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Karen Enstrom

Karen Enstrom

Subspecialty: Cross-Cultural and Global Health

Karen is native to Washington State. She was raised in Pierce County and grew up enjoying activities such as riding horses, camping, fishing and skiing. Her love for nursing and cross-cultural studies started on a two-week trip to Oklahoma working with the Choctaw Indian youth camp in 1992. From that time, she started pursing her nursing degree at Seattle Pacific University in 1997 with a minor in cross-cultural studies. Since graduation, she has traveled oversees doing medical volunteer (Spain and Peru) and community volunteering in homeless shelters.

Professionally, she spent many years in medical research working in aging health as a research nurse at the University of Washington. When she found the CHN program at the UW, her hope was to merge her interest cross-cultural health with her research background in the context of community health. Karen chose her sub-specialty in cross-cultural and global health.

Karen received her MN in Spring, 2012 and a graduate certificate in public health (HIV/STI). Since September, 2012, she has been working as a Community Health Nurse II (CHN II) in the Communicable Disease Division at Tacoma-Piece County Health Department.  As one of the five public health nurses, she goes out to medical prvoiders in Piece County to update with newest disease reporting guidelines, testing/treatment guidelines (e.g., HIV, STD, MRSA, etc.), emergency preparedness, and provides information on community resources. She also works in CD/Epi doing disease investigation. In her roles, she works closely with the communications team in writing health communications plan and is trained as back up as public information officer (PIO) for the division. Her two projects, upon her manager's reuqests, in 2013 are to conduct a Qualitative Improvement project for her pubic health nurses group (called the Network Nurses) and to develop a business plan for the public health nurses.