The Kentucky Interpreter and Translator Association’s goal is to provide continuing education opportunities and a forum for interpreters and translators to exchange knowledge and experience. We promote professionalism and public awareness of the importance of providing qualified language services for the Limited-English Proficient (LEP) community as well as the Deaf and hard of hearing community. KITA embraces the participation of the professional interpreter, those who work with interpreters, and those who have an interest in furthering the profession of interpreting and translation.
- To enhance the professional image of translators and interpreters of sign and spoken languages in all domains and specializations.
- To contribute to improving the standards and professional ethics, practices and competency of interpreters and translators.
- To strive to protect the rights and interests of all professional interpreters and translators.
- To increase professional and public awareness of the importance of providing qualified interpreters and translators.
- To provide an open forum for interpreters and translators to exchange ideas and experiences on a regular basis.
Jason Knapp, CCI, CMI-Spanish
Jason is a certified court and medical interpreter for Spanish working freelance in Louisville, KY. He spent 19 years as a full-time Spanish (monolingual) volunteer in the U.S. and Latin America before becoming a professional interpreter and translator. He is enthusiastic about learning and helping others which is why he continues to dedicate, on average, 70 hours a month as a volunteer serving the Latino community in Louisville, in addition to his work with KITA.
Lynn Fors, M.A., CHI
Vice-President, Program Committee Chair
Lynn is the former Supervisor of Language and Cultural Services at Kentucky One Health based in Lexington, KY, where she started working in various capacities in 2001 until 2017. She has been trained as a medical interpreter through Bridging the Gap. Ms. Fors previous work experience includes nine years as a medical laboratory technician, four years teaching Spanish for middle and high school students, and one year teaching English in Madrid, Spain. In addition, she served one year as a AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer in the area of health care outreach. Ms. Fors earned an MA in Spanish Literature from the University of New Hampshire in 1995. In 2014, she was granted the Raquel Cashman Language Access Award by the International Medical Interpreter Association IMIA.
Blanca Orozco, CMI-Spanish
Blanca, a native of Aguascalientes, Mexico, immigrated to Lexington at the age of six. Being a life-long resident of the Bluegrass, she has experienced firsthand the rapid growth of Limited-English Proficient (LEP) population and has a true and heartfelt passion for serving the under-served and advocating equal language access for everyone in need. Blanca obtained a Certificate of Business Administration from the UK Gatton College of Business and Economics, is a State Registered Nurse Aide by the UK College of Nursing, a Certified Medical Interpreter by the National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters, and a Qualified Social Interpreter by the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services. She is currently a Coordinator of Pediatric Endocrinology at UK Healthcare. In her spare time, Blanca volunteers as an interpreter and/or translator for Surgery on Sunday, large conferences, and churches and also loves to travel with her husband.
Myrna Ray, M.S., CHI
Myrna has been working as a Spanish medical interpreter for 16 years at A.B. Chandler Hospital. She is a native of Mexico City, Mexico. Her background is in Biochemistry and Cell Biology; she has worked in research labs with anaerobic bacteria and kinetic and reaction mechanisms.
Vanessa Grossl, M.A.
Funds Development & Marketing Committee Chair
Vanessa Grossl completed her MA in Diplomacy and International Commerce from the Patterson School at the University of Kentucky. She spent 5 years working at the U.S. Embassy’s Agricultural Trade Office and for the Tahara City Government in Japan. She then obtained a K-12 Japanese teaching certificate and spent 4 years teaching Japanese and interpreting with the Fayette County Public Schools in Lexington. Currently, she is the Multicultural Affairs Program Specialist with the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government, who works primarily at the Lexington Global Engagement Center (GLOBAL LEX). GLOBAL LEX serves as a bridge between the local and international populations in Lexington and provides language access to services.
Sarah W. McClymonds, M.A., CHI
Membership & Outreach Committee Chair
Sarah is a staff medical interpreter with the University of Louisville Hospital, and has experience working as a contract and volunteer interpreter. After completing an 80-hour medical interpreter program in Spanish at Greenville Technical College (SC), she then earned her national certification as Certified Healthcare Interpreter (CHI) in 2013. She is passionate about both education and the provision of equal healthcare access for the limited English proficient populations in our community. Sarah earned her M.A. in Spanish from the Department of Hispanic Studies at University of Kentucky in 2007. She subsequently taught Spanish at Clemson University and Greenville Tech for 10 years, where she was also the director of a study abroad program in Ecuador. She continues to teach at Indiana University Southeast as well as online remotely. Sarah is a co-trainer for KITA’s Core Medical Interpreter Training program.
Board Members at Large
Mr. Marin oversees UK’s Area Health Education Center (AHEC) Program, which includes the Health Careers Pipeline Program, Community Faculty and Student Services. Mr. Marin also provides guidance and support to regional AHEC Center Directors. He also serves as the College of Medicine’s representative in areas of community and cultural engagement. He collaborates with College of Medicine faculty and staff to continue implementation of initiatives to increase representation of students and faculty from rural and minority populations and assist students and faculty in identifying opportunities for community engagement. Additionally, Mr. Marin chairs the Dean’s Diversity Advisory Committee.
Cara W. Martinez, CMI-Spanish
Cara began her career in the field of medical interpreting in 2005. She has held a variety of positions in different healthcare settings—from freelance to staff interpreter to interpreter services manager. As the former system manager of Language & Cultural Services for KentuckyOne Health, Cara and her team focused on providing high-quality, safe care for all LEP and Deaf/Hard of Hearing patients and families while creating an integrated program aligned with Title VI, ADA, and Joint Commission standards. In 2015, she was awarded the Raquel Cashman Language Access Award by the International Medical Interpreters Association (IMIA). In her current position as Accreditation and Regulatory Manager for Norton Healthcare, she works closely with clinical leaders and contracted interpreters/agencies to ensure compliance with standards mandating the use of trained, qualified professionals. Cara is also deeply committed to serving the community by creating and participating in numerous outreach events and continuing education activities, which makes her role as a Board Member for the Kentucky Interpreter and Translator Association a perfect fit.
Heath Ray, B.A.
Heath is the Program Coordinator for Refugee Services at Community Action of Southern Kentucky. After completing his Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in both Psychology and Sociology from Western Kentucky University, he lived among East Africans for two years with the United States Peace Corps. During that time, he learned Swahili, which proved very helpful when returning to Bowling Green where many East African refugees are being resettled. Since 2009, Heath has become very involved with the refugee community by offering assistance through multiple aspects of the resettlement process. He is a charter member of the City of Bowling Green’s International Communities Advisory Council. Heath is a leading advocate for language access in the community and has taught as a facilitator for Bridging the Gap Medical Interpreter Training since 2013.
Dot Kerr, American Sign Language RID CI, NAD V, KY#0041
Dot is a nationally certified and state licensed American Sign Language Interpreter. She is deeply rooted in the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Communities as a child of deaf adults (CODA); Because of this she has a strong foundation in American Sign Language and its culture. Dot brings 24+ years of interpreting and management in various settings: Medical, Legal, Education, Mental Health, Community and VRS-Video Relay Services. Dot’s current position as a Language Services Supervisor for KentuckyOne Health has given her the opportunity to help pioneer a path for medical interpreters and best practices and safety for all parties involved. Dot is also deep passionate about community outreach and improving health and communication for all.