Eva de Vallescar is a Health Communication Specialist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She has been deployed to multiple emergency responses including the two largest Ebola outbreaks in Africa (2015 in Guinea and 2019 in the Democratic Republic of Congo). She also served as Spanish content lead during the 2016 Zika virus and the 2017 Hurricane Maria responses in Puerto Rico.

Eva started her career at CDC as a contractor translating websites and other public health materials from English into Spanish. Previously, she worked for more than a decade as a writer/producer and copyeditor for CNN Spanish. She has a bachelors’ degree in Communications from the Universidad Iberoamericana (Mexico City) and a Master’s degree in Medical and Public Health Translation from Universidad Jaume I (Valencia, Spain). Eva is ATA certified translator (English>Spanish) since 2007. Eva has been a presenter for ATA, AAIT, and TAPIT conferences.  


Translating and Interpreting for Risk Communication Scenarios

When the unthinkable happens to people during a disaster or a public health emergency, the world feels like it has turned upside down. People receive, process, and react in different ways during an emergency. The right message at the right time from the right person can save lives. But the tone of the information and the cultural approach can affect the communication with the public. Risk communication uses many communications techniques ranging from media and social media communications, mass communications and community engagement.  This presentation will address some techniques for both interpreters and translators. The learning objectives are


  • Define Crisis and Emergency Risk Communication principles (“CERC” principles”)
  • Describe ways to talk with people during emergencies to empower them to understand and act to reduce harm
  • Explain psychological barriers to communication during crises, and best practices to counter stigmatization and increase cultural competence to build trust to communicate more effectively