Portuguese/English Medical Interpreter Training


Language access in healthcare is a right recognized in law and employers are required to provide interpreter services by qualified interpreters and translators. The new Certificate in Continuing Studies in Portuguese/English Medical Interpreter Training aims to fulfill a growing need for qualified Portuguese/English medical interpreters in Rhode Island and in the region.  
Rhode Island College, with its Institute for Portuguese and Lusophone World Studies and the Portuguese Studies Academic Program, is a resource hub for Portuguese language and Lusophone culture Studies and Certification.

Instructor: Lisa M. Morris, MS

Lisa Morris

Lisa Morris serves as the Director of Cross-Cultural Initiatives for Commonwealth Medicine at the UMASS Medical School.  She oversees several projects related to cross cultural competency with emphasis on language access for all.  She has dedicated her career to working in the field of medical interpreting as an interpreter, interpreter manager, and educator of interpreters and health care staff for the last three decades at several healthcare institutions and colleges in Massachusetts.  She has worked on developing medical interpreter training and conferences, published and presented on the topic of language access nationally. 
Lisa has served on the board to the National Council on Interpreting in Healthcare in the capacity of secretary and treasurer and remains an active member.  She is currently a board member of the Portuguese American Leadership Council of the US. 
She has a degree in Romance Languages from Boston College and a graduate degree in Training and Development from Lesley University.  She also completed a fellowship in Cultural Competence Leadership in 2007 with the Health Research Educational Trust (HRET) the education affiliate of the American Hospital Association.  

Portuguese/English Medical Interpreter Training

  • Portuguese/English Medical Interpreter Training course that includes the following course components: 
    °  PART 1 (Fall semester 2022): Medical Terminology and Cultural Responsiveness 
    °  PART 2 (Spring semester 2023): US healthcare system knowledge, professional responsibility, interpreter ethics. Intensive practice of sight translation, consecutive and simultaneous interpretation.  
  • Students interested in becoming certified medical interpreters must complete both courses. At the end of PART 2 students take the CCHI national certification exam. 
  • Certificate of Continuing Study, 12.0 CEU; 120 contact hours. 
  • Eligibility requirement: advanced fluency in Portuguese and English
  • Learn more about this program.

Questions & Answers

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the start of the Fall and Spring semesters Please apply as soon as you can as space is limited. 

Applicants must be 18 years of age or older and have at minimum a high school diploma or GED. Interview with instructor prior to acceptance will determine fluency requirement in English and in Portuguese. Historically underrepresented groups are encouraged to apply.

  • Participants will receive a Rhode Island College Certificate of Continuing Study in Portuguese/English Medical Interpreter Training.  The course listing with a grade of Satisfactory/S on the student transcript serves as a permanent record of the credential.  
  • Participants will also sit for national certification from the Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters (CCHI) and will complete the ALTA Medical Interpretation Assessment in Portuguese/English.

Participants will receive 4.5 RIC CEUs at the end of the course “Medical Vocabulary and Cultural Responsiveness in Portuguese” and 7.5  RIC CEUs at the end of the Portuguese/English Medical Interpreter Training course.

The tuition is PART 1: $500 and PART 2: $500 and includes all books needed for the program and all fees to sit for the national certification examination and the ALTA language assessment. 

We  integrate Google Classroom and Zoom in our in-person classes. 

You can apply by submitting THIS FORM.

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Contact Us

Silvia Oliveira

Dr. Silvia A. Oliveira

Associate Professor

Ms. Lisa M. Morris

Adjunct Faculty I