After spending several years as an Associate Director at the Flinders University Torrens Resilience Initiative, a research organisation dedicated to disaster preparedness and management, Karen decided to take on consultancy work with the World Health Organisation (WHO).
“Despite the difficulty I had with both transitions, they were some of the best career decisions I have made. I have enjoyed the opportunities and the work that I have been able to do after taking a leap of faith to leave my comfort zone.”
Since September 2020, Karen has worked for the WHO as a clinical management lead in the COVID-19 response, having the opportunity to work in Fiji, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, and Vanuatu. In these roles, Karen has provided technical support to the Ministries of Health regarding COVID-19 and Monkeypox in clinical management, infection prevention control, and care pathways. She has helped develop guidelines and standard operating procedures, delivered online and face-to-face training for health workers, hosted online forums for sharing experiences, and developed electronic dashboards to aid in the tracking and managing of COVID-19 cases.
“I hope my work made health workers feel more empowered to provide clinical care to people affected by COVID-19 or Monkeypox,” Karen says. “Strengthening existing processes can only lead to improved patient outcomes.”