What People Have To Say

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Howard Marks

Physician & Physician Leader, California

I am a board certified chaplain in the healthcare industry. For part of my career, I was in management, serving on a leadership team that spanned 6 hospital and 2 hospice service lines. I was responsible for developing volunteer and clergy crisis response programs for 2 of those hospitals, one of which had just opened its doors, and the other, the oldest in the system. They were 20 miles apart, and I ran the route every day, sometimes more than once. At that time, nearly 12 years into my career, I had already dealt with more than 1,300 death and dying scenarios, from pre-birth to over 100 years old and every kind of age and trauma in between. I was beginning to exhibit signs of “compassion fatigue,” but taking time off to heal from such onslaught was simply not viable.

It was in the midst of this that I encountered Dr. Karen’s work. It stems from a unique blend of her life experience as a leader in both Non-Profit and For-Profit sectors, along with a deeply probing interest in what really makes humans “tick,” and not just on the surface, but deeper inside. Her approach to complexity and crisis is not mystical, quite the opposite. Her method is immensely practical, provokingly to the point, thoroughly professional, and yet wonderfully personal.

Dr. Karen brought me through some very tough decisions as my career took an entirely new track forward. While the work was serious, and some things that had to be dealt with were horrendous, I have to say that the changes were not without their humorous, even fun moments. It takes courage to face one’s life and assess it, with clarity and honesty. Anyone can hide behind a facade, but to live one’s life with integrity is far more satisfying. I am still a chaplain to this day, but in a very different capacity. With Dr. Karen’s training, I now understand how to incorporate leadership in a way that doesn’t deplete me of my inner resources, nor squelch others from using theirs.

Thanks is not word enough for the remarkable effect her program has had on my life. But, I say it every day, as her lessons and techniques remain relevant to my professional work, and personal life. Thanks again for the enormous impact in both.


Chaplain Marilyn Morris