Giving Back

The Cross Cultural Health Care Program launched its scholarship program in 2020. In December 2020, Dr. Patricia Dawson, a long-time CCHCP board member and one of the early visionaries who helped shape CCHCP, passed away. In honor of her leadership in the field of health care equity, we have named our scholarship program in her honor.

We provided two scholarships that year for our Bridging the Gap medical interpreting course, and we look forward to providing more scholarships in the years ahead to individuals who are interested in supporting their community through professional training as a medical interpreter.

The scholarship application period is currently closed for 2022, but we will offer more opportunities in 2023. Visit our Bridging the Gap page to learn more about the course and upcoming trainings.

Program Sponsors

A big thanks to the  Hepatitis Education Project of Seattle for sponsoring one of our 2021 scholarships! The Hepatitis Education Project is committed to improving health of underserved communities disproportionately impacted by viral hepatitis.

2021 Scholarship Recipients

Rosemary Vergara

Rosemary is a first generation college graduate and is currently enrolled as an MS/MD student at Western Michigan University Homer Stryker School of Medicine. Rosemary speaks Spanish and English and is very active in her community and campus. She is the co-president of the WMed chapter of the Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA), and Public Relations co-chair of LMSA National. She has volunteered with other students at WMed to get COVID-19 vaccines distributed to the Kalamazoo community. She volunteers with the Gospel Church health fairs; works as a scribe for a cardiac clinic; and serves on the national alumni advisory board for the Summer Health Professions Education Program to assist historically underrepresented students in exploring a future career in health related fields.

Through the Bridging the Gap course, she hopes to advance her own skills and empower others in the medical field to advocate for professional interpreter training and better address the needs of the Latino community. Rosemary is proud to have her parents and her younger sister, Diana, as her role model.

Lina Tayem

Lina has a B.A. in English Literature and a higher education diploma in Translation. She speaks English and Arabic and is currently working as a medical interpreter. She has also worked extensively as an Arabic linguistic, translator, and English teacher in Lebanon and Qatar. Working as a translator for clients across various businesses allowed her to gain additional multicultural experience in her career. Lina understands firsthand the challenges of being an immigrant in the United States, dealing with the health care system and language barriers. She became invested in helping other Arabic speakers in her community overcome these same challenges. Lina began volunteering to help immigrants and refugees affected by domestic violence. She provided translation services for Arabic immigrants and refugees with limited English proficiency who needed assistance communicating with government entities.

Through the Bridging the Gap training, Lina hopes to gain the skills necessary to become a qualified medical interpreter so she can help the Arab community gain better access to quality health care services. After the course, Lina plans to obtain her national medical interpreter certification.

2020 Scholarship Recipients

Jiyeon Lee

Jiyeon is a Registered Nurse at the University of Washington Medical Center and has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Pennsylvania. Jiyeon is proficient in Korean and English.  Through her work as an RN and volunteer at Cornerstone Medical Clinic, Jiyeon witnessed the negative outcomes for patients who face language barriers. She now hopes to help other Korean immigrants gain access to quality health care through interpreter services.

Jiyeon is an active volunteer at World Relief Seattle, where she assists refugees and immigrants with resettlement, employment, and English language training. Through the Bridging the Gap training, Jiyeon hopes to develop new skills around the interpreter’s role and the impact of culture so she can be an effective health care provider.

Salimatou Sy

Salimatou is a Senior Cultural Health Navigator at AFAHO (African Family Health Organization) with a Bachelor of Science from the University of Pennsylvania. She is proficient in Mandingo, French, and English. At AFAHO, Salimatou supports the African and Caribbean community with navigating the health care system. She is also member of the Philadelphia International Women’s Project, a partnership that serves women who have experienced Female Genital Cutting.

Salimatou understands the barriers that immigrants in her community face when they are confronted with language barriers and when they lack health insurance. She hopes to use the Bridging the Gap training to provide representation for African and Caribbean immigrants and refugees in health care.