St. Louis, Missouri
Karen was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2018 at age 47. Following her diagnosis, Karen retired from her career as a certified registered nurse anesthetist because of the challenges Parkinson’s presented when performing her job. Her unexpected early retirement opened the door for her to follow her passion for helping others overcome challenges in their own lives.
Karen overcame drug and alcohol addiction many years ago, and her own experience of recovery and sobriety has set her on a path to become a peer advisor to other medical professionals experiencing similar life challenges. Today, she is an active public speaker and helps physicians and nurses who struggle with substance abuse. Karen also founded New Directions Coaching, a company focused on mentoring physicians and nurses battling addiction, alcoholism, and related issues.
Karen brings this same passion for living well in her recovery to living well with Parkinson’s. She serves as an Ambassador for the Davis Phinney Foundation and thrives when helping others embrace living well with Parkinson’s. Recently, Karen began coaching people with Parkinson’s to improve their lives while navigating a chronic illness and started a YOPD support group for the St. Louis Chapter of the American Parkinson’s Disease Association. When she’s not working, you’ll find Karen gardening, enjoying time with her husband, or playing with her two dogs.