Monthly Archives: November 2013

Breaking Down Barriers: For the deaf, a doctor who can communicate –via Pittsburgh Post Gazette


Dr. Deborah Gilboa signs with her patient Yvonne Wilt , of Swissvale, during her visit at the Squirrel Hill Health Center. Dr. Gilboa is one of the few doctors in the nation who is fluent in American Sign Language.

By Tina Calabro

Deborah Gilboa had an unconventional path not only to becoming a family practice physician but also to becoming one of the few doctors in the nation who is fluent in American Sign Language.

After completing a bachelor’s degree in theater at Carnegie Mellon University in 1992, the Chicago native took a job as stage manager with Deaf West Theater in Los Angeles. It was a transformational experience. Immersed in deaf culture, she was surprised at how frequently her colleagues spoke about their difficulties communicating with doctors. As someone considering medicine as a career, she paid close attention.

Upon returning to Pittsburgh to complete prerequisites for admission to medical school, Dr. Gilboa became a certified ASL interpreter. Throughout medical school at the University of Pittsburgh, she gained valuable experience by interpreting in emergency rooms and other health care settings. When she finished her degree, she joined the staff of the Squirrel Hill Health Center, a federally funded agency whose mission is to remove barriers to high quality health care, including communication barriers. Patients who use the center, including many immigrants and refugees, speak numerous languages, all of which are accommodated by bilingual staff or interpreters.

“Deborah’s ability in ASL made her attractive to us,” said Susan Friedberg Kalson, CEO of the center. “She has such empathy for people who have overcome barriers to get health care.”

To read more of this article courtesy of the Pittsburgh Gazette, click the link below.



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Court interpreters picket amid talks on pay, work –via SF Gate


Evelyn Washington with the SEIU local yelled encouragement to the marchers in the rain Tuesday November 19, 2013 in San Francisco, Calif. Members of the California Federation of Interpreters union protested in front of the Hall of Justice over pay, which hasn’t been increased in seven years, and the possibility of video equipment taking their jobs. Photo: Brant Ward, The Chronicle

Courtroom interpreters in Northern California are picketing Bay Area courthouses this week during labor negotiations in which they are seeking their first raises in almost seven years while protesting plans for them to do some of their work on two-way videos.

The California Federation of Interpreters, which represents more than 900 translators in the state’s courts and 150 in the 15 coastal counties from Santa Cruz to the Oregon border, held midday demonstrations Tuesday outside the San Francisco Hall of Justice and courthouses in Hayward and Richmond. More picketing is scheduled elsewhere through Thursday, and negotiations with court officials are due to resume Friday.

The interpreters provide on-the-spot translations of testimony in 55 languages spoken in California trial courts. The state requires interpreters in all criminal cases and juvenile dependency cases, in which parents can lose custody of their children because of abuse or neglect.

Union negotiators and court officials in the north coastal region – the 15 coastal counties that include San Francisco – agreed on a tentative contract in May, but union members rejected it and voted to authorize a strike if further talks fail. The previous contract expired more than a year ago.

To read more of this article courtesy of SF Gate, click the link below.


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Health report highlights insurance disparities, casts light on importance of San Pablo hospital –via Contra Costs Times


SAN PABLO — Although health care coverage will improve and expand under the Affordable Care Act, major disparities will remain for those still uninsured, possibly with worse health care access than before, according to a new report highlighted by health advocates at a medical center here Friday.

“Our survey found that despite dramatic progress, California will continue to have a patchwork of indigent care and safety-net programs and services … this is a pivotal time,” said Anthony Wright, executive director of the Health Access Foundation.

Health Access, a statewide health care consumer advocacy coalition, recently released its study titled “California’s Uneven Safety Net: A Survey of County Health Care,” which examines health care safety nets across California’s counties.

The report comes at a time when counties are making crucial initial decisions on the scope of their safety net programs for indigent care after implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

While the law will dramatically reduce the number of uninsured, a projected 3 million to 4 million Californians will remain uninsured after the health care law is implemented, according to the report.

Counties have traditionally been the provider of last resort for those who are uninsured.

In Contra Costa County, more than 127,000 remain uninsured, about 11 percent of the population, according to the report.

To read more of this article courtesy of Contract Costa Times, click the link below.

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How a business traveller can tackle language barriers –via

Taking your business into a new territory can be a daunting prospect, but one which can be made easier by following a few simple rules,explains i-interpret4u director Michael French.

For small and medium-sized business owners looking to capitalise on global opportunities, travelling abroad to secure new revenue and maintain customer relationships is a common occurrence for man. 

The evolution of the internet has made sure that developing links instantly overseas is no longer the long, drawn-out process it once was. The recession has also brought with it many challenges for businesses which can no longer afford to overlook the huge sales potential of doing business abroad.

In some cases, this revenue stream has become central to survival in what is still a pretty tough economic climate. And even though we sit happily behind our desks and laptops most of the time, it’s fair to say that in some cases there is still no substitute for direct face to face, human contact – and there never will be.

And no, I’m not talking about ‘hoping for the best’ as you attempt to get through a disjointed conversation on Skype (we’ve all been there), nor am I talking about more sophisticated video-conferencing systems (both of which do have their place in the corporate world of course, but for SMEs this is often not a viable option). I am talking about about human interaction in its most primitive form. Real, physical conversations and contact with customers, suppliers and prospects – the type of interaction that is often at the root of every good business deal.

People buy into people and as a business owner that usually means you personally; so successful business is really all about good communication and strong relationships.

To read more of this article courtesy of, click on the link below.

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