Kentucky Interpreter and Translator Association
838 E High St #159
Lexington KY 40502
Contact Information
Nonprofit Kentucky Interpreter and Translator Association
Address 838 E High St #159
Lexington, KY 40502
Phone (859) 279-2147
Fax 859 246-4309
Contact Name Lynn Fors
At A Glance
IRS Ruling Year 2007
Former Names
SEMIA (South Eastern Medical Interpreters Association)
Other ways to donate, support, or volunteer
Becoming a member
Mailing a check
In-kind donations
Serving on committees
Financial Summary
Revenue vs Expenses - All Years
Expense Breakdown - Recent Year
Mission Statement
KITA is dedicated to building the infrastructure needed to provide services to new residents of Central Kentucky who speak over 152 foreign languages, many  previously not encountered in this part of the US. KITA embraces the participation of professional interpreters, aspiring interpreters, and those who need and work with interpreters.
Background Statement
KITA (Kentucky Interpreter and Translator Association), formerly SEMIA (South Eastern Medical Interpreter Association), was formed in early 2006 in response to the growing need for qualified medical interpreters, specifically in Kentucky, but also in the southeastern United States as a whole. The Southeast currently has the highest growth rate in the nation and the least infrastructure to serve its Limited English Proficient population. KY is fourth in the nation in increase in foreign born residents.
Several efforts had been made by various entities around the state including medical interpreter trainings, a medical interpreter conference and presentations designed to increase the awareness of the need for qualified interpreters. In the spring of 2006, these entities met and began to make a plan to pool their energies and to leverage scarce resources. Out of this has sprung SEMIA. The founding Board of Directors included members from Samaritan Hospital, North Central AHEC, Saint Joseph HealthCare part of KentuckyOne Health, UK Chandler Hospital, Bluegrass Farmworker’s Health Clinic, Hope Center and Lexington Fayette Urban County Government.  Currently representatives from KentuckyOne Health, University of Kentucky/Chandler Hospital, University of Kentucky AHEC, North Central AHEC, Lexington Fayette County Urban Government and freelance interpreters were included on the board.
In June of 2017, the SEMIA Board decided to focus on the state of Kentucky and be inclusive of all interpreter/translators including court, those working for the schools, government, interpreting for spoken languages, as well as ASL, and in other capacities.  Its name was changed to the Kentucky Interpreter and Translator Association (KITA).   
Impact Statement
From the past year:
Expanding the board to include more diversity in language, culture and geographic location within the state of Kentucky.
Providing a 64-hour Core Medical Interpreter Training in Summer 2017. 
Providing 40-hour Bridging the Gap Medical Interpreter Training in Fall of 2016 and Spring of 2017.  This year we have trained new interpreters in the following languages of limited diffusion:  Japanese, Chinese, French, Swahili, Lingala, Kirundi, Kinyarwanda, Ukrainian, Russian, and Mandarin Chinese.  We have also trained  new Spanish medical interpreters.
Goals for the coming year:
Provide Training for 80+ foreign languages lacking trained interpreters in the Fayette County area (2016 and beyond)
Provide Continuing Education opportunities for working interpreters.
Needs Statement
1.  Funds to train interpreters that speak languages of lesser diffusion (Arabic, Nepali, Russian, Ukrainian, Swahili, Albanian, Korean, Quiche, Chinese, Japanese, etc).  Cost is approximately $700 per person.
2. Board development assistance.
3. Continuing education unit assistance for trained interpreters and other medical personnel.
4. Educational programming for service providers who utilize the services of interpreters.
CEO/Executive Director Statement
KITA is the only organization in KY dedicated towards facilitating communication with the unprecedented increase of foreign born individuals who speak an unprecedented number of foreign languages, over 153 in Fayette County alone. KITA also helps to provide workforce development with respect to refugees and immigrants who bring many skills and multilingual talents to KY by providing technical and cultural training to both the new interpreters, and to the public who needs their services.
