1. Cynthia E. Roat is a national consultant on issues related to language access in health care. Over the past decade, Ms. Roat has made significant contributions, both in the U.S. and abroad, in many areas of the language access field: training, program development, research, policy formulation, advocacy and organizational development.
She is the author of a wide array of key resources in the field and the primary developer of Bridging the Gap, the country’s most widely-offered training for health care interpreters. Ms. Roat is a founding member of Seattle’s Society of Medical Interpreters (SOMI), the Washington State Coalition for Language Access (WASCLA) and the National Council on Interpreting in Health Care (NCIHC), where she spent nine years on the Board.
She is known nationally as an engaging speaker, a knowledgeable resource, and an energetic advocate for language access in general. Today, she also spends significant time in boardrooms, advising administrators on how to improve their health systems’ language access programs.
2. A native of upstate New York, she spent many years working in rural areas of Latin America before moving to Seattle to earn her MPH in International Health from the University of Washington. Ms. Roat entered the interpreting world in 1992 and quickly became certified by the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services as a medical and social service Spanish-English interpreter. Her interest in systems change, however, led her out of the exam room and into the classroom to teach interpreters, trainers and medical providers the basics of the interpreting trade.
3. She makes her home outside Seattle, Washington, where she lives with her daughter, three fish, 19 Spanish-English dictionaries and an indeterminate number of umbrellas.