Monday, December 23, 2013

Year End Shout Outs and Reflection

Kamana Khadka

Friends, time flies!  Especially, when you love what you do :0) As another beautiful year comes to an end and we prepare to welcome a brand new year with double the enthusiasm, we would like to spend sometime reflecting on 2013.

The month of November was special for us as it marked one year of Hamro America LLC’s existence.  Hamro America’s journey started when two co-workers, Ms. Kamana Khadka and Ms. Emma Ditsworth, decided to make productive use of furloughed hours at a non-profit organization, where they worked for several years.  For the first few months, we invested a day of the week, in chasing our passion of promoting culturally and linguistically competent services for all in Arizona and nationally.  

Our first official public appearance was at the 8th Annual Cesar Chavez Conference, followed by our presentations/facilitations/workshops at a local level at The Flinn Foundation for Mountain Park Health Center, Diversity Leadership Alliance, St. Luke’s Health Initiative, Partners In Recovery, University of Arizona, Pima County Health Department, Department of Economic Security and so on.  In no time, we also entered the national arena and presented/facilitated at 2013 Young Non-profit Professional Network’s National Leadership Conference, 7th Annual National Council of Interpreters in Health Care Meeting, and Easter Regional Campus Compact for Carnegie Foundation.

Our journey would never have been a success had it not been for some very, very special individuals in our lives. 


Mr. Essen Otu, Diversity and Community Affairs Director at Mountain Park Health Center
Mr. Mark Tellier, Chief Administrative Officer at Terros
Ms. Dolores Retana, Consultant
Detective Luis Samudio, City of Phoenix Police Department
Mr. Bob Enderle, Diversity Leadership Alliance
Detective Christopher Abril, City of Phoenix Police Department
Ms. Elizabeth McNamee, Director at St. Luke’s Health Initiative
Dr. Raquel Gutierrez, Associate Director at St. Luke’s Health Initiative
Ms. Faith Weese, Grand Canyon University
Ms. Georgia Sepic, Serrano Village Apartments
Mr. Zach Holden, Refugee Health Coordinator, Arizona Department of Health Services
Ms. Asmeen Hamkar, Refugee Health Services Manager, Department of Economic Security
Ms. Carolyn Manning, Former Community and Economic Development  Manager, Arizona Refugee Resettlement Program 
Ms. Sharon Flanagan, Flanagan-Hyde Solutions, LLC
Ms. Megan O’Conner, Executive Director, Welcome To America Project
Ms. Jeanne Nizigiyimana, Program Director, Maricopa Integrated Health Systems

Thank you all for going an extra mile in helping us.  We would also like to pay gratitude to all the coalitions we have been part of and its members for encouraging us throughout this journey.

Along with our public workshops, in 2013 we worked hard in expanding our training topics. 

Cultural Competency Training Topics

Cultural competency training topics include, but are not limited to: 

·      Practical Guide to Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Care
·      Working Effectively with Refugee Population
·      Building Culturally Competent System of Care
·      Building Culturally Competent Community Partnerships
·      Cultures of Western Bio-Medicine
·      Communicating Effectively Through Interpreters
·      Culturally Competent Use of Language Services
·      Impact of Health Disparities
·      Strategies for Resolving "Cultural Bumps"
·      Tools for Strengthening Internal Capacities
·      New CLAS Standards

Interpretation Training Topics

Medical and Community Interpretation training topics include, but are not limited to:

·      Introduction To Medical/Community Interpreter
·      National Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice for Interpreters
·      Path to National Certification Tests for Interpreters
·      Assessing Interpreters
·      Continuing Education for Medical/Community Interpreters
·      Affordable Care Act and an Overview of U.S. Health Care System
·      Consecutive/Simultaneous Interpretation and Sight Translation  
·      Orientation for Service Providers
·      Client Education: Hows and Whys of Working with Trained Interpreters
·      Resources for Interpreters of Languages of Lesser Diffusion

Please let us know if you or your organization can help us spread the word about our services. 

Also, you can help us spread the word by:

·      Asking us to drop-off our brochure at your office for distribution
·      Invite us to speak at your organization
·      Share your listserv with us
·      Share your calendar of events with us so that we may table at your events
We are very excited to enter 2014 with the mission “To strengthen culturally competent services in America such that people with diverse needs receive sensitive, knowledgeable, and non-judgmental access. We define diverse needs as abilities and disabilities, cultural and linguistic, social and health care.”

Wishing You and Your Loved Ones Happy Holidays!

Stay Warm,

Hamro America

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

When An Asian Woman Gets In A Car Accident In The United States

Kamana Khadka

     To my Mum’s simple “How are you doing?” question over Skype, one of our close family friends, whom we had recently visited in Baltimore, responded, “It would have been two days of my passing away.”

     She had gotten into a really bad car accident as she crashed with an impatient driver, who just could not wait for his turn to make a left-hand turn.  Luckily all her airbags in the car popped out, and no physical harm was done to her.  But her car was horribly damaged and can no longer be driven.

     As she was beginning to process, rationalize, and started explaining the situation, over Skype, there were so many cultural associations that she was bringing up, without intentionally meaning to do so. Most of it was clearly influenced by how the driver, in fault, from the other car, was reacting.  The driver’s impatience was associated to his ethnicity; his bully attitude towards an Asian woman driver, was associated with his privilege of not needing to learn about the world, different than his, residing in America; and his talking at her in a very loud, fast, and angry voice (so that she would be nervous and admit it was her fault instead), was associated with his upbringing in an environment where respect was not taught from early on.

     Do drivers of certain ethnic background get treated differently when behind the wheels?  How about if the driver is a woman?  This conversation made me think a little deeper about just driving in general in the United States. 

     There are not many nice people behind the wheels anymore.  You get the honkers, yellers, impatient drivers, road ragers, ones that forcefully squeeze in front of you, tailgaters, and the list goes on.

     And of course, if you live in Arizona, you get randomly stopped and carded for looking a certain way, because of our Sheriff and his officers’ limited worldview.   

     Most evenings, I walk around my block to check my mail.  One of the evenings, walking back with my mails, I noticed a parked car with a hand-written sign, stuck at the back of the car, and it stated “Learning.  Be Nice.”  It also had a little smiley face at the bottom.  I found that a bit funny and took a picture with my phone.  Who does that, I said to myself?  Since the car had a little statue of Ganesh Ji (Hindu God with an elephant head), I could tell that the owner was a Hindu, most likely from India, since we are the only Nepalese in that neighborhood.

     Our family friend’s car accident episode was not the worst-case scenario.  But let me tell you, her experience with a culturally incompetent, proud, and rude Caucasian man who hit her car, then with the officers that mostly listened to the Caucasian man, then with the hospital staff, and now with the insurance agents, definitely took her years back, when she first moved to the United States.  It forced her to question whether her decision to move to the United States was a right decision. 

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