Karen van Unen, Ed.M, MBA

Chief Operations Officer

Karen van Unen, Ed.M, MBA, joined the South End Community Health Center in November 2015. She is a non-profit management professional with 20 years of extensive experience in organizational and program development, budget and operations management, strategic planning and implementation, and partnership building. In her last position, she served as the Executive Director for the Medical Use of Marijuana Program under the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. She initially joined DPH as a consultant on the implementation of the medical marijuana program following its approval by voters in November of 2012.

Between 2004 and 2013, Karen served as COO at DotWell in Dorchester, a partnership organization of Codman Square Health Center and Dorchester House Multi-Service Center, where under her leadership, DotWell increased IT efficiencies, capabilities, and security while reducing costs and improving patient care. She came to DotWell following six years at Children’s Hospital, where she developed and managed programs and training models to support positive health outcomes at the community and national level. As Program Director for the Anne E. Dyson Community Pediatrics Training Initiative National Program Office, she worked collaboratively with ten pediatric resident training programs across the U.S. to equip pediatric residents with the tools and knowledge necessary to practice community-based medicine and to advocate for the health and well-being of children.

Karen holds a BA in Psychology, a Masters’ in Education, and an MBA from Boston University. Karen is a member of the Tufts University MPH Program External Advisory Committee and, and past president of the Massachusetts Public Health Association where she now serves as a volunteer on the Development Committee. She speaks fluent Dutch, Papiamentu and Spanish.