Board Chair Statement
KITA is the only organization of its kind in Kentucky.  Our goals include creating infrastructure in the area of trained and qualified medical interpreters in all languages needed throughout the commonwealth.  Area hospital, medical clinic, school and other agency personnel find themselves with urgent need of communication with patients and clients who speak languages like Twi, Albanian, Mam, and so forth with no access to trained interpreters at hand. The relief the doctors, nurses, social workers, school staff feel when a trained interpreter arrives nearly equals that of the relief the patient, child, parent or family member feels. It is these moments of triumph overcoming language and cultural barriers that provide the impetus to help develop the necessary communications infrastructure in a part of the country that has not previously experienced this level of urgency and need.
Service Categories
Secondary Organization Category Education / Scholarships & Student Financial Aid
Tertiary Organization Category Health Care / Public Health
Geographic Areas Served
We began in Lexington, KY with a vision to reach out to all of the southeastern US.  We are meeting our goal to expand membership and offerings to all of the larger metropolitan areas in the state of KY (Louisville, Bowling Green, Owensboro, Northern KY just south of Cincinnati) and to all the underserved areas of the state and beyond.  After partnering with several other states to offer regional conferences, SEMIA decided to transition to KITA and focus on the state of Kentucky, rather than the larger southeastern US.  
Impact Questions
GoalsHelpWhat is the organization aiming to accomplish? This is the organization's ultimate goal for intended impact.
Kentucky has one of the highest international population growth rates in the nation. There are an estimated 60,000 limited English speakers who speak at least 153 different languages in Lexington. Lexington-Fayette and surrounding counties lack trained interpreters in some 85+ foreign languages impeding the provision of critical and basic care by: hospitals, clinics, fire and police departments, FEMA and other emergency first responders, school teachers and care givers, social workers, housing, business and health authorities. This creates a health and public safety concern for the general public and isolates and marginalizes international arrivals who have no access to effective communication that can bridge important linguistic, cultural and educational gaps and most importantly, gives them access to competent health care.  KITA strives to provide and bring: 1. superior medical interpreter training to this area,  2. scholarships for multilingual immigrants in the languages most requested by local hospitals, schools and agencies, 3.  job opportunities for immigrants, 4. continuing educational opportunities for professional interpreters, 5. a forum for networking and mutual support venues for professional interpreters and the organizations that need them, 6. and raise awareness and educate the public about the need for trained professional interpreters. Generally, KITA's main goal is to help build an effective infrastructure that supports the successful assimilation of the growing international population, that increases the professionalism of the interpreters, and ultimately aids the public by overcoming cultural and linguistic difficulties.
StrategiesHelpWhat are the organization's strategies for its stated long-term goals?
KITA continually identifies the public's need for specific language interpretation through hospital, court, school and agency surveys. It seeks multilingual candidates throughout the state of Kentucky with demonstrated linguistic skills to enter medical interpreter training through resettlement organizations and other networking avenues. KITA brings the highest standard of interpreter training to Fayette County and the surrounding areas through Bridging the Gap Medical Interpreter training and Core Medical Interpreter Training that includes various techniques, ethics, confidentiality, impartiality, and other legal and cultural concepts new to immigrants to our country. 
CapabilitiesHelpWhat are the organization’s capabilities for doing this? What resources, capacities, and connections support its progress towards long-term goals?
KITA counts amongst its board members a LFUCG Multicultural Affairs representative and staff.  She has laid an extensive framework of infrastructure and networking for several years now with schools, universities, government agencies and their leaders.  We have also had two language services supervisors who each work for a major hospital system here in Kentucky and have years of experience in langauge access issues.  There have been two members of AHEC, Area Health Education Centers, where a major focus is on healthcare outreach and education amongst immigrant communities. Our vice president is currently serving as a court interpreter with the AOC.
IndicatorsHelpHow will the organization know if it is making progress? What are the key qualitative and quantitative indicators against which the organization assesses its progress toward its intended impact?
Some measures of progress include, but are not limited to, the number of interpreters signing up for continuing education offerings, the number of language of lesser diffusion trained medical interpreters who are able to offer their services to area hospitals and clinics and the associated patient and provider satisfaction that follow, the increase in awareness amongst the limited-English proficient immigrant population of their rights to free and qualified medical interpreting, and the increase in awareness amongst the provider population regarding both the legal obligation to provide an interpreter and in knowledge on how to work successfully with an intepreter during a medical encounter.  Numbers of appointments going unfilled by a medical interpreter are now being counted by hospitals and this data will assist KITA in making progress toward its intended impact.
