In 1994, EthnoMed grew out of another hospital program, Community House Calls, which was successfully bridging cultural and language barriers during medical visits, through interpretation, cultural mediation and advocacy with immigrant patients, families and communities. The website was created to reflect and support that experience, and continues to focus on communities served by Community House Calls.  Other ethnic groups are included as materials are written and community collaborations develop. The founders of EthnoMed looked to the Human Relations Area Files (HRAF) and Murdock’s Outline of Cultural Materials as a framework for organizing information on EthnoMed.

EthnoMed Contributors

Many people have supported the development of EthnoMed. Drs. Tao Kwan-Gett, Elinor Graham and Carey Jackson, librarian Ellen Howard and Ann Marchand were instrumental in starting the website.  In addition to the current team at Harborview Medical Center, we want to acknowledge the following people for their early contributions or key involvement over time:

  • Martha Means
  • Atalegen Molakign
  • Linda Wetzel
  • Hoai Do
  • Kathy Lin
  • Andrea Smith
  • Susan Omura
  • Toby Lewis
  • Hadish Zhalay
  • Pamela LaBorde
  • Lenna Liu
  • Mamae Teklemariam
  • Hannah Linden
  • Vicky Taylor
  • Paularita Seng
  • Hue Thai
  • Leon Reines
  • Yetta Levine
  • Rekha Ravindran
  • Amy Harper
  • Ann Whitney
  • Gail Kuoame

The Community House Calls Program in Harborview Medical Center’s Interpreter Services Department (ISD) has provided leadership for EthnoMed. We are grateful for the initial support provided by Mamae Teklemariam, and the longtime support of former ISD director Martine Pierre-Louis and Community House Calls’ Nurse Supervisors and Caseworker Cultural Mediators (past and present) who have provided community perspectives and partnership opportunities:

  • Bria Chakofsky-Lewy
  • Lea Ann Miyagawa
  • Anab Abdullahi
  • Rose Cano
  • JT Christianson
  • Jeniffer Huong
  • Kim Lundgreen
  • Leticia Magaña
  • Salma Musa
  • Yodit Wongelemengist
  • Jose Mayorga
  • Christina Garces
  • Martin Landeros
  • Aisha Dahir
  • Ali Mohamed
  • Rozy Ramirez
  • Tsehay Demowez
  • Meti Duressa
  • Khadija Hussein

Early work on immigration legal issues was the result of a relationship between EthnoMed and the Northwest Justice Project, particularly Gillian Dutton and Clay Wilson.

In 2011, the National Council on Interpreting in Health Care (NCIHC) presented EthnoMed with the NCIHC Language Access Champion Awards.

From 2009 – 2012, the EthnoMed program had an official Advisory Board with members from senior leadership positions in a number of disciplines such as public health, global medicine, immigrant and refugee health, clinical medicine, education, and library science.  We are grateful to each former board member for their service.

Former Advisory Board Members

  • Tania Bardyn, Director, Health Sciences Library, Associate Dean of Libraries, University of Washington
  • Scott Barnhart, Division Director- Health Systems Strengthening, I-TECH, Departments of Medicine and Global Health, Professor of Medicine and Global Health, University of Washington / Harborview Medical Center
  • Beth Farmer, Program Director, International Counseling & Community Services, Pathways to Wellness Project, Lutheran Community Services Northwest
  • Tao Kwan-Gett,Clinical Associate Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington; Communicable Disease Epidemiology & Immunization Section, Public Health – Seattle & King County
  • Jim LoGerfo, Professor of Medicine & Global Health, Health Services (adjunct), Director of University of Washington Health Promotion Research Center
  • Douglass Jackson, Clinical Professor, Pediatrics, Chief, Center for Diversity and Health Equity, Seattle Children’s
  • Rachel Vaughn, Associate Director, Carlson Leadership and Public Service Center, University of Washington
  • Jennifer Winkler, Program Officer at the Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH)