Mary Soots, Oregon Health Care Interpreters Association Director of Education Programs, takes a deep dive into what it takes to make medical interpreting a lasting and rewarding career.
Mary Soots is an Anthropologist, a social researcher and policy analyst, and an Oregon Certified Health Care Interpreter (Spanish). She is an Adjunct Professor of Anthropology at Portland State University, specializing in the culture of Latin America. She has worked with the Hispanic community in Oregon for over 40 years which helps to inform her interpreting work. Until COVID, she also worked in Research and Evaluation at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI).
Mary is the Director of Education Programs for the Oregon Health Care Interpreters Association (OHCIA), developing the curriculum for the 60-hour Health Care Interpreter training program required for Qualification or Certification credentials for spoken and sign languages. She oversees the continuing education program expanding HCI skills and knowledge. Mary also provides the instruction along with various continuing education classes including Cultural Awareness for interpreters and other health care professions.
Born in Mexico and raised in the Midwest, Mary’s bicultural background provides depth to her work by interpreting both the meaning of the message and the cultural context in which it exists. Her goal is to create bridges of understanding across cultures. Mary holds a Master of Arts degree in Anthropology from Portland State University, Bachelor of Arts degrees in International Studies and Anthropology, as well as Minor Degrees in Spanish and in Geography.
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If you share a passion for communication and service and and are interested in a medical interpreting career, take a look at joining our team! We provide free support and training whether you are just getting started or have been interpreting for years.