Karen joined the Muskie School community in 1992, bringing her professional skills of knowledge management and online information retrieval to the dedicated research faculty and staff in the Institute for Health Policy, now known as the Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy. She quickly became part of the Maine Rural Health Research Center, assisting and then directing the national Rural Health Research in Progress project, which provided a synopsis of the funded research projects of the federal Office of Rural Health Policy’s Rural Health Research Program. She currently directs, develops and administers information and publication dissemination services within the Cutler Institute, and provides in-depth literature searches for project-specific work in the fields of rural health, public health, Medicaid, and long-term care, identifying relevant policy and practice from state and federal agencies, and researching best practices. Additionally, she participated as part of the research staff on the AHRQ-funded SAFER project, conducting qualitative interviews with the Critical Access Hospital pilot teams. She recently conducted and published two evidence-based quality improvement policy briefs for the National Rural Hospital Flexibility Monitoring Project (Flex Program) on falls prevention programs in Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) and on patient safety transfer protocols in CAHs. She currently directs a national project for the Flex Program on the evidence for community paramedicine in rural communities, which utilizes her qualitative interviewing skills and expertise in information retrieval.
Education: Bachelor of Arts, North Park College, Chicago; Master of Library and Information Science, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; Master of Arts, in Education, Saint Xavier University, Chicago.
Research Interests: Knowledge management, Rural health system access and delivery, Rural patient safety, Population health and health services research.