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Past Events

Scroll through the archives to find resources from past sessions. Those considering membership are encouraged to check out the programming most relevant to you by filtering events by category:

Compiling a Medical Interpreter’s Glossary: Obstetrics, Gynecology and Genetic Counseling
Apr 14 all-day

It often takes months or years of interpreting across different specialties of medicine to learn, translate and classify medical terminology into a personal, comprehensive glossary. This workshop is designed to help you to begin compiling one such glossary for the specialty of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Genetic Counseling. Presented by a medical interpreter to fellow interpreters, it’s intent is not to elaborate on the science behind each medical term but to define, organize and translate the terminology we have learned through our experience as medical interpreters

After a presentation of the basic concepts and most commonly used terms in OB/GYN and Genetic Counseling, each participant will receive a copy of the terminology. The participants will then work on translating the terminology in their language groups. The last hour will be reserved for general comments about the solutions for the difficult terms as well as a group discussion about how to prevent our personal beliefs and experiences from affecting the delivery of interpretation and the final health care outcome for the patient.

Elma Johnson presenting at the ObGyn Glossary creation Workshop

Elma Johnson presenting at the ObGyn Glossary creation Workshop

Presenter: Elma Johnson has been working as a Spanish, Bosnian and English medical interpreter in Interpreting Services department at HCMC since 2004. Originally from Bosnia, Elma lived in Spain for 11 years where she also finished her BA in Business Administration and Management.







Pediatric Orthopedics workshop: Basic concepts, common conditions and treatments
May 18 all-day

A pediatric orthopaedic surgeon treats children and adolescents who have various orthopedic conditions, including developmental dysplasia of the hip and cerebral palsy. Dr. England received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Minnesota and a medical degree from Cornell University Medical College in New York. He has a master of public health degree from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

Presenter: Dr. Stephen P. England, M.D., MPH
Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgeon

United and Children’s Conference Center

3 hours of Continued Education Credits
3 points ATA Continuing Education Credit


Neurology Workshop for Medical Intrepreters: Concepts, Common Conditions and Treatments
Jan 3 all-day

Neurology is the branch of medicine concerned with the study and treatment of disorders of the nervous system. The nervous system has two major divisions:

  • Central nervous system: the brain and spinal cord
  • Peripheral nervous system: all other neural elements, such as eyes, ears, skin, and other “sensory receptors”


Robert Kriel, MD, Pediatric Neurologist: Dr. Kriel is a Professor in Experimental
and Clinical Pharmacology, and is Coordinator of
Clinical Research for the Center for Orphan Drug Research.

Dr. Kriel earned his BS from Haverford College and upon graduation
he received his MD degree from John Hopkins University. He is a Professor
in the Departments of Pediatrics and Neurology, Medical School and the College
of Pharmacy, University of Minnesota since 1991.

His clinical experience has been as head of Pediatric Neurology at St. Paul Ramsey
and Gillette Children’s Hospitals, and at Hennepin County Medical Center.

Time: 9 am to 12 pm

3 hours of Continuing Education Credits

Summary of Neurology Workshop

Download the Presentation (PPT)

Demand-Control Schema for Health Care Interpreters
Apr 5 @ 12:00 am – 12:00 am

Do you find your interpreting work in health care settings stressful at times? Illnesses, diagnoses, sterile settings, provider/patient interactions, vocabulary… All of these elements of the work, and many more, can challenge us on a daily basis. Why does our work seem more stressful at time, and less stressful at others? The Demand/Control Schema developed by Robin Dean and Robert Pollard (2001) is a helpful tool for looking at our work, specifically the challenges we face and the options we have to respond to those challenges. It can help us understand the choices we have and the scope of our decision-making, particularly in terms of the consequences of those decisions. During this workshop we will, through lecture, small and large group discussion:

View of Workshop participants during group discussion

Demand-Control Schema for the interpreter

  • introduce the Demand Control Schema as a framework for analyzing interpreting work
  • apply the schema to health care interpreting situations using picture analyses
  • identify challenges of the work and possible responses interpreters have to address the demands of the job
  • discuss our decision-making latitude while interpreting
  • identify ways we can use this schema to enhance our professional discussions with colleagues.

