(a non-profit organization)

Home About SOMI Membership Resources Training News Interpreter


SOMI Board of Directors





Renée Palermo


[email protected]


Araceli González Medel

 206-559-4045 vm

[email protected]  

Corresponding Secretary


Cristina Paget 

206-621-4053 wk./vm. / 425-868-4716 hm 

[email protected]

Recording Secretary

Christina Zubelli

[email protected]


Professional Development

Thu-Van Nguyen


[email protected]


Event Coordinator

 Lisa Rachel Jaffee

253-835-1492 hm. / 206-412-4202 cel.  [email protected]   

Forum Coordinator

Cathy Nguyen Morrow


Phuong Hong & Leng Taing


Photos by Renee Palermo

How SOMI got started:

SOMI had its unofficial beginning in 1989 through "The Interpreter's Forum", a monthly training event for medical interpreters. The forums, to this day, are well attended. The sessions are informative as well as educational; and the ethnic food served is delicious!

During one of the sessions in July 1993, a group of attendees turned the discussion to the possibility of becoming organized. Ideas emerged for an association for medical and social services interpreters. Enthusiasm grew and committees were formed to write a mission statement and by-laws, and to create a name and logo.

Within the next six months, thanks to tireless volunteer efforts of more than a dozen medical interpreters, the Society of Medical Interpreters was created.

SOMI was born from the needs and desires of a community of professionals who are a vital link in the delivery of linguistically and culturally appropriate health care.

Today, many years later, SOMI continues to grow, supported by the commitment of its members and officers and is recognized nationally as a powerful voice for the profession of medical interpreting.

Currently SOMI has members from the entire Northwest region - from California to Vancouver, BC - and new members are emerging throughout the nation.

Organization Goals:

  • To provide training and continuing education opportunities for interpreters.

  • To establish and maintain a professional code of ethics and standards of practice for medical interpretation.

  • To promote active communication between service providers, ethnic communities and the interpreter community.

  • To research, gather and disseminate information, including current events and policy involving and  affecting the interpreter community.

  • To provide a supportive network for the interpreter community.

  • To promote awareness among healthcare service providers and the community of the value of interpreter services.

SOMI Bylaws:

SOMI Bylaws - Amended October 25th, 1993




Society of Medical Interpreters, PO Box 3304, Seattle, WA 98114-3304  Voicemail: (206) 729-2100


Contact us: e-mail


Copyright 2003-2016 The Society of Medical Interpreters. All rights reserved.

Created by Renee Palermo October 23, 2003.