and legal standards and regulations relevant to healthcare interpreting, to cite a few. Oral message conversion exercises from source language to target language is an integral component of Level I. After having successfully completed the sixty-hour classroom learning experience and the minimum ten-hour Practicum requirements, the student receives a certificate/diploma issued by the UOM. Please click here to review the Level I Course Handbook.

The Level II course is a continuation of Level I. This advanced course is offered to students who successfully complete Level I, and covers topics including interpreting in the emergency department, ICU, oncology and palliative care, and additional anatomy, physiology, and medical terminology.

Both Level I and Level II are intensive courses, and a minimum of 10 students must enroll for the courses to be held as scheduled.

The curriculum and materials, developed by Kaiser Permanente in partnership with Hablamos Juntos, a nationally recognized project funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, are based on active and cooperative learning, and are designed to increase the number of and improve the knowledge and skills of medical interpreters nationwide.  The courses are taught by Espi Ralston, MA, MAT, CMI-Spanish, CHI, who holds masters degrees in curriculum and instruction, romance languages, and modern philology, and has 30 years experience in teaching.  Ms. Ralston works as a certified medical interpreter at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

Course Pre-registration

Applicants to the Level I or Level II Interpreter Course must meet requirements for language proficiency, education and age.  All persons who are interested in taking a course should contact Espi Ralston, Course Instructor, prior to registration and payment to ensure that they meet all the requirements.

Espi Ralston, MA, MAT, MA, CMI-Spanish, CHI

Graduates of Health Care Interpreter course pass National Certification Exam

Andres BonillaElsie Gerhardt

Congratulations to Andres Bonilla and Elsie Gerhardt, graduates of the Health Care Interpreter course in 2017. Both passed the CCHI national certification exam in 2018 and became Certified Healthcare Interpreters (Spanish/English).

"I would like to express my deep appreciation. The course prepared us very well to take the national exams. You are a superb instructor and peer interaction truly enriched the educational experience." -Elsie Gerhardt

What Students Are Saying

gilberto"Your Program has successfully trained me to professionally perform, when the time comes, in the medical Interpreting world. Your program has successfully given me the tools and the hunger to seek more knowledge and development in a fast growing profession, that I have come to confirm is definitely in accordance with my search of giving back, in a professional way, to the society that kindly has open its arms to me and to those in need within my sweet and dear Latin American culture." - Gilberto Jaimes

mking"The Health Care Interpreter Program really changed my life. The training that I received at The University of Memphis has given me the tools needed to break barriers of communication while improving the overall care of our non-English speaking patients."
- Maria King, Medical Interpreter at Le Bonheur Children's Hospital 
President of Tennessee Association of Medical Interpreters & Translators (TAMIT)