Karen started her career at MemorialCare-Saddleback in June 2006, returning to her hometown of San Clemente from Salt Lake City, Utah, where she lived for 22 years. Karen graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University Of Utah College Of Nursing with her Bachelor of Science degree (BSN) in 1992. She later earned her Master of Science in nursing at Walden University in 2010.
Prior to her career with MemorialCare, Karen's clinical nursing experience includes medical surgical, post transplantation, ICU (cardiovascular, thoracic and shock trauma) and emergency nursing for Intermountain Health Care. Her ability to develop new programs and lead others caused her to leave bedside nursing to work in the fire service and develop a paramedic program for Sandy City Fire Department as their Medical Officer. She also served the State of Utah-Bureau of Emergency Medical Services as the State Trauma Coordinator, conducting site visits and designations for trauma centers and worked on legislative rules for the State to expand trauma services throughout the intermountain west. During that time she was able to participate with the 2002 Olympic Committee, worked as a public health nurse, educator and later trauma coordinator at University of Utah — a 900-bed academic medical center.
Currently, Karen oversees both emergency departments and thinks of it as one ED with a 14 mile hallway to provide continuity of care at both Saddleback campuses. She has been certified as an emergency medical dispatcher, emergency medical technician, paramedic, CCRN and completed firefighter certification I and II. Karen has extensive teaching experience and has taught international audiences on emergency medical dispatching, trauma and critical care nursing during her exciting career.