The families of those who suffer from addiction carry a lot of weight. They may be dealing with stress, anger,…
With an extensive background in healthcare and addiction treatment, Karen Cooper plays an instrumental role in our Medical Department and Brookdale Team. Coupled with a passion for helping others, Karen’s personal experiences allow her to treat and care for ourpatients with the deepest level of compassion, respect and empathy.
Karen grew up in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania, graduating from Meyers High School. Between 1983 and 2000, she traveled the world, before finally settling down in Wyoming, Pennsylvania. Before attaining her BSN, Karen held positions in various arenas, including crisis work and psychiatric diagnosis, where she was able to help populations most in need. In 1987, she accepted a job as a family teacher in Kodiak, Alaska, where she worked with families and children affected by addiction, many of whom suffered severe trauma and abuse. Witnessing the unfortunate realities of this disease, Karen knew from that moment she wanted to be a part of the solution in whatever way possible.
Later, Karen attended Misericordia College where she obtained her RN and BSN in 2007. She also holds a certification in Legal Nurse Consulting from the Vickie Milazzo Institute. Shortly after graduation, Karen’s nursing career began as an ICU nurse at the VA Medical Center. In 2008, she was hired at First Hospital in the ICU, a position she would hold for the next 5 years. From there, she became a Crisis RN at Commonwealth Health, and was later appointed Nursing Supervisor. Before coming to Brookdale, her most recent position was at Silver Pines Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center as Director of Detox and Nursing.
Karen has felt the devastation of addiction firsthand, as her son struggled with PTSD and heroin addiction after returning from a tour in Afghanistan. As a member of Al-Anon and military wife and mother, Karen holds helping those in need especially close to her heart, including addicts, their families and our veterans who return from war with various mental health and substance use disorders.
Outside of work, Karen enjoys spending her days with her family, traveling, cooking, entertaining and reading. Regarding her primary goal as Nursing Director, Karen says “I hope to be a part of a team of professionals that encourages and treats those suffering from addiction to experience a life…recovered!”