3 hours of Continued Education Credits
3 points ATA Continuing Education Credit


Paula Gajewski Mickelson, M.A., CI & CT, NIC: Advanced
Assistant Professor and Department Chair, ASL & Interpreting Department, St. Catherine University
Cindy Berg B.A., CI & CT
Senior Interpreter – ASL, Regions Hospital Interpreter Services

Members’ online registration: $15.00
Non-members’ online registration: $25.00
On site for members and non-members: $25.00
Link for membership: click here

For more information contact the UMTIA Medical Interpreting Committee at:
Cancellation policy: if you should register but cannot attend, contact before the event for reimbursement.

Accommodations: if you require special accommodations, please contact Mauricio Montes de Oca at
IMPORTANT NOTE: Certificate for CEU’s granted only to those who are present from 9:15am to 12:00 pm
UMTIA Upper Midwest Translators and Interpreters Association – Chapter of the American Translators Association

Wordfast Anywhere: Translation Memory Tool Training
May 21 all-day

Learn to use Wordfast Anywhere, a free, web-based Translation Memory tool designed for translators to use from wherever their laptop takes them. Download the program now and make sure to bring your laptop along.

Dag Kakou is a translator based out of St. Louis Park. A French native, Kakou is an independent interpreter of French and Hebrew. Kakou is a member of the American Translators Association and the former president of “Les Amis de la France” French Center of Minnesota.

In order to provide a substantial, yet manageable training on this topic, we will divide the event in two parts. Please join us for both sessions.

Presenter: Dag Kakou

Two consecutive Tuesdays: May 14 and 21, 2013

May 14:
St Louis Park Library meeting room
3240 Library Lane, St Louis Park, MN 55426
6:00 to 8:00 PM

May 21: Roseville Community Room
2180 Hamline Ave N, Roseville, MN 55113
7:00 to 9:00 PM

1 unit ATA Continuing Education credit


An Exploration of Ethical Decision Making and Boundaries in Health Care Interpreting
Nov 25 all-day

Ethical decision making and maintaining professional boundaries can be challenging in any interpreting work, regardless of the language pairs with which you work. Place our work in a health care setting, and challenges multiply. Pressure from lawsuits, changing regulations and risk management is causing health systems to require interpreters demonstrate competence to work in medical settings and to conduct ourselves is a professional manner. What, besides our moral compass, guides our professional ethical behavior in this rapidly changing environment?

During this session, we will compare how ethical decision making and professional boundaries are identified in these studies. Additionally we will look at these concepts in light of professional codes of ethics for sign language and spoken language interpreters. Finally we will continue our collective exploration of these findings through group case study analysis.


Richard Laurion, M.A., CI & CT, NIC Advanced, Director of Programs and Operations,
CATIE Center, St. Catherine University.

Paula Gajewski Mickelson, M.A., CI & CT, NIC: Advanced, Professor and Department Chair,
ASL & Interpreting Department, St. Catherine University.


Anatomy of a Business Transaction @ Webinar
Jan 21 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

We invite you and other interested colleagues to register now for “Anatomy of a Business Transaction“, to be presented by Hadassah Weiner, PhD on Wednesday, January 21, 2015, 6:00pm – 7:00pm – the first webinar in MATI’s 2015 series Research & Practice in Legal Interpretation and Translation. 

MATI, the Midwest Association of Translators and Interpreters, is a sister organization in the area. We at UMTIA encourage you to participate in this webinar.

MATI members $20 / non-members $30. Enjoy discounted webinar rates after becoming a MATI member anytime!

Each webinar is approved by ATA and the WI Supreme Court for 1 hour of continuing education credit. Continuing education credit may also be available for other state interpreter certification bodies; please contact MATI to ask about specific states.

REGISTER and read more information at

Thank you and Happy New Year!

The MATI Board

Pain and Palliative Care for the Health Care Interpreter @ United and Children´s Hospital (Conference Hall) Lower level, United Hospital’s John Nasseff Heart Center
Feb 21 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 am

What Is Palliative Care?

