Miss Balistreri is a linguist and an entrepreneur who has dedicated most of her professional and academic experience to Translation Studies, Applied Linguistics, Language Acquisition and Second Language Learning. After living in Italy, Argentina, England and Spain, where she worked on document translation and taught English and French as foreign languages, she moved to California where she has been living since 1991.
Her academic background is in General Linguistics and Spanish Applied Linguistics and she is certified for Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL); she has undergone extensive training in healthcare interpreting, cultural diversity, leadership skills, cultural awareness, cross-cultural communication, as well as training in leadership skills geared specifically for healthcare and mental health.
In 2010 and 2011, Miss Balistreri served as Board President of the California Healthcare Interpreting Association (CHIA), and she is presently a Board Director of the National Council of Interpreters in Health Care (NCIHC), where she also serves as a member of the Standards & Training Committee and as co-chair of the Language of Limited Diffusion (LLD) Work Group. In the past, she has served as a Subject Matter Expert (SME) for the Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters (CCHI), where she is currently a member of the EtoE National Task Force.
As an experienced linguist, Miss Balistreri’s professional background includes work in the areas of lexicography, computational linguistics and natural language processing through her early work with Systran Inc., a pioneer in translation software.
As an educator, Miss Balistreri has collaborated with several academic and educational organizations in the development of curricular material for program on Spanish language, Applied Linguistics, TESL, Translation & Interpreting, Cultural Awareness and Cross-Cultural Communication. She is a licensed trainer of The Community Interpreter ®, the international edition training developed by Cross Cultural Communications LLC, and she is a licensed trainer of the Applied Suicide
Intervention Skills Training (ASIST), a world-renowned training developed by Living Works that aims to teach individuals in the community to provide immediate safety to a person at risk of suicide across languages and cultures. She also teaches extensively on violence against women and domestic violence as part of her cultural competence training series.
In 2008 Miss Balistreri started her teaching role at Cal State University Fullerton in the Healthcare Interpreting Certificate Program where she also served as a member of the Translation & Interpreting Education Advisory Board.
After dedicating years in language access program implementation and interpreter services management for Adventist Health, UC Irvine Health and Palomar Health, in 2008 Miss Balistreri founded REACH-reaching diversity to meet the demand of cultural & linguistic services in healthcare and mental health. Her primary goals behind REACH services are to enhance quality of health care, increase patient safety and maximize customer satisfaction though effective communication.
Through REACH she continues to develop and facilitate on-line and on-site assessment tools and quality educational and training modules for healthcare interpreters and healthcare professionals, focusing on language-specific content for many languages of limited diffusion.
In 2015 she co-founded the California Interpreter Training Academy, a collaborative venture between REACH-reaching diversity and The Communication Bridge, aimed to deliver on-site skill-based training to interpreters who work across multiple areas and industries.
Miss Balistreri is a dynamic member in the language service arena and an active conference speaker and presenter on language access and cultural awareness. She has presented at annual conferences and other educational events organized by the American Translator Association, Association of Translators and Interpreters in the San Diego Area (ATISDA), the National Council of Interpreters in Health Care, the International Medical Interpreter Association (IMIA), the California Healthcare Interpreting Association (CHIA), the Arizona Translator and Interpreter Association (ATI) and the Texas Association of Healthcare Interpreters & Translators (TAHIT), among many others.