Karen was born in Bagley Minnesota. Her father’s employment with MN DNR relocated her family to the Thistledew Forestry Station, then to the Effie Forestry Station. Karen graduated from Bigfork High School and has lived in Bigfork since then, other than brief periods away for college and family commitments. Karen enjoys the Bigfork area and feels a great sense of pride in being an active part of the community.
Early in her career, Karen worked in insurance, accounting and real estate sales, then transitioned to the healthcare field. Over 35 years experience in healthcare finance and management gave her a comprehensive background and understanding of the complexities of hospital and nursing home regulatory requirements. She worked at Northern Itasca Hospital (now Bigfork Valley) for 14 years in the business office; also assumed duties as the Business Manager, was responsible for personnel functions, also purchasing responsibility. Was then employed by Itasca County Nursing Home as Business Manager for 4 years; then made the transition to Itasca County Health and Human Services for 13 years as accountant and Director of the IMCare program; also had responsibility as a Division Manager within ICHHS. Her last five years brought her back to Bigfork Valley Hospital as Director of Finance and related responsibilities. Karen retired 2 years ago.
Karen has worked extensively with public boards of directors on the local, county, and state levels. She worked with Medicare, Medicaid and other healthcare regulators; also worked closely with medical provider groups and negotiated payer contracts; and was responsible for financial reporting and audit preparation.
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