Department Spotlights

Fall 2018: Tagalog


Event Spotlight: Mabuhay Health Center

Our Tagalog interpreters love working with the Mabuhay Health Center in San Francisco! This event typically runs from 10 am - 3 pm. Interpreters typically work with 2-3 patients per clinic day, with each appointment lasting more than 3 hours. UCSF students volunteer their time to provide these patients with health education and check-ups on their basic health, medications, mental health, dental health. As interns and physicians consult each other regarding each patient's appointment, our volunteers interpret for their Tagalog-speaking patient. 
In addition to one-on-one interaction with patients, volunteers also have the opportunity to observe and interface with health professionals.
Do you need health-related interpretation or translation services in Tagalog? Shoot us an email at!

Fall 2018: Spanish


Event Spotlight: Breathmobile 

We are so honored to have such a strong, long-standing relationship with the health providers at Breathmobile!  Interpreters work with caretakers of children who have asthma and other respiratory conditions (Spanish department works most often with the Richmond branch of Breathmobile). These are busy days: each appointment can be 30-90 minutes, and interpreters collectively work with 6 families a day. 
"It is very nice to see children be allowed to be children rather than interpreters for their parents. These kids are sometimes already uneasy because they have to see a doctor and have tests run on them - so it is a relief that we are present to relieve them from the additional pressure that comes with interpreting for your parents." (- Miranda Hurtado, 2018-2019 Spanish Department Coordinator) 
Do you need health-related interpretation or translation services in Spanish? Shoot us an email at!

Fall 2018: Chinese

Established 2007

VHIO began as the San Francisco Hepatitis B Collaborative at Cal, and our first interpreters worked at various clinics in San Francisco Chinatown. VHIO's first language department is currently one of VHIO's largest, responding to the Bay Area's enormous demand for interpretation services in Cantonese and Mandarin.

Many members will note that the Annual Chinatown Health Fair is one of their favorite events, where our interpreters regularly work with over a hundred patients. At this event, Chinese interpreters work with a variety of different health organizations, including UOP Dental School, Sutter Health, and UCSF Pharmacy School. Over a course of 6 hours, interpreters may accompany patients through dental checkups, cholesterol and blood glucose screenings, and medication consultations.

You can reach them for your health interpretation or translation needs at A Chinese language description of our services is available here

Fall 2018: Japanese

Established Spring 2017

When they started out in Spring 2017, they had one patient.

Just one year later (Fall 2018), the Japanese department has established itself as one of our departments with the highest per capita number of volunteer hours. Their outreach efforts have also allowed other departments to expand their services, as community centers like Kimochi-Kai now request volunteers across three languages.

Thank you for your hard work!

We have fun!

Japanese department hosts some amazing socials! When they're not helping limited English proficiency patients, our Japanese interpreters also take some time to kayak and bond over ramen...

Spring 2018: Japanese

Established Spring 2017

Konichiwa! Our newest department is also our smallest, but they've done an amazing job working with Japanese seniors over the past year. These five members have traveled all over the bay to provide interpretation services for a variety of different providers, and worked on translating large amounts of patient history for their clients. (We regretfully bid farewell to Japanese department co-founder Shi Jia Zhou, and wish her the best of luck at medical school in Japan! Izumi Shimanouchi remains to train the next generation of Japanese department coordinators)

You can request their services at or email them at, and read about one of their wonderful members here.

This page displays our most recent 5 department spotlights. Please check this page for the full list.