Valpo dean chairperson of Northwest Health - Porter board • Northwest Indiana Business Magazine
Karen Allen

Valpo dean chairperson of Northwest Health – Porter board

Karen Allen, dean of the College of Nursing and Health Professions at Valparaiso University, is the new chairperson for Northwest Health – Porter's board of trustees.

Karen Allen
Karen Allen

Allen joined Valparaiso University’s faculty in July 2017.

“I am pleased that our board has selected Dr. Allen for this important role, and I look forward to her guidance,” said Ashley Dickinson, chief executive officer for Northwest Health. “Her vast knowledge of patient care combined with her leadership experience will be a guiding force in the continuation of our mission, including the delivery of high quality care.”

For 17 years, Allen also served as chair of the nursing department at Andrews University in Berrien, Michigan. During her tenure, the department started a doctor of nursing practice program with an emphasis in family nurse practitioner. The program recently was accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing Inc.

Allen has served in various leadership roles, including:

  • President of the International Nurses Society on Addiction for four years
  • Member of the board of directors of Adventist Health Systems Sunbelt Corp. for five years
  • Member of the U.S. Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, Treatment Improvement Protocols Editorial Advisory Board for five years
  • Member of the National Advisory Council for the United States Center for Substance Abuse Prevention for seven years.

She is a member of the American Academy of Nursing, The American Nurses Association, The International Nurses Society on Addictions, Phi Kappa Phi Interdisciplinary Honors Society, and Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing (Alpha Lambda Chapter).

She is the recipient of numerous awards throughout her career, including:

  • The Andrews University Siegfried H. Horn Excellence in Research and Creative Scholarship Lifetime Achievement Award,
  • The U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Center for Substance Abuse Treatment Innovator Award for Women’s Substance Abuse Treatment
  • The Michigan Nurses Association Carol E. Franck Nursing Leadership Award.

Allen received her doctorate in nursing sciences from the University of Illinois at Chicago, her master's in nursing administration and bachelor's in nursing from Andrews University, and was a fellow at the American Academy of Nursing.

Northwest Health has more than 60 locations, including three hospitals and five emergency departments. More than 3,000 people work for the health system.


  • Heather Pfundstein

    Heather Pfundstein is the managing editor of Northwest Indiana Business Magazine and She is an award-winning journalist with more than 25 years of experience in Northwest Indiana and northern Illinois newsrooms. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism from Southern Illinois University. She has worked for the magazine since 2018.

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