Get to know the P² staff better with the return of our Meet the Staff series. Meet Karen Hall, PHIP Program Manager, avid runner and cyclist, and future Fellow American College Healthcare Executive.
What’s your role at P² Collaborative?
I'm the Program Manager for the Population Health Improvement Program (PHIP). My goal at P² is to get more involved in advocacy efforts at a State and local level around health-related policies.
How long have you been with P² Collaborative?
I'm 2.5 years old in P² years.
What do you like most about working at P²?
The staff! I really mean that. We have such smart and bright people, each with specific strengths they bring to the team.
What’s your favorite thing about Western New York?
This may be cliché, but the different seasons and the activities that go with each season. From cross country skiing and fat biking in the winter, to half-marathons in the summer.
You’re one of roughly 35 Health Leadership Fellows for Cohort 7. What has been your biggest takeaway from your Health Leadership Fellowship?
It has taught me to look at leadership in a different way. Being a leader is not the stereotypical leader we think. You do not have to wear a suit or sit in a big office of the c-suite. A good friend once told me, “your job is to make the organization look good”. If you practice that principle you cannot go wrong. Being in a nonprofit, the job is not about you. It’s not about a stepping stone to move onto the next level It’s about the mission. And, if every move or decision you make has that at the core, by default you will be a better leader and therefore move up to the position you were meant to have.
Lead by example and by being authentic. Trying to portray what you read in the latest leadership book will not fly if you are not authentic. Stay true to yourself, your true north.
What advice would you give to people entering in the field?
Never stop learning. Remain teachable. Everyone you cross paths with will have an attribute you can learn from no matter how unorthodox they may be. Ask for help. Mistakes are OK and admitting them is even better.
What are three things on your bucket list?
What hobbies do you have outside of work?
I’ve been teaching fitness classes for 22 years. It’s a fantastic second job that I plan to continue to do until I cannot do it anymore. I also enjoy running, and cycling. I’ve recently taken up trail running, mountain biking, and fat biking which has been a challenge, but very rewarding.
Before working at P², what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?
I was a ride attendant at Midway Park in Maple Springs, NY. I was the conductor of the train and there was no speed control on how fast to go. When you’re on the train, it doesn’t seem like you’re going that fast, but I was told to slow down. All you could see were blurred faces as the train went by!
We talk about food A LOT at P2, what’s your favorite food?
Leftover cold pizza! That and what we have dubbed the “Karen Salad”—cranberry chicken salad with chicken, feta, walnuts, cranberries, mandarin oranges, lettuce, tomatoes, and poppy seed dressing.
Do you have any strange phobias?
Clowns and ventriloquist dummies. They terrify me!
What are you looking forward to most this Summer?
Trail running/racing and bike riding.
What's behind the name of your animal(s)?
I have a cat named Riot. He lives up to his name He's just such a crazy cat.
UPDATE** Karen expanded her family yesterday! She's the proud mama of Xena, adopting her from the SPCA of Erie County.