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Heartview Champion Remembered

Posted 7/11/11 (Mon)

Longtime Heartview friend, Karen Larson, passed away suddenly on May 29, 2011.  Karen was a champion in the addiction field, whose knowledge and expertise was tapped on state, regional and national levels.   As a highly experienced addiction nurse, she served as a group leader in the development of addiction treatment protocols for the US Department of Health and Human Services and was the Secretary of the National Prevention Network, to name a few.

Over the course of her career, Karen worked for St. Alexius Hospital, the University of Mary, Heartview Foundation, and the State of North Dakota, where she was the Director of the Division of Mental Health and Substance Abuse until 2004. At the time of her death, Karen was the Deputy Director of the Community Health Association of the Dakotas.

Karen was serving her first term on the Heartview Foundation Board of Directors, volunteering her time and vast expertise in addiction treatment and management. She brought to the Board a unique understanding of Heartview’s programs having held the position of Director of Nursing Services at Heartview from 1979-1987.  "Karen's experience and expertise in addiction related issues allowed her to bring a valued perspective to matters coming before the Board. Her thoughts and opinions on these matters will be sorely missed," says Board President William Schmidt.

Many of Heartview’s long-time staff members worked alongside Karen during her employment here and continued their friendships with her throughout the 

years. In the words of Heartview’s Director of Nursing and Residential Services, Marvis Doster, “Karen was an amazing thinker and could see the entire scope of a problem and would then incorporate the strengths of those around her to find a solution. Her heart was in everything she did and in everything she said.”

“Karen left a legacy,” says Executive Director Kurt Snyder. “The Heartview Foundation and its board members, employees, and friends are honored to have known Karen and to have served beside her in bringing help and healing to those suffering from the disease of addiction.”

In addition to the countless improvements to the addiction field she championed, Karen was a devoted daughter, sister, wife, mother and grandmother. She was a courageous truthteller, a lifelong learner, and a tender friend. Karen Larson left the world a better place.


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