Karen Renson: A True Redeemer Health Champion | Redeemer Health
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Karen Renson: A True Redeemer Health Champion

It is with the highest regard we acknowledge the extraordinary talent and leadership that Karen Renson, Vice President and Chief Quality and Safety Officer, has brought to our Redeemer family. During the next few months, Karen will transition to her new role with us providing consultative leadership in risk mitigation. 

"When I think of Karen, the first thing that comes to mind is her commitment to assuring we treat everyone like they are a member of your family!" says Mike Laign, President and Chief Executive Officer.

Since joining Redeemer Health in 1974 following her graduation from the University of Pittsburgh, Karen has enriched us all with great insight and skill she has brought to nursing, as well as the quality of care and patient safety. 

Karen began her professional journey as a staff nurse in the ICU of Holy Redeemer Hospital and from there quickly progressed to Assistant Head Nurse, Head Nurse, and then Unit Nurse Manager. "Nurses who worked for Karen tell us she was an early pioneer of infection control. They also say she understood high reliability and safety and taught these concepts. Life in the ICU/CCU was unpredictable and variation was to be avoided at all costs. Readiness mattered and she demonstrated this to her staff!" says Cass Egan, Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer, Holy Redeemer Hospital.

Karen fondly reminisces about the impact she was able to make during her early days of nursing. “When I reflect on my years at Redeemer Health, special memories that warm my heart include seeing a patient who you weren’t sure would make it through the night and then sit up and smile when you come in the next morning. I also loved reading the kind of letters from patients that make you understand why you work here,” says Karen.

Indeed, the strong passion she has for her profession has not gone unnoticed by many leaders throughout Redeemer Health. “She is committed and dedicated to the mission of the Sisters and Redeemer Health”, says Sr. Ellen Marvel, Province Leader. "No one had to tell you that she was both passionate and serious about her job," echoes Cass Egan.

In 2004, having accrued 30 years of clinical and supervisory experience in nursing, Karen welcomed the challenge of becoming Vice President of Nursing and Coordinator of Clinical Best Practices. After remaining in that position for six years, in 2010 she advanced to her current role as Vice President and Chief Quality and Safety Officer. She passionately promotes a culture of safety in all aspects of operations through oversight of system-wide continuous quality improvement activities and propagation of best practice clinical guidelines, tools, and behaviors.

“Working with Karen in her role as the system’s quality safety and reliability officer has been one of the greatest gifts a physician leader could ask for. The lessons learned and wisdom imparted has made me and other physicians a champion for quality and high reliability,” says Dr. Beth DuPree.

Dr. Hank Unger, Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, readily agrees. "It has been a personally rewarding experience to work with Karen over the past 25 years! Her commitment to patient safety and reliability has provided the entire organization with a framework to ensure that we provide the best care possible to our patients. I will miss her energy, her conviction, and her genuine concern and empathy for her co-workers. She IS a Redeemer hero!"

It can’t be stressed enough that Karen’s strength and agility as a leader in quality and safety have helped Redeemer Health to successfully weather the pandemic. Her steadfast devotion to developing, implementing, and ensuring compliance with COVID-19 policies and practices continues to help protect our staff, patients, residents, and clients against this unprecedented virus.

Over more than four decades of service to Redeemer Health, Karen has built a legacy of Safe Care that helps to sustain and strengthen the health and well-being of the entire Redeemer community. Her contributions will continue to inspire and inform us as we continue to innovate, implement, and enforce policies and practices that enhance quality and safety. "My friend and colleague has served our system well...teaching others about our mission and values, about the history of our foundress, and most importantly about what is expected of all Redeemer Health team members," says Cass Egan.

We are honored and deeply grateful to have been Karen’s professional home for 47 years and wish her all the best as she transitions to her next chapter of providing consultative leadership in risk mitigation.