Brookine resident Shari Gold-Gomez has been selected to receive the “Culture Catalyst Award,” presented by Cambridge-based nonprofit, Found in Translation, at its annual diversity-themed benefit event, Party Around the World, on October 17th. The three awardees are: Nancy Folan, Peggy Andreas, and Shari Gold-Gomez. The Culture Catalyst Award honors individuals who have shown a commitment to tipping the scales of opportunity across race, gender, and ethnicity, who promote a culture of diversity, inclusion, and hope, and who have made exceptional contributions to further Found in Translation’s mission, which is:
- To give bilingual women an opportunity to achieve economic security through the use of their language skills.
- To unleash bilingual talent into the workforce to fight racial, ethnic, and linguistic disparities in health care.
Shari Gold-Gomez has been the Director of Interpreter Services at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) since 1992, where she has been a leader in improving healthcare access for LEP (Limited English Proficiency) patients. Some of her initiatives have been copied at other hospitals locally and nationally. Under her leadership, the number of staffed languages at BIDMC has increased to 10, while serving over 70 different languages in the past year.
Shari has been a wonderful supporter of Found in Translation’s Medical Interpreter training program, inviting FIT students to attend a workshop at BIDMC to learn interviewing skills and meet with some of BIDMC’s professional interpreters.
“Shari was one of the first people I spoke to when I was launching Found in Translation,” says founder Maria Vertkin. “I had the general concept for the program, but didn’t know much about things like the local interpreter job market and hiring practices. Shari was a beacon of light that helped me to understand the field. Her expertise was instrumental in creating what is now recognized as one of the world’s most innovative and effective emerging nonprofits.”
Found in Translation is a 2 year-old nonprofit dedicated to helping low-income bilingual women in the Boston area use their language skills in order to attain economic security. Its central program is a Medical Interpreter Certificate Course that qualifies its graduates for interpreting jobs in hospitals and other healthcare settings. Medical interpreting is the 4th fastest-growing profession in the U.S., predicted to grow by 42.2% over the next decade (accd. to the Bureau of Labor Statistics).
The Culture Catalyst Award will be presented at Found in Translation’s benefit event, Party Around the World, on October 17th from 6-10pm at the Microsoft NERD Center in Cambridge. The event, which will include food, music, and dance performances from many cultures, is open to the public. Tickets can be purchased online.