Healthcare in Every Community, Every Community in Healthcare

Introducing Our Staff

The CCHCP team is staffed by a talented group of individuals. These individuals have constructed significant relationships with leaders and members of numerous communities within King County, Washington State, public agencies, and health care and social service institutions around the United States.


Ira SenGupta, M.A., Executive Director

Ira SenGupta, CCHCP’s Executive Director, has developed and conducted over 2,000 hours of trainings in cross cultural issues for health care providers in the past year alone. Ira’s skills are informed by her experience conducting cultural competency assessments of healthcare institutions and in facilitating and managing major cultural competency initiatives, coalitions, and training programs. A leader in her own community, Ira has extensive experience working with ethnically diverse communities, and has gained a deep understanding of community perspectives on health care.

She has lead several community-based research projects and was the principal investigator on developing a compendium of best practices for the CLAS (Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services) standards for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Minority Health. She also served on the National Committee for Cultural Competence and the Committee for the Development of Cultural Competence Curriculum and Training Modules for Primary Care Physicians.

Ira’s research experience in cross-cultural issues and cultural competency in healthcare, and dynamic training and facilitation skills have made her a key resource for cultural competency training and assessment in healthcare settings nationally. She brings to her workshops a genuine enthusiasm for the subject, a wealth of stories and information, and an energetic style.


Patricia Narvaez-Wheeler, M.S.W., Equity and Inclusion Program Manager

 Patricia is our Manager for CCHCP’s Equity and Inclusion Training, Consulting and Assessment Programs.  She develops and delivers customized  cultural competency training for health and social service organizations around the nation. Patricia brings to CCHCP her experiences and     perspectives as a social worker, popular educator, program manager, and Spanish/English interpreter who has lived and worked in the global   North and South. Patricia identifies as Nicaraguan-American and is proudly the daughter of immigrants.  

Patricia holds a Master of Social Work in Community Based Practice from Portland State University. She is a 2014 graduate of the Oregon Office of Equity and Inclusion’s health equity leadership development program, DELTA.  In 2013 she received the Portland State University President’s Diversity Team Award for advancing diversity efforts at PSU and the 2013 National Association of Social Workers Oregon Community Based Practice Award. Previously, Patricia managed the Komen Foundation of Oregon and SW Washington’s Latina Initiative to develop and implement clinical and community interventions for reducing late stage breast cancer diagnosis among Latinas.

Patricia’s facilitation background includes developing and implementing pedagogy and curriculum on global economic and health disparities, power and privilege, breast health, language access, cultural competency and health equity. Patricia currently serves on the Board of Directors for Seattle nonprofit, Puentes, and enjoys exploring Seattle with her family, spending time with her nephews, laughing with friends and listening to stories about the human experience. 



Denise Schlickbernd, CoreCHI™, Bridging the Gap Program Manager

Denise is the manager and lead trainer for Bridging the Gap (BTG) medical interpreter training and Training of Trainers programs for medical interpreters and trainers from hospitals, non-profits, and language companies. In addition to working with American and international agencies that are licensed to teach BTG in their communities, she has been invited to train for health care organizations across the U.S.

Prior to joining CCHCP, Denise worked extensively with local and national government organizations in Japan to support the international community, including training and interpreting services in Japanese and English, assistance for international residents to navigate healthcare services, and leading conferences to foster intercultural communication skills.



Samuel Verkhovsky, M.I.P.P., CoreCHI™, Language Access Program Development Manager

Samuel is our Manager of Language Access Program Development at The Cross Cultural Health Care Program (CCHCP).   At CCHCP Samuel’s interests and work are grounded in advancing the education, accreditation and professionalization of medical interpreters.  Studies have shown that when LEP (Limited English Proficient) patients have access to professionally trained, certified medical interpreters, patients’ hospital stays are shorter, hospital readmission rates are lower and overall health outcomes are better, which translates to substantial health, cost and time savings to patients and hospitals.

Samuel received his Master in International Public Policy degree from Johns Hopkins University with a concentration in international economics.  Prior to this Samuel spent 12 years as a staff medical interpreter for Russian, Ukrainian and Hebrew speakers at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.  Harborview is the only level 1 trauma center for 5 states of the Northwest region. During Samuel’s 12 years at Harborview Medical Center he conducted trainings for medical residents, nursing students, and aspiring medical interpreters on how to work with medical interpreters and LEP patients.

Samuel’s interests lie at an intersection of CCHCP’s work, the Social Determinants of Health paradigm and the role of focused ethnography in Precision Medicine, (a medical model that proposes the customization of healthcare, with medical decisions and practices being tailored to the individual patient). 


Aselefech Evans, Equity and Inclusion Program Coordinator

Aselefech Evans is our Program Coordinator for CCHCP’S Equity and Inclusion department. She assists our Program Manager with logistics for cultural competency training for health and social service organizations. Originally from Ethiopia, she arrived in the US at 6 years old along with her twin sister, to be adopted by a family in Maryland, where she grew up. Aselefech received her degree in Sociology from Bowie State University, and is the co-founder of Ethiopian Adoptees of the Diaspora. She has spoken on numerous panels about issues of race, identity, and heritage, as well as about growing up in an interracial family. Aselefech has also presented workshops and webinars for child welfare advocates, social workers, and adoption-related organizations. She has written for several publications and appeared on TV shows to discuss topics such as racial identity and international adoption policy. She devotes her advocacy toward family preservation efforts, as well as toward racial and economic justice.


Rachel Miyazaki, M.A., Bridging the Gap Program Coordinator

Rachel supports the Bridging the Gap program and maintains CCHCP’s website. Rachel fields inquiries, assists program managers with CCHCP trainings and events in Seattle, issues certificates, and helps manage CCHCP’s social media presence. She holds a Master’s in International Education Management from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. Rachel has worked extensively with Limited English Proficient populations in the higher education and hospitality fields. Her multicultural upbringing in Hawai’i, where her family has lived for four generations, sparked her initial interest in intercultural understanding. In her spare time, Rachel enjoys researching indigenous cultural and linguistic revival especially relating to Hawai’i and Okinawa.


Ishani Ghosh, Operations Manager

Ishani Ghosh is our operations manager – she’s our door keeper, book keeper, telephone exchange and so much more! Honest, diligent and detail-oriented, Ishani keeps our office running smoothly.

Ishani Ghosh has experience as a travel agent, interpreter, and teacher.  She has served on the executive board of Uttoron, an organization dedicated to promoting the culture of Bengal, a state in India. Ishani is well-suited to work in an organization devoted to cross cultural understanding.  She has lived in two vastly different multicultural countries, India and the United States.