Karen M. Kruse, MD
I speak: English
My gender: Female
Where I practice
I grew up in sunny New Mexico where I still visit regularly, surrounded by sturdy nonagenarians whose day-to-day lives are the likely force behind my decision to make a career in the field of geriatrics, seeking practical and person-centered solutions to the challenges of growing older. I hold a bachelors degree in Human Biology with an emphasis in Aging Studies from Stanford University and earned my medical degree at the University of New Mexico Medical School. I completed an Internal Medicine residency at Legacy Health System in Portland, Oregon and my Geriatric Fellowship at the Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU)/VA program in 2008. I am a Board Certified Internist and Geriatrician currently serving Kaiser Permanente members in Oregon and Washington.
About my practice
I am the Clinical Lead for the Kaiser Permanente CARES (Care in the Residence) program within the Geriatrics and Long Term Care Department of Northwest Permanente. In this role over the past three years, I have been honored to actively influence the growth and development of an innovative health care delivery model for frail and complex members of the Kaiser Permanente Portland and Vancouver communities. Prior to joining the exciting Kaiser Permanente CARES medical home pilot, I had served for 10 years at Providence ElderPlace, a robust program in the Portland metro area which delivers interdisciplinary care to frail elders in several residential care settings. Prior to this concentrated work in geriatrics, I worked as a locum tenens for three exciting years, serving mostly rural Indian Health Service patients across the western United States.
How I thrive
My passion for delivering geriatric medical care has made the work-life balance a challenge. Looking to my elderly patients for signposts regarding long term life strategies worth emulating gives me some direction. I know that life is short, even when it lasts a century. I know that it's the day to day things that matter the most, rather than the ethereal "big achievement". So, in addition to trying to live the healthy lifestyle so well promoted by Kaiser Permanente, I try to keep a healthy perspective.