ProgressHelpWhat has and hasn’t been accomplished so far?
Some goals to keep in mind for the future are to create an interpreter mentoring program where a newly trained interpreter can learn the ropes and be guided by an interpreter with more experience, to offer yearly conferences to medical interpreters, and to educate all hospitals and clinics in the state of Kentucky on the importance of providing free and qualified language services to their limited-English proficient patient population.
Board Chair
Board Chair Ms Lynn Fors
Company Affiliation Community Volunteer
Term Jan 2011 to Dec 2017
Board Members
Lynn Fors Kentucky One HealthVoting
Vanessa Grossl LFUCGVoting
Sarah Hesler UK Chandler HospitalVoting
Jason Knapp freelance interpreterVoting
Carlos Marin University of KentuckyVoting
Cara Martinez University of LouisvilleVoting
Sarah Watt McClymond VolunteerVoting
Myrna Ray University of KentuckyVoting
Heath Ray Community Action CouncilVoting
Ricardo Torres Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical CenterVoting
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 8
Hispanic/Latino 2
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 4
Female 6
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 10
Board Term Limits 0
Board Meeting Attendance % 80%
Written Board Selection Criteria? Under Development
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 80%
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 100%
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 6
Board Co-Chair
Board CoChair Jason Knapp
Company Affiliation Knapp Language Services
Term Jan 2017 to Dec 2017
Standing Committees
CEO/Executive Director
Executive Director N/A N/A
Term Start Jan 2013
Full Time Staff 0
Part Time Staff 0
Volunteers 1
Contractors 0
Retention Rate 0%
Staff Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 1
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Staff Demographics - Gender
Male 0
Female 0
Unspecified 0
Bridging the Gap Medical Interpreter Training is a 40-hour intermediate level course developed by the Cross Cultural Health Care Program in Seattle, WA.  It prepares multilingual individuals to work as medical interpreters by developing and enhancing their medical interpreting skills. Prerequisites include fluency in English and the languages and cultures in which an individual will be serving in the role of medical interpreter.  Certificates will be awarded upon successful completion, which includes 40-hour attendance and a passing grade on a final exam.  BTG training allows candidates the opportunity for self sufficiency and employment and to provide critical services to communities by bridging linguistic, cultural, economic, educational barriers. Moreover, BTG serves as one of the required training options for medical intepreter national certification.
Budget 6000
Category Education, General/Other
Population Served Immigrant, Newcomers, Refugees, Hispanic, Latino Heritage, At-Risk Populations
Program Short Term Success
In the short term, multilingual individuals will be given a new way of making a living and of serving their communities.
Program Long term Success
The increased pool of trained medical interpreters will improve health outcomes for limited-English proficiency, often marginalized, populations by delivering accurate and concise medical information in the patient's language and culture.  This will increase the likelihood that a patient will follow through on treatment plans, attend follow-up appointments and learn ways to manage their health challenges.
Program Success Monitored By
Our success is montored by how many individuals attend and graduate from the 40-hour course.  Currently, there is a maximum class size of 25 and each class offered has filled up to capacity or near capacity.  Additionally, success can be measured by how many BTG graduates go on to use their newfound skills and knowledge by attaining employment as medical interpreters.  BTG graduates are in high demand since area hospitals and clinics are recognizing the importance of utilizing the services of trained and qualified medical interpreters.  Languages of Lesser Diffusion are in especially high demand since on-site interpreting is far more effective than telephonic interpreting in most scenarios.  Records indicate that nearly all LLD BTG graduates are currently employed as part-time medical interpreters.
Examples of Program Success
At one local hospital, on-site interpreters can now be found in languages such as Swahili, Japanese, Vietnamese, Arabic, Mandarin, Russian, and Nepali.  The expression on a patient's face when he or she has a trained medical interpreter in the room for the first time is priceless.  The patient has often relied on his or her limited knowledge of English and/or the services of friends and family members who often filter the message.  Communicating through a neutral source restores dignity to a person by affording that person the opportunity to make informed health care decisions.  Previously, the only good source for medical interpreting for LLD patients has been over the phone interpreting, which cannot relay the nuances or navegate the cultural waters necessary to truly improve health outcomes.
