You may have seen or met Lidia Puga in the hallway; she’s a friendly person with a warm smile and a cheerful personality. For the past 15 + years, Lidia has been the hospital’s Spanish translator and interpreter, and as the only official translator/interpreter in the building, she’s incredibly busy! On a daily basis, Lidia is called upon to translate written documents and perform verbal interpretation from Spanish to English. However, to say Lidia is “just” a translator is to put her into a very narrow box.
Lidia has always had a love for other cultures and helping people. She started working in hospitals as the Supplies, Processing and Distribution department at Mercy Hospital in 1989. A year later, Lidia transferred to the Pharmacy where she became certified as a pharmacy technician and worked in Mercy’s inpatient pharmacy. When the hospital closed in 1995, Lidia moved to Denver Health Medical Center where she worked in both the inpatient, outpatient, and clinical pharmacies. Throughout the years, Lidia was often called upon to interpret for Spanish-speaking patients, and became very familiar with translating medical terminology.
In 1996, Lidia went back to school to study to be a Spanish Translator but given her hospital work background, she quickly realized healthcare interpretation was her perfect match and took courses for court interpreters (there were no classes for medical interpreter back then) to learn proper techniques, etc.. While in school, she earned the privilege of becoming a member of the Golden Key Society, meaning she graduated within the top five percent nationwide, and earned the Phi Sigma Iota status which recognizes outstanding accomplishment in the study or teaching
of academic fields related to foreign language or culture. She also taught Spanish and Pre-Columbian and Mesoamerican Culture at Metropolitan State University of Denver. At MSU, she was the project coordinator and lecturer for study abroad courses taking students to Central American countries to improve their language skills. She did this all while raising two daughters and holding a full-time job.
From day to day you can find her teaching at new employee orientation, attending patient appointments, translating for individuals, testing language competency for bilingual employees, teaching the Spanish discharge class for new moms and their babies, or working on interdepartmental projects – all with not a minute to spare. And that’s just the things she accomplishes at PVMC!
Outside of her job, Lidia also leads language competency exams for bilingual officers for the Denver Fire Department at MSU, the Littleton Police Department, and formerly the Denver Police Department (DPD). When she has free time, Lidia loves to go dancing with her husband, go hiking, read about other cultures, and working on her home.
Lidia isn’t the average interpreter that you would find elsewhere, but so much more. Her vast amount of knowledge of the hospital, its history, and other cultures gives her a special insight, and her experience working with all the hospital departments makes her a vital component in the Platte Valley family. You can reach Lidia for translation or interpreter services by calling X 1905 or by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org.