Director, Strategy, Planning and Funding, Lakes District Health Board
Leadership Excellence International Award 2020
Karen’s referees told us of her unique ability to be forward thinking and able to recognize interventions that are needed to support an overstretched healthcare system and reach into communities with need. They described how she has championed the use of eHealth technologies and has never been afraid of trying these, even when others desire a more conservative approach.
Despite the challenges of working within a system notoriously slow in adopting technology, Karen takes a supportive and reassuring approach to coaxing the system, highlighting the potential benefits of technology, in particular the way it can enable extended reach and ease of access.
Karen is a strong and vocal champion for eMental health at local, regional and national levels. She is described as being consistently focussed on the importance of equity and ensures initiatives prioritise access for Māori whānau (family).
The inclusion of eMental health in strategic decision-making amongst District Health Board Managers of Planning and Funding has driven significant change and forward thinking in the eMental health space at a national level. She continues to prioritise and spearhead opportunities for driving innovation and change in mental health services to embrace eMental health alternatives.
Karen is an exemplary health sector leader, highly worthy of this award and we join her referees in congratulating her whole-heartedly.