Current Business & Job Title: Development Associate, The Foundation of CVPH
Hometown: Massena, New York
Age: 35
Education: Master of Social Work from Adelphi University, BS in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Nazareth College

There is a quiet confidence about Karen Kalman that brings a sense of calm when she’s around. It may be her social work background or storytelling ability that fosters her generally positive, problem-solving demeanor. This region is fortunate to have young families like Karen’s returning to share their great gifts.

How do you contribute to the culture of your company?
I might not work in a patient care area of the hospital anymore, but I know there are things that I can do to help patients feel like they are always first.

What are you doing to make a difference in your community?
My husband and I try to give back to local organizations that support basic human needs in our community. In addition, we feel strongly about supporting local business. He owns a house painting business and we recognize that community support means everything.

What’s the single most important characteristic for success?

What’s your biggest professional success?
Facilitating travel for patients who have to go outside of the area for specialized health care. I’m so grateful to have the resources to alleviate the financial and travel concerns.

What important lessons have you learned in your career?
Listening is a skill that you should never stop practicing along with accepting feedback. It is important to be assertive and advocate for what you believe is right. I have learned to own my mistakes because we are all constantly learning. Lastly, don’t forget to laugh at yourself.

How has COVID-19 impacted you professionally and personally? What are you doing differently?
It has been emotional around the hospital in this last year, but community support has been what is getting employees through these tough times. This last year has reminded me that this community is one of the most caring and compassionate places I have ever lived. Personally, I spent a lot of time with my daughter and my husband. It was a great reminder to slow down and enjoy where we are now.

What’s the biggest risk you’ve ever taken?
I applied to be a Social Worker in the nursing home at CVPH and a month later, my husband and I were moving away from our comfort zone on Long Island. We decided to give it a year and see if we felt like it was a good fit. Ten years later, here we are! What is something that no one would guess about you? Outside of work, I am a fairly quiet person and I enjoy listening to true crime podcasts.

Write a note to your younger self…
Do what makes you happy and the other stuff just falls into place.

What can the North Country do to make this region more appealing to a younger generation?
Encouraging diversity in our area will appeal to our younger generation. The things that make us different from each other are what makes the world an interesting place..