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Speakers Bureau

Kathy Karsting: Building a Culture of Health in Nebraska

This session guides participants in a brisk exploration of how health systems are changing and transforming quite apart from states’ determinations about Medicaid expansion.  In this changing environment, are we making any progress in significant life course outcomes?  Nurses represent the largest single workforce asset of the entire health care system, and also are the most trusted health care professionals in the eyes of the public.  How are nurses impacted by, and how are they influencing, these transformative changes?  This session will explore, with examples, the unique assets and opportunities nurses bring to interdisciplinary and cross-sector efforts to improve population health.



1. Describe three realities of health care systems transformation with examples as brought about by the Affordable Care Act:  changes in payment models, changes in work force, and changes in how we view health.

2. Assess current access and utilization of health care services, and consequences for population health, using three case examples: well woman preventive health care benefits; mental well being; and health disparities.

3. Discuss the ways nurses represent unique and valuable assets for a changing health care system, giving case examples of nursing leadership and innovation.


About the Speaker

Name: Kathy Karsting, RN, MPH

Title: Maternal Child Adolescent Health Program Manager

Agency/Division: DHHS Division of Public Health


Kathy Karsting is a public health nurse and program manager for the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services in the Division of Public Health.  Kathy leads a talented team in the Maternal Child Adolescent Health Program, with the purpose of identifying and addressing public health priorities with life course significance in the maternal, infant, child, and adolescent populations of Nebraska.


Kathy has been with the state of Nebraska since 2006, first serving as Nebraska’s state school nurse consultant and program manager for the MCAH team since 2011. Kathy’s career in public health spans Peace Corps Service, local and regional public health in rural communities, HIV/AIDS care and prevention, serving as school health supervisor for the Lincoln NE Public Schools, and now state public health.  Kathy holds a Master’s degree in public health from the University of Minnesota, School of Public Health, and a Bachelor’s degree from Johns Hopkins University.  In 2015, Kathy was named a national public health nurse leader by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Kathy is also a founding board member of the Nebraska Perinatal Quality Improvement Collaborative.


Kathy is a frequent speaker and author about nursing practice, maternal child health issues in the population of life course significance, health equity, and health care systems transformation.

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