September 25, 2013 - Karen Vahlberg recieves award from Lt. Gov. Todd LambNorman - Karen Vahlberg, RN, BSN, owner and founder of Lifecare Oklahoma was honored as Executive of the Year yesterday by the Oklahoma Association for Home Care and Hospice (OAHC) at its annual conference. Vahlberg received her award from Lieutenant Governor Todd Lamb who presided over the conferences, award ceremony, held Wednesday at the Reed Center in Midwest City.
In addition to Vahlberg's prestigious award, three other Lifecare Oklahoma employees received top honors in their respective categories and four others won Awards of Distinction. Harry Smith, Lifecare Oklahoma Chaplain was named Chaplain of the Year, Jay Douglas, Lifecare Oklahoma IT Manager, was named Support Personnel of the Year, and John Sumida, Norman resident, was named Volunteer of the Year. The other honorees included Cathy Gilbert, Director of Operations, Alun Skitt, Personal Services Administrator, Brandy Madden, LPN, and Kourtney Scism, Personal Services Scheduler.
Vahlberg founded Lifecare Oklahoma in Norman in 2003 beginning first with private duty home care services, then expanding to include skilled home health care in 2003 and hospice services in 2006. Lifecare has grown to be a leader in the Oklahoma home care industry, serving patients in 13 counties in central Oklahoma. Lifecare currently employs more than 200 people.
Vahlberg emphasizes health and wellness in her business and has been a Certified Healthy Business for over 7 years. This past year, she started offering free exercise classes twice weekly for employees. She also formed the Lifecare Lyrics, an outreach group of employees who perform a cappella songs for elderly residents in area facilities at Christmas and special occasions.
Vahlberg currently participates in the Norman Business Association and has previously served as Chairman of the Cleveland County Red Cross, and has served for more than 15 years on the Board of Directors for the Home Care Association. Earlier this year, she spearheaded the launch of a national franchise with Lifecare Oklahoma as the core model. Under Vahlberg's leadership, her company initiated a re-branding campaign for Lifecare Oklahoma in preparation for the launch of the franchise and also a comprehensive advertising campaign. Lifecare Oklahoma has consistently performed above both state and national averages in both provision of care and patient satisfaction based on industry surveys.
"I certainly feel honored to be recognized by the Oklahoma Association for Home Care & Hospice," said Vahlberg, "however I have to point to our wonderful employees who have helped the company grow and accomplish so much in the last 10 years and this year in particular."
Lifecare Oklahoma headquarters is located at 2411 Springer Drive in Norman and has offices in Shawnee and Pauls Valley. OAHC is an Association of more than 100 home care and hospice agencies in Oklahoma.