Karen Berkheiser

Karen Berkheiser

Karen Berkheiser, RN, BSN

Post 9/11 Transition & Care Management Team
Wilkes-Barre VA Medical Center
Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania
United States
Sometimes staying late and missing lunch, Karen will assist Veterans with enrollment and site issues with their MHV account.

It is impossible to summarize in a few words everything that Karen does for our Veterans. Karen has devoted the last 10 years of her life to the Post 9/11 office. She has made countless contributions to other roles as well.

Karen does whatever it takes to best support our Veterans. She always embraces challenges and comes up with the most innovative strategies. One recent example of this is: Karen learned of an agency that offered used cars to Veterans at no cost. Knowing that one of the Veterans that she worked closely with was missing or canceling several appointments because of her lack of reliable transportation. Karen nominated this Veteran for the program and the Veteran received a free car and now has reliable transportation to get her to her VA appointments.

Another recent challenge Karen has taken on was assisting with My HealtheVet. Due to recent staff and office changes, Karen, without being asked, has stepped up to be the resource person for the MHV website until a new MHV Coordinator is hired. Sometimes staying late and missing lunch, she will assist Veterans with enrollment and site issues with their MHV account.

Karen was also the hospital's Transplant Coordinator for many years. Despite recently transferring transplant responsibilities to another department, Veterans and their families still stop by Karen's office to thank her for her assistance and express how much they will miss working with her in the transplant program.

One other recent incident involving Karen - a newly enrolled Post 9/11 Veteran came to our office to complete her initial case management screening. While in the office, the Veteran suffered a seizure. Karen initiated a rapid response and assisted the Veteran in remaining safe until medical staff arrived.

I am honored to work so closely with Karen, and I look to her as a role model. Karen is truly an Extraordinary Nurse.