With expertise in business development, strategy, and turnaround work, Karen is a recognized leader focused on ensuring corporate viability and growth through driving operational excellence and digital transformation of care. As President/Chief Executive Officer of Sinai Chicago, the city’s largest private safety net healthcare system with over $1 billion in revenues, Karen oversaw a successful turnaround of financial, philanthropic, and operational performance. Results to date show a year-over-year improvement profitability, taking the organization from a loss of $42 million to a profit of $10.7 million, improved EBIDA from a negative $14.8 million to a positive $33.8 million and increased philanthropy from $2.3 million annually to $10.9 million. During this time, she recruited and developed a high-performing, nationally recognized, diverse executive team. Karen previously served as the Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer at Sinai, overseeing the successful acquisition and integration into the System of a private hospital.
An early career entrepreneur, after purchasing a rehabilitation services firm in which she held a leadership role, Karen grew the company over the next four years into the largest of its kind in metropolitan Chicago before selling it to a publicly traded firm. Following the sale of her company, Karen held increasingly responsible positions in nonprofit and for-profit companies, including a global life-sciences corporation. Karen is an influential participant in state and national legislative policy-making agendas, working with legislators of both the Senate and Congress. She has formed strategic relationships with non-healthcare partners, including a major academic institution and a real estate development firm, creating assets in underdeveloped urban areas.
Karen is an independent board member of Advantia Health, serving as Chair, Compensation Committee and as a member of the Quality Committee. Advantia is a privately held, growth oriented national company committed to transforming women’s health services facilitated by technology and best practices in quality and operations. She also serves as a board member and global health advisor for Blink Science, a biotechnology and digital platform startup focused on innovative technology providing accurate and instantaneous diagnosis of Covid-19. Karen serves as a mentor to physicians and administrators in healthcare, both in the United States and in Kenya.
Karen serves on civic, state, and national boards. She is the 2021 Chair of the Illinois Health and Hospital Association Board, having served as Chair of the Finance Committee and as a member of the Executive, Governance and Health Equity Committees. Karen is a board member of America’s Essential Hospitals, serving on the Governance Committee and having chaired the Board Equity work group, the Chicago-Cook County Innovation Workforce Development Board as a mayoral appointee, and the University of Illinois at Chicago MHA Advisory Board, as the program’s first Executive in Residence for the Master’s in Health Administration/ School of Public Health program. Previous work includes American Hospital Association task force participation in maternal-fetal health and critical access care, where she currently serves as a regional policy delegate.
Awards include “One of 10 Business Leaders to Watch in 2020” by the Chicago Tribune, twice named to Crain’s Chicago Business “Notable Women in Chicago Healthcare” list, the Weizmann Institute “Women of Science” award, and a recipient of the National Medical Fellowship “Leadership in Healthcare” award. She is a member of the Chicago Network, the Commercial Club of Chicago, the Economic Club of Chicago, the Union League Club of Chicago, and Kellogg Executive Women’s Network. Karen holds an MBA from Northwestern University, J.L. Kellogg School of Management. She is a frequently requested national speaker, world traveler, avid bicyclist, and cook. She resides in Chicago, Illinois.