Fayette County Public Schools have  over 5,000 children who speak more than 153 foreign languages learning English. Lexington only has trained interpreters in some 15 foreign languages.   Scholarships make it possible for multilingual immigrants to take Bridging the Gap Medical Interpreter training (BTG) here in Lexington, rather than having to go to elsewhere which would be cost prohibitive for most.   BTG is training that hospitals, health clinics, fire departments, police, school employees, social workers and other first responders need to communicate effectively in critical care services for limited English proficient communities currently marginalized by the lack of trained interpreters. KITA is helping to build the necessary infrastructure that makes it possible for our growing international communities to integrate and acculturate and to live healthy and productive lives.Currently the scholarships try to cover $380 BTG training, $125 language proficiency screening, and $75 for the book, a total of $580.
Population Served , ,
In 2016, KITA presented two workshops in Lousiville and Lexington that could be viewed in each location via web streaming.  The topics were Healthcare Interactions in Indiginous Mesoamerica and Building Capacity for Working in Settings with Victims of Trauma.  They have been approved for RID and CCHI CEUs.  KITA offered another CEU workshop opportunity in Louisville in September 2016 entitled, Patient-Centered Communication:  Joint Commission Standards and Resources.
Budget $1000
Population Served , ,
In June 2016 KITA partnered with other regional organizations to cosponsor a day-long conference for medical interpreters at in Colombus, OH.  We partnered with colleagues from out of state (IN, OH) to provide medical interpreters will skill-based, cultural and informational workshops and an opportunity for nationally certified medical interpreters to earn CEUs.
Budget $12000
Population Served , ,
Description In 2017, due to receipt of a Bryant Foundation Grant through the BGCF, KITA was able to train 2 board members to teach a 64-hour medical interpreter course called Core Medical Interpreter Training.  In addition to covering training fees, KITA will be able to give limited scholarships to a few students who meet the criteria, in order to offset the cost of the course. 
Budget 12,500
Population Served , ,
Program Comments
CEO Comments
KITA is creating continuing education opportunities for the many medical interpreters we have trained through the Bridging the Gap Medical Interpreter class and exploring increasing the number of hours required for new medical interpreters to acquire their certificates.
Plans & Policies
Organization has a Fundraising Plan? No
Organization has a Strategic Plan?
Management Succession Plan? No
Organization Policy and Procedures No
Nondiscrimination Policy No
Whistleblower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy No
Revenue vs Expenses - All Years
Expense Breakdown - Recent Year
Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year Start Jan 01, 2017
Fiscal Year End Dec 31, 2017
Projected Revenue $14,000.00
Projected Expenses $12,000.00
Spending Policy N/A
Detailed Financials
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available). Revenue from foundations and corporations may be included in individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201720162015
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$0$0$0
Individual Contributions$13,192$955--
Investment Income, Net of Losses------
Membership Dues$1,914--$1,000
Special Events$279$1,461--
Revenue In-Kind------
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201720162015
Program Expense$22,595$9,294$849
Administration Expense$8,691$1,859$170
Fundraising Expense$3,476$1,239$113
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.730.888.89
Program Expense/Total Expenses65%75%75%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue26%51%--
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201720162015
Total Assets$1,053$10,473$11,953
Current Assets$1,053$10,473$11,953
Long-Term Liabilities------
Current Liabilities------
Total Net Assets$1,053$10,473$11,953
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? Yes
State Registration No
Foundation Staff Comments In 2014 and before, this organization submitted the 990N postcard, which contains no financial information. Financials were submitted by the organization for 2014 and earlier years, and numbers were unaudited. In 2015 and 2016, this organization filed the 990EZ. 
Address 838 E High St #159
Lexington, KY 40502
Primary Phone 859 279-2147
Contact Email
CEO/Executive Director N/A N/A
Board Chair Ms Lynn Fors
Board Chair Company Affiliation Community Volunteer