President and CEO
Melinda Paras is the President and CEO of Paras and Associates (PAA), a California S Corporation, leading the implementation of new language access solutions in hospital settings. The Paras and Associates team designed and now manages the first operational video/voice over IP call center – the Health Care Interpreter Network (HCIN), a cooperative of California public hospitals sharing interpreter services. PAA clients utilizing these innovative call center technologies now include Kaiser Permanente, South Alameda Service Area, and a collaborative of Chicago area hospitals in the Illinois Video Interpreter Network.
Paras is the past Director of Communications, Policy and Planning for the Alameda County Medical Center (ACMC) an independent hospital authority operating safety-net medical facilities in Alameda County. She is previously the Executive Director of Health Access a California health policy and advocacy organization. Ms. Paras is also the former President of the ACMC Board of Trustees and a former San Francisco Health Commissioner.
Peter Praetz is the past Chief Financial Officer of San Francisco General Hospital and the Alameda County Medical Center. Mr. Praetz oversaw the implementation of a multiple information systems projects which included a clinical information system for the San Francisco Department of Public Health Integrated Delivery System. This system established an automated lifetime medical record and a single patient identifier. He is also currently a financial consultant for the California Association of Public Hospitals advising on the Medicaid waiver between the State of California and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Systems.
Katherine Chan, MsE.
Katherine Chan, M.E. is the Director of Operations of Paras and Associates and has led the technical design of video interpreting solutions in interpreting since the year 2000, supporting the first clinical trials for the use of video interpreting at San Francisco General Hospital and Alameda County Medical. She has continued her work evaluating and testing new innovations in these technologies, setting up the first Video/Voice Call Center based in the United States. She currently manages the day-to-day technical operations of the Health Care Interpreter Network system which shares interpretation among public hospitals in California and throughout the country. This includes management of over 30 private connections to the PAA MPLS, support for over 400 interpreters logging in to the PAA systems, programming and management of Cisco UC contact center and CallManager servers, Cisco cube, Expressway, and VPN concentrator connections to clients. Ms. Chan previously worked as a project and sales engineer for environmental systems. She has been a facility manager for a wafer fabrication plant. She holds a B.S. from National Taiwan University and a Masters in Engineering from the Asian Institute of Technology. Ms. Chan has received two years of post-baccalaureate education in computer science and training in Microsoft / Cisco systems.