Palliative care is specialized medical care for people with serious illnesses. It focuses on providing patients with relief from the symptoms and stress of a serious illness. Its goal is to improve quality of life for both the patient and the family. Palliative care focuses on symptoms. It also helps to gain the strength to carry on with daily life. It improves the ability to tolerate medical treatments. And it helps to have more control over patient’s care by improving their understanding of their choices for treatment
auditorum2 whole roomGroup of atendees Presenter answering questionsDr. Stefan Friedrichsdorf3





Power points on Acute Pain, Chronic Pain and alternative treatments.


 Speaker: Dr. Stefan Friedrichsdorf, MD, FAAP

Dr. Stefan Friedrichsdorf is medical director of the Department of Pain Medicine, Palliative Care and Integrative Medicine at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics in Minnesota, Minneapolis/St. Paul – one of the largest and most comprehensive programs of its kind in the country.

The pain & palliative care program is devoted to control acute, chronic/complex and procedural pain in all in- and outpatients in close collaboration with all pediatric subspecialties at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics. The team also provides holistic, interdisciplinary care for children and teens with life-limiting or terminal diseases and their families. Integrative Medicine provides and teaches integrative, non-pharmacological therapies (such as massage, acupuncture/acupressure, biofeedback, aromatherapy, selfhypnosis) to provide care that promotes optimal health and supports the highest level of functioning in all individual child’s activities. Dr. Friedrichsdorf sees pediatric patients as inpatients, in the interdisciplinary pain clinic, in the palliative care clinic, or in the community/at home.

The department received the “Circle of Life Award” by the American Hospital Association in 2008, was selected as a Palliative Care Leadership Center for the Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC), and the 2013 recipient of the “Clinical Centers of Excellence in Pain Management Award” by the American Pain Society.

Dr. Friedrichsdorf received his MD degree from the Medical University of Lübeck, Germany (Doctoral Thesis: “Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis in Children: Interleukin Profile and Characterization of Intralesional Cells”), completed his pediatric residency at the University of Witten/Herdecke, Germany (Children’s Hospital in Datteln), and undertook his fellowship in Pediatric Pain & Palliative Care at the University of Sydney, Australia (Children’s Hospital at Westmead). He is board certified in Pediatrics, a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, a Diplomate of the American Board of Hospice and Palliative Medicine and trained in hypnosis by the National Pediatric Hypnosis Training Institute.

He is the Principal Investigator of a National Institutes of Health (NIH) / National Cancer Institute (NCI) five-year multisite study on the creation, implementation and evaluation of a Pediatric Palliative Care Curriculum (EPEC-Pediatrics) and is course director of the annual week-long “Pediatric Pain Master Class”. He is associate editor of the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management. Dr. Friedrichsdorf lectures extensively nationally and internationally about pediatric pain medicine, palliative care and integrative medicine and has a track record of publications in the field, including contributions to more than 20 books on the subject. Dr. Friedrichsdorf received the “2011 Immigrant of Distinction Award”, sponsored by the Minnesota/Dakotas AILA Chapter and the “2011 Hastings Center Cunniff-Dixon Physician Award”.

He also has worked as a newspaper delivery boy, factory worker, remotely talented actor, assistant nurse, journalist, paramedic, EMT, life-guard, and youth group leader. He is happily married to Ruth and they live in Minneapolis with their three young children.


“Witness and narrator: Addressing problems of secondary traumatic stress and compassion fatigue in spoken language interpreting” @ John Nasseff Heart Center
Mar 28 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm

As professional interpreters, we are not devices or machines. First and foremost, we are human beings. We have eyes, brains, hearts and different types of organs that help us to be magnificent or excellent interpreters. In addition, being accurate, impartial, transparent, respectful, keeping everything confidential and having cultural awareness are essential for interpreters to do their best job. “If you talk to a man in a language that he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to a man in his language, that goes to his heart”, Nelson Mandela. We, as interpreters, are irreplaceable and have a tendency to memorize what we are witnessing. Because of this, déjà vu scenes sometimes come back throughout our days, and while we are sleeping too. A première tragic encounter or awful lamentable event is what all interpreters have to face on a daily basis and it is uncontrollable oftentimes. Today, we are facing serious issues because there are two types of interpreters: independent contractors, and staff interpreters in their respective facilities. How can we better support each other or ourselves in our community so as to not have compassion fatigue in spoken language interpreting? Is there any solution to control it so interpreters are not compromised by all the events?

