Innovation Award Judging Panel

Karen Allen, RN, Ph.D., FAAN

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Karen became dean of the College of Nursing and Health Professions in July of 2017. Previously she served as professor of nursing at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Mich. for 17 years. Under her leadership, the department established a doctor of nursing practice program with an emphasis in family nurse practitioner.

Allen has served in various leadership roles, including president of the International Nurses Society on Addiction for four years; member of the board of directors of Adventist Health Systems Sunbelt Corporation for five years; member of the United States Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, Treatment Improvement Protocols Editorial Advisory Board for five years; member of the National Advisory Council for the United States Center for Substance Abuse Prevention for seven years.

 Recently, the College of Nursing and Health professions expanded to offer new health care programs, including health care leadership, physician assistant studies, public health, and health administration. The College also launched a doctor of nursing practice program, becoming the first university in Indiana to offer this degree.

Allen has been an avid researcher throughout her career and was principal researcher/evaluator for “A National Cross-Site Evaluation Study on the Effectiveness of Pregnant and Post-Partum Women and Children’s Substance Abuse Treatment Programs,” funded by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. In addition, she assessed the design and function of evaluation programs implemented in federally funded women and children’s substance abuse/addiction treatment programs across the country.

Allen holds a Ph.D. in nursing sciences from the University of Illinois at Chicago, as well as a master’s in nursing administration and a bachelor’s in nursing from Andrews University. She has also been inducted as a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing.

Christine Carter

Christine Carter

Consultant For Brands And Agencies | Speaker On Millennial Moms And Black Consumers | Forbes and TIME Writer | Creator of Mompreneur and Me

As a writer, speaker and consultant Christine Michel Carter works with companies to ensure they’re at the forefront of the minds of Black female consumers. She has been featured in, and guest contributed to several global digital publications, including Forbes, TIME, The New York Times, Harper's BAZAAR, Parents, Health, Ebony, Women’s Health and has been called "the exec inspiring millennial moms," a "branding mastermind" and "the voice of millennial moms." Maternal Care Act. She also created Mompreneur and Me, the first national free mommy and me professional development event for moms who can’t afford time away from the kids to network or develop professional skills. Mompreneur and Me gives companies the opportunity to connect with affluent millennial moms via an intimate, unforgettable brand experience. Across the country, they connect moms offline and provide a guilt-free space for fellowship... all while helping them spend quality time with their little ones.

Laurie Dodge


As Director of Marketing & Development, at The Association of Junior Leagues International, Inc., Laurie Dodge is responsible for the Association’s marketing, communications, fundraising and development activities.

She has held senior management positions at Icon Medialab, an international IT services firm, and at Interbrand, the nation’s leading branding consultancy. In each of these roles she oversaw the design and execution of the firm’s communications strategies in North America, harnessing print and online platforms to advance the image of the brand. Earlier in her career, she developed and executed public relations and marketing initiatives to support the top-grossing Impressionist & Modern Art department of Christie’s auction house. Her work there resulted in unprecedented global media coverage and record-breaking sales results.

Laurie holds a B.A. from Smith College.

Tonya Fulwider


Tonya is the Program Director of Mental Health of Franklin County and the co-founder and director of Perinatal Outreach and Encouragement for Moms (POEM). Tonya is the Central US Regional coordinator for Postpartum Support International (PSI). POEM was the recipient of 2020 Mom’s 2017 Innovative Programs in Care, and the 2009 PSI Jane Honikman Founder’s Award. Tonya also oversees the agency’s myriad of support groups, the Get Connected program, all educational programming, grant management, and teaches De-escalation Training and Work-Life Balance. She is a Certified Mental Health First Aid USA Instructor.

John Keats, MD

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Dr. Keats is the course director for ACOG’s postgraduate course entitled Quality and Safety for Leaders in Women’s Health Care. In addition, he serves as a site reviewer for ACOG’s Voluntary Review of Quality of Care program and is a member of that program’s national steering committee. Dr. Keats is an ex-officio mem-ber of ACOG’s national Committee on Patient Safety and Quality Improvement, and was one of the principle designers of ACOG’s SCOPE program, a certification program for office safety. In May 2016, Dr. Keats began a two-year term as Fellow-at-Large on ACOG’s Executive Board.

John attended Brown University’s seven-year Program in Medicine, and completed a four-year residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at UCLA Medical Center in 1982. This was followed by three years of active duty as an obstetrician-gynecologist with the Air Force, during which time Dr. Keats achieved board-certification in his specialty and be-came a Fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). After leaving the military in 1985, Dr. Keats joined Buenaventura Medical Group (BMG) in Ventura, California. He has held various leadership positions within the group and medical community. He has served as chair of the departments of obstetrics and gynecology at two local hospitals. He served several terms on the BMG board of directors, including two years as board chair. Dr. Keats was appointed Medical Director of BMG in 1995. In 2001, he was selected to join the inaugural class of University of California San Francisco’s two-year California Healthcare Leadership Fellowship, spon-sored by the California Health Care Foundation. In 2002, Dr. Keats was designated a Certified Physician Executive by the Certifying Commission on Medical Management after completing an extensive course of study with the American Association for Physician Leadership (AAPL).

In July 2007, Dr. Keats became President and Medical Director of California HealthFirst Physi-cians, a multi-specialty group in southern California affiliated with Catholic Healthcare West (CHW). In addition, he was designated the Medical Director for Perinatal Safety for the CHW system, which includes 32 obstetrical units performing approximately 60,000 deliveries per year. He left CHW in January 2012 to join Cigna Health Plans as Market Medical Executive for the state of Arizona, and in 2016 was appointed Cigna’s national medical director for Enterprise Trend Analysis and Specialty Society Relationships.  In 2009, Dr. Keats became an AAPL Fellow in recognition of his many leadership roles in health care. In 2011 he was elected to the board of AAPL and served a four-year term ending in 2015. He remains clinically active, working as an OB hospitalist on weekends.