Employee Spotlight: Kathy Karnes, Director of Quality and Clinical Trials

As a nurse for more than 43 years, Kathy Karnes has spent the last 34 years in gastroenterology. She serves in two director roles in quality and clinical trials. “The best thing about my job is that every day is different – offering new challenges and rewards.”

She oversees clinical trials for medications and devices related to GI diseases. “There are several active studies among GIA patients at any given time. My favorite one was working with the now-retired Dr. Bergein Overholt with a device that uses radio-frequency ablation for the treatment of Barrett’s esophagus. We witnessed firsthand the amazing technology that could treat and prevent the advancement of Barrett’s esophagus. The patients were so incredibly grateful.”

Kathy stresses the importance of early screening for colorectal cancer, and “if you have a parent, sibling or child with a history of colorectal cancer, YOU need to be screened and keep up with follow-up appointments!”

Kathy at the Parthenon in Athens, Greece

She firmly believes that “travel broadens your horizon” and loves to visit national parks.

“Grand Tetons, Yellowstone and seeing the Great Sequoias in Muir Woods are some of my favorites,” Kathy shares. “The most interesting countries I’ve visited are France and Greece. I look forward to rescheduling a trip to Italy that we missed in 2020 due to COVID.”

Kathy travels with a group of friends and family – 24 total – who have traveled together for about 10 years. “When you experience something together, you form a special bond. We all share the love of travel, culture, music, food – new things.” She recently traveled to Kiawah Island, South Carolina, on a very special trip for her son’s wedding.