In 2021, Linda Carmona-Sanchez quickly became one of GSAHEC’s ACCESS Program’s most influential partners. For many years, Linda has been an advocate and supporter of qualified medical interpretation. Her own experience as a “child interpreter” created in her the desire to promote and encourage the need and benefits of using qualified trained interpreters. As the Director of Grants Management & Outreach for the Florida Association of Community Health Centers, Linda was fundamental in securing a state grant to sponsor bilingual employees of Florida Community Health Centers to attend a 40-hour medical interpreter training program. In her own words: “With the increased attention to health equity, it is invaluable to make this training course available to community health center staff so that they are more prepared to eliminate barriers to equity in healthcare for non-English speaking patients”.
Since securing the grant in early 2021, 29 individuals from across the state have become Professionally Trained Medical Interpreters through GSAHEC’s 40-Hour Medical Interpreting Training program. These individuals are already working with our communities, and thanks to Linda’s efforts, the impact in improved health outcomes will be experienced immediately.
Linda had this to say about working with GSAHEC staff:
“I believe in the need for Medical Interpreting. So much so, that despite travel hardships, I myself took the [medical interpreting] training with Liliana Irwin [in 2018]. It was so fabulous that I tried to find a way to introduce it to all FQHCs. I was pleased to find a grant that allowed us to offer 15 scholarships to staff persons from across the state. Liliana is a consummate professional, who really understands the nature of bilingual medical interpretation. I can’t say enough about Erinn Yoder and Donna Byars who were so helpful in setting up the training portals and facilitating payments. This was a “set it and forget it” kind of training where everyone did whatever it took to make it a pleasant experience for the participants with a lot of new and valuable skills and, smooth sailing for the grant. I hope to be able to do this again in the very near future!”
Gulfcoast South AHEC is so pleased to be working with Linda as she looks to continue offering the scholarships to Florida’s Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs). She is the pinnacle of a model partner, and the partnership between her and GSAHEC looks very bright!