Karen Anthony, RN
Karen is president and co-founder of RJ Children’s Haven. She began her career as a licensed practical nurse in 1971. Working as a nurse and a mother, Karen returned to school and became a registered nurse in 1995. Karen started in Bone Marrow Transplantation with Heart of American Bone Marrow Donor Registry in January 1989, where she was responsible for coordinating with marrow donors from all over the U.S. While working under the auspices of the National Bone Marrow Donor Program (now called - Be the Match), she set up the Unrelated Bone Marrow Harvesting Center at Research Hospital in Kansas City. A few responsibilities included finding and bringing unrelated donors to Kansas City, preparation and calculation of marrow, and couriering the marrow to a waiting recipient in the US and abroad.
Karen has a
true love and passion for children and in 1998 she accepted an offer to work
with Children’ Mercy Hospital as the Stem Cell Transplant nurse coordinator for
a new and growing segment of the hospital’s practice. She was responsible for matching children with potential donors; setting up stem
cell harvesting procedures; and managing the process of a child’s transplantation
through admission and infusion of stem cells. While Karen’s contributions to
the program were significant, she became more aware of the challenges that the
children and families of the children she transplanted faced after discharged.
Karen retired after a 16-year period in the fall of 2014 to focus her efforts
on addressing these challenges. "It became evident while watching these children undergoing therapy, and those getting
lost in the process, that there was much more that we
could do to help enhance their recovery. Along with parents and several medical
persons, we started RJ Children’s Haven.”