STS (Secondary Traumatic Stress) or PTSD (Post- Traumatic Stress Disorder) are the challenges interpreters encounter on a daily basis being in their job “field.” According to Dr. Emily Becher, Ph.D. in Family Social Science, “It is normal to experience all of this; it is a normal function of the brain.” As we all discussed during the workshop, when interpreters have déjà vu scenes over and over or when they have bad thoughts about being traumatized, these are signs to seek help. Staff interpreters can reach out to their co-workers easily, to their spouses, or to mental health providers. On the other hand, independent contractor interpreters might have access to the same entourage of people, except it can be a challenge for them to discuss with their co-workers due to the fact that they work in a variety of places.

Chris Mehus, a doctoral candidate in Couple and Family Therapy in the Family Social Science department at the University of Minnesota also said that “your frontal lobe is responsible for that”. The frontal lobes are considered our emotional control center and home to our personality. There is no other part of the brain where lesions can cause such a wide variety of symptoms (Kolb & Wishaw, 1990). The frontal lobes are involved in motor function, problem solving, spontaneity, memory, language, initiation, judgement, impulse control, and social and sexual behavior.

Today, most interpreters are facing serious problems. Interpreters cannot do a good job or be effective if they do not take care of themselves. On the other hand, when compassion satisfaction is high, interpreters can be proud of their work and do better at their respective tasks. By the end of the day, making a difference in people’s lives is a gift. It is almost like a denouement of a film. Being soulagé (relieved) by all the events that were faced. Debriefing before and after an ICU family care conference with the medical team, for example, is also crucial for interpreters. Being aware, being prepared and getting experience are fundamental for this type of career. All providers, managers, supervisors, and agency owners must be educated; therefore, we also welcome them at interpreter workshops so they can be aware, sense, taste, smell and visualize what professional interpreters are dealing with today in order to help each individual. Today, interpreters play a very important piece in patient care. Finally, there is a Chinese proverb that I wanted to share to all of us, “Learning is a treasure that will follow his owner everywhere.”

               Paseuth Vang , CoreCHI French/Hmong Interpreter

Mehus and Becher UMTIA PowerPoint presentation


UMTIA Snacks



UMTIA Attendees







UMTIA Registration Table



UMTIA Registration 2

For more details, go here.

ATA Exam Preparation Workshop @ Plaza Verde (Suite 203)
Apr 11 @ 1:30 pm – 5:00 pm

In order to accommodate more attendees, this workshop which was scheduled for March 14th, has been reprogrammed for April 11th.


• Larry Bogoslaw (ATA-Certified, Russian-English, Spanish-English)
• Claudia Giannini (ATA-Certified, English-Spanish)

This workshop is for translators who are working in the following language pairs:


Participants will receive an ATA Practice Exam of approximately 250 words (cost of the exam included in the cost of registration for the workshop) after registration. The participants must then translate it and return it to the presenters promptly. They will then correct the translation per ATA standards. At the workshop, translation challenges will be analyzed, and possible solutions discussed.

The presenters will also explain how exams are graded and present “coaching strategies” on ways to prepare in advance, what to bring with you, and how to manage your time during the exam.

WHO CAN PARTICIPATE: Translators who work in any of the ATA-certified language pairs and are eligible to take the exam (visit for current eligibility requirements).

REGISTER SOON – Deadline for registration is March 30th!
After you register, we will send you a practice test and further instructions.

WHERE:AbraPalabra, at 1516 East Lake Street, suite 203 (2nd floor), Minneapolis, MN 55407.

Located in Plaza Verde Building at the intersection of East Lake Street and Bloomington. Parking behind Heart of the Beast. The entrance to the parking lot is on 15th Ave. S (not from Bloomington). There is also free parking on the streets (Parking meters are M-F)

CEU’S: This workshop will be valid for 3 ATA Continuing Education Credits.

NOTE: There will be an exam sitting in the Twin Cities on Saturday, May 9th.

For more information about the exam, check the ATA website.
Attendance at this event presumes acceptance of the use of photographs of the event for UMTIA promotional material


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