January 9, 2012
Stephanie Smiley, 608-266-1683

Karen McKeown Appointed as Public Health Division Administrator

MADISON—Today, Department of Health Services Secretary Dennis G. Smith announced Karen McKeown as the new Administrator of the Division of Public Health. McKeown begins her new role immediately.

"Karen brings a wealth of knowledge across the health policy and public health spectrum and is a strong and effective leader," said Secretary Smith. "I am pleased Karen is joining our Department and know she will be an asset to the Department and our many public health partners around the state. Her skills will be extremely valuable in this climate of declining federal public health funds."

McKeown has extensive experience in health policy and the health care industry. She is an Oncology Certified Nurse and Certified Hospice and Palliative Nurse and is a graduate of Yale University (MSN with honors in Nursing Management, Policy and Leadership, 2009), University of Texas at Tyler (BSN, Summa Cum Laude, 2000), and Tyler Junior College (Associate of Arts, Summa Cum Laude, 1998).

She comes to the Department from the East Texas Medical Center as an Oncology Staff Nurse and Manager in Tyler, Texas and has recently served as a Graduate Fellow in health policy at the Heritage Foundation and as a Student Fellow with the U.S. Senate Finance Committee.

As an Oncology Staff Nurse and Manager for 11 years, she oversaw the clinical operations of inpatient and outpatient oncology departments, supervising more than 80 staff members and has worked with physicians and multidisciplinary teams.

McKeown's policy work includes extensive research and authoring white papers on rising health care costs and health care economics.