The NCIHC started as an informal working group in 1994 and met yearly until it was formally established in 1998. The group is composed of leaders from around the country who work as medical interpreters, interpreter service coordinators and trainers, clinicians, policymakers, advocates and researchers.

Our goals include:
- Establishing a framework that promotes culturally competent health care interpreting,including standards for the provision of interpreter services in health care settings and a code of ethics for interpreters in health care
- Developing and monitoring policies, research, and model practices.
Sponsoring a national dialogue of diverse voices and interests on related issues.
- Collecting, disseminating and acting as a clearinghouse on programs and policies to improve language access to health care for limited English proficient (LEP) patients.