Linda Golley was raised in Germany, Peru, and Mexico. Upon arriving in the United States in 1974 she became involved in international refugee resettlement. Throughout her 40-year career in healthcare she has had the pleasure of serving patients and families from the myriad immigrant communities in gateway cities on the West Coast. As a community activist, she has been honored to mentor many individuals from very diverse backgrounds as they struggled to integrate successfully into the US landscape. She has strong personal connections with the Palestinian, Russian Jewish, Andean, Afghan, Syrian, Chinese, and Somali communities.
As an outgrowth of her healthcare and resettlement work, Ms. Golley creates and presents training about cultural competence for health care professionals and for social workers. She also creates and presents technical training classes for healthcare interpreters and for other health care staff and providers. Her present position is as Training and Development Specialist for MasterWord Services.
The author has a Master’s degree in Organizational Management, and a B.A. in International Relations. She began working as a Medical Assistant in 1977 in Internal Medicine in the San Francisco Bay Area. From that time, she assisted Spanish- and Russian-speaking immigrant neighbors as an informal interpreter and translator. She proceeded to manage medical practices, then community clinics, then university medicine clinics, then managed the Interpreter Services program for the University of Washington Medical Center for 15 years. From 2018 to 2020 she developed the program to support patient access for Deaf and blind clients at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle. Throughout all of these healthcare positions Ms. Golley carried out direct patient care and support. She was a founding member of the UWMC Patient Education Committee and received numerous awards for making healthcare information accessible to patients. One of her favorite projects was collaborating with Post-Partum nurses to create a culturally comfortable inpatient experience for Somali and Latina new moms.
The author has developed a strong new model of cultural competence. This new model overturns and rejects the previous model of generalizing about people’s values based on national origin, religion, or any other factor. The new model insists on a fresh cultural handshake for every client, every patient. The care provider’s job is to ask the patient about her values, beliefs, and goals in order to help her to achieve them. Ms. Golley teaches this empowering model as part of her classes on caring for mental health patients, reproductive health patients, and patients at end-of-life.
Ms. Golley has served on various boards dedicated to health care language access and cultural competence. She participated in the University of Washington School of Medicine’s development of a cultural competence curriculum for medical students.