"We are our choices." J.P. Sartre
"It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities." Albus Dumbledore/J. K. Rowling
Elaine Hsieh (Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2004; J.D., University of Oklahoma, 2019) is Chair and Professor in the Department of Communication, University of Minnesota (starting 7/15/2022), and a Visiting Professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. An award-winning author, Fulbright Scholar, and NIH-funded researcher, she has published extensively to examine the intersections of culture, language, health, and medicine in interpersonal and cross-cultural contexts.
Dr. Hsieh has served as the Associate Editor (Health Care Communication and Relations) for the Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health during 2010-2017. She currently serves on the editorial/advisory boards of Health Communication, Interpreting, and Journal of Intercultural Communication Research, among others. Her work has been published in Social Science & Medicine, Patient Education and Counseling, Health Communication, Qualitative Health Research, and others. Papers presenting her model of bilingual health communication have received several national and international top paper awards. She authored two book, Bilingual Health Communication: Working with Interpreters in Cross-Cultural Care (Routledge) and Rethinking Culture in Health Communication: Social Interactions as Intercultural Encounters. She has been invited to major national and international conferences to present her work in the areas of bilingual health care. She regularly serves as a reviewer for grants and funded research for government agencies and research institutions in the U.S. and around the world.
My research interests focus on interpersonal issues in health contexts, with an emphasis on cross-cultural care. I have been involved in research on bilingual/cross-cultural health care for over 20 years. The three aspects that I have investigated are (a) the discrepancies between the beliefs and the practice of medical interpreters and healthcare providers, (b) interpreters’ influences on the quality of health services, and (c) interpreters’ mediation of identities and communicative goals. I currently pursue two lines of research dealing with health communication for non-English speaking and/or minority patients: (a) interpreter-mediated medical encounters and cross-cultural care, and (b) social support and health literacy in cultural contexts. I am particularly interested in (a) developing a model of bilingual health communication to explain and predict the effectiveness and appropriateness of interpreter-mediated medical encounters, (b) investigating how patients’ (cultural-specific) social support and health literacy influences their coping strategies and health behaviors, and (c) generating a theoretical model of coping that accounts for the social process and temporal aspects of illness management.
In recent years, I have been developing a new research line that emerged from my interests in legal issues in health policy. This research line centers on two issues: (1) the discrepancies between legal standards and known factors and practices for quality of care and (2) reconceptualizing privacy boundaries, patient autonomy, self-determinism, and health management in the era of genomic medicine. Going forward, I would like to examine how genetic technology and medicine present challenges to individuals’ management of health, privacy, and relationships. I am also interested in examining how institutional practices (e.g., informed consent), health policies (e.g., biobank management), and medicine in general (e.g., use and research of genetic materials) should respond to such paradigm shift in meanings of autonomy, privacy, and property interests.
Dissertation: Bilingual Health Communication and Medical Interpreters: Managing Role Performances and Communicative Goals
Advisor: Dale E. Brashers
Dept. of Speech Communication, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2004.
Focus: Health law and bioethics.
Major: English-Chinese Translation and Interpretation (T & I)
Double Majors: Chinese Literature/ English Literature
Fulbright Storytelling Program, The Poynter Institute, USA, 2015.
International Environmental Policy, Monterey Institute of International Studies, CA, 1999.
Course Director (Healthcare Interpreting; Chinese/English), Glendon School of Translation, York University, Toronto, Canada. *Online MA Program
Curriculum Developer (Healthcare Interpreting; Chinese/English), Glendon School of Translation, York University, Toronto, Canada. *Online MA Program
Invited Adjunct Associate Professor, Graduate Institute of Translation and Interpretation Studies, Fu Jen Catholic University, Taipei, Taiwan.
Invited Visiting Scholar. Graduate Institute of Translation and Interpretation, National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei, Taiwan.
Associate Editor, Health Communication, 2012-present
Associate Editor, Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, 2011-2017
Member, Health Communication Series, Johns Hopkins University Press [book series] (2020-present)
Member, Journal of Intercultural Communication Research (2011-present)
Member, Health Communication (2010-present)
Member, Southern Communication Journal (2017-present)
Interpreter/Intern, Interpreter Services, UCSF Stanford Health Care / 196 hours training of medical interpretation and health communication.
AT&T Language Line Interpreter; over-the-phone interpretation for health, business, legal, and various types of communication.
Medical Interpreter, East Central Illinois Refugee Mutual Assistance Center (ECIRMAC) and local hospitals.