About Us

The CUNY Healthcare Interpreter Certificate Program is a collaborative effort across several CUNY campuses administered by the Adult & Continuing Education departments.

In 2007, Hostos Community College conducted a market analysis of the state of healthcare interpretation in the New York City area. The results of the analysis showed a growing demand for properly trained interpreters in the healthcare setting, and employment opportunities available if such a training program was developed.
Consequently, an advisory committee comprising of representatives from Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC), 1199 SEIU League Training & Upgrading Fund, language assistance managers from the major New York City hospitals and Continuing Education managers from four CUNY colleges were assembled to guide the development of a forward looking curriculum that would meet the needs of providers in New York City and meet current and future national and local standards.

Our program has been designed to meet the criteria established by the Standards of Practice of the International Medical Interpreters Association and the Code of Ethics of the National Council on Interpreting in Health Care. Working in collaboration with Culturesmart, an organization specializing in medical interpreter training, our Level One curriculum uses as its foundation Culturesmart’s The Essential Piece, a nationally renowned healthcare interpreter training program which has been widely used throughout the U.S.

The entire program will consist of multiple levels to offer options for basic to advanced training. It is meant to advance a culture of continuing education for local medical interpreter professionals whereby they can strengthen their training and potentially develop expertise in specialty areas. The program will also promote standardized assessment among CUNY schools at the various training levels, so hospitals utilizing CUNY-trained interpreters can expect the interpreters to be trained to certain quality standards.

Our instructors are highly trained professional interpreters with years of experience in the field. They offer our students a unique perspective on current and real-life situations in the healthcare setting and developments in the industry.

The course is offered at several CUNY campuses encompassing the 5 boroughs of New York City. Please visit the Location Near You section for more information on the participating schools.

Advisory Board




J. Emilio Carrillo Vice President, Community Health Development New York-Presbyterian Hospital
StefanieTrice Senior Director, Office of LEP/Culturally
and Linguistcally Appropriate Services (CLAS)
NYC Health and Hospital Corporation (HHC)
Irja Estrella Language Assistance Program Coordinator
Long Island College Hospital
Lynette Alvarado Project Manager, Community Center for Excellence in Women's Health/ Ambassador for Change Program
St. Barnabas Hospital
Maria Luisa Castañeda Asst. Director, Education 1199 SEIU League Training & Upgrading Fund
Lorraine Altman Executive Director, Continuing Education
& Professional Studies
Hostos Community College
Jane Mackillop
Associate Dean, Adult and Continuing Education
LaGuardia Community College
Diane Gahagan Health Care Careers Program Educational Coordinator Queens College
Cynthia Murphy Executive Director, Adult & Continuing Education York College
Maria Cornelio Coordinator Spanish Major Concentration in
Translation/Interpretation Department of
Romance Languages
Hunter College of the
University of New York
Jonathan Bissell Director, Adult & Continuing Education Medgar Evers College
Oilda Martinez Director, Adult & Continuing Education The City College of New York
Greg Figaro President CultureSmart
Bruce Downing Director, Program in Translation and Interpreting
University of Minnesota