Module Translated by Student Volunteers
in the U.S. and Armenia
By Allison Kozicharow; Edited by Jessie Crowdy
Note: WiRED’s volunteer translators have just completed the Armenian Coronavirus Module at Press Time. A story on their work will follow. We focus here on the Mandarin and Spanish versions.
Maryam Othman, M.D., M.P.H., is a WiRED board member who coordinates our Health Learning Center of 400+ modules. She is also director of the Global and Community Center at Western University of Health Sciences (WesternU) in California. After completing WiRED’s Coronavirus Module in English, she got the idea of asking some of her medical students to translate the module into their native languages.
The response was immediate and heartwarming. Twelve busy Western U students donated their time and talents over the holidays in order to produce translations in Mandarin and Spanish. (Please see the sidebars for translator quotations and bios.)
Dr. Othman said, “WiRED International has, for the past 22 years, provided useful, evidence-based information about what people should and should not do to prevent an outbreak. The common lesson in preparing for nearly all infectious diseases is that promptly identifying symptoms and taking precautions can dramatically reduce the spread of the illness. WiRED will continue to provide training material that tracks the latest research and recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization and other leading experts.”
As always, the success of WiRED’s mission to improve the lives of underserved populations is due to the many volunteers who support our work. The module translations from the Western U students will enable our organization to further educate the public about the new coronavirus as the disease challenges the global health community.
Words from the Translators
The following comments and chosen quotations reflect why they volunteered for this project:
“Thank you so much for letting me take part in this wonderful project.”
“Small things matter.”
“We rise by lifting others.”
Shanyi Sandy Feng
“Following the news made me realize the effect of misinformation. I’m glad to take part in the effort to disseminate accurate prevention strategies.”
“To make a great dream come true, the first requirement is a great capacity to dream; the second is persistence. – Cesar Chavez.”
“I’m honored to have worked with an amazing group of students who want to promote health literacy among the Hispanic community regarding this topic.”
Ricardo D. Guevara
“Believe you can and you’re halfway there. – Theodore Roosevelt”
“Above all, don’t fear difficult moments. The best comes from them. – Rita Levi Montalcini.”
“The secret of life, though, is to fall seven times and to get up eight times. – Paulo Coelho.”
Juan Carlos Sanabria
“Act if what you do makes a difference. It does. – William James.”
Carolina Zamora Salazar
Dr. Othman’s Team of Translators: Bios
Stephanie Chang is a second-year medical student at WesternU, College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific. Although she was born in the U.S., she grew up listening to and speaking Mandarin/Cantonese to her immigrant family. Interest in her Chinese heritage led her to work in a clinic located in the San Gabriel Valley. There she gained clinical experience serving a large population of Chinese/Taiwanese immigrants while bolstering her bilingual skills. Ms. Chang continues to strive to improve her Chinese with the aim of undermining the language barriers present in health care together with improving patient care.
Jordan Bass is a first-year medical student at WesternU, College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific. He spent five years in mainland China and completed a bachelor’s degree at Xiamen University. Mr. Bass is the proud father of two children and enjoys learning about other languages and cultures in his free time.
Shanyi Sandy Feng is a first-year medical student at WesternU. She is originally from Zhongshan, China, and moved to San Francisco when she was 12 years old. She wants to become a doctor so as to help both her patients and her community. Other than medicine, Ms. Feng also enjoys community volunteering.
Rocky Li is a first-year medical student at WesternU. He grew up in Zhongshan, China, and moved to Canada in his mid-teenage years. With his clinical and public health backgrounds, Rocky hopes to one day work as an epidemic intelligence service officer at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Thalia Fabian is a first-year medical student at WesternU. She was born in Peru and grew up in California’s Central Valley. As a future primary care doctor, she hopes to improve patient health literacy and increase awareness of preventative medicine. Her interests include mental health advocacy.
Ricardo D. Guevara is a first-year medical student at WesternU, College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific. Although born in Los Angeles, his first language was Spanish due to his Guatemalan/Mexican heritage. Through his participation in hospital volunteering and minority outreach events, he has witnessed first-hand the language barrier that minorities and the disenfranchised face when seeking medical care. For this reason, his career goal is to become a primary care physician that will work with these groups.
Joshua Hernandez is a first-year medical student who is part of the Global Health Track at WesternU. He was born and raised close to the U.S.-Mexico border in Southern California’s rural Imperial Valley and is the first in his family to graduate from high school, college and graduate school and attend medical school. Mr. Hernandez is passionate about integrating his fluency in Spanish throughout his service to underserved Latino families as a future osteopathic family physician.
Gabriela Ramirez is a first-year medical student at WesternU, who has used her bilingual skills to translate for her mother and community members as a medical assistant. As a first-generation college graduate, she conducted national research through the CDC, NHANES study. These experiences have allowed her to see different perspectives of the healthcare system. Her goal is to become an obstetrician gynecologist who supports women of underserved background in their efforts in family planning and obtaining reproductive care.
Juan Carlos Sanabria is a first-year medical student who is part of the Global Health Track at WesternU. Born and raised in Southern California, he has been able to keep close ties to his Guatemalan heritage by using his native language to educate and bridge barriers within the U.S. and abroad. As the first in his family to graduate college and attend medical school, he is passionate about mentorship, equity, diversity and providing primary care to underserved Latinx and LGBTQ+ communities.
Carolina Zamora Salazar is a first-year medical student at WesternU. She was born and raised in San José, Costa Rica, and moved to Eugene, Oregon, in her early teenage years. Carolina hopes to become a physician who can make an impact both locally and abroad. She is passionate about equity, diversity and inclusion, as well as using her native language to bridge communication barriers when it comes to providing care to underserved Latinx communities.