Council on Aging (COA) is overseen by a Board of Trustees. The board establishes rules for COA’s operation and directs the organization’s affairs in keeping with Council on Aging’s mission to enhance lives by assisting people to remain independent through a range of quality services. Board members live and work in COA’s five-county service area and bring a wealth of professional and personal experience to COA and its leadership team.
The board’s current president is Karen Brown, Associate Professor of Nursing at Miami University. Brown resides in Clermont County and has a doctoral degree in gerontology. She teaches Nursing Care of Older Adults at Miami University.
Brown joined COA’s board in June 2016. She served as the board’s vice chair from 2019-2021. Her term as chair began in 2021 and continues through 2023.
What interested you in serving on COA’s board?
I am passionate about improving the lives of older adults!
What excites you most about COA’s future?
COA is continually innovating to improve the lives of older adults and people with disabilities. As a Board member, I love COA’s work in fostering its mission of enhancing lives by assisting people to remain independent.
Thinking about your time on COA’s board, what about COA are you most proud of?
I’m most proud of the many innovative initiatives COA implements – examples include the projects to help people during the COVID pandemic, such as delivering care packages to older adults, the Comfort Meal program, and helping older adults get vaccinated. Currently, innovations are underway to address the shortage of home health aides that is impacting those we serve.
Which COA value speaks most to you and why?
Integrity. To me, integrity encompasses many other values. If we have integrity, we always do the right thing for the right reasons.
What’s the most important lesson you learned from an elder in your life?
My dad always said, “If you do your best, that’s all anyone can ask of you.” I tend to put pressure on myself to excel, and it’s good to know that sometimes doing my best is enough!
Who (or what) inspires you?
My parents both inspire me. My mom is strong and handles challenges with grace. Plus, she is highly social and loves to have fun! My dad fostered a love of learning in me, is accepting of all people, generous, and has a great sense of humor. Also, my nursing students inspire me as I see in them a bright future for the field of nursing!
What was the last book you read?
I’m an avid reader so I usually have a couple of books in progress at the same time and like a variety of genres. My book club is reading The Other Einstein by Marie Benedict; my last audiobook was Carrie Soto is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid.