Karen-Ann Lichtenstein, President/CEO of The Coordinating Center, will be retiring after 34 years of service to The Center. “Karen-Ann has played a critical role in the community of disabilities and the development and success of The Coordinating Center,” stated Tom H. Hall, Chair of the Board. “Under Karen-Ann’s nearly 26-year tenure as President/CEO, The Center has become a well-respected organization and a place people want to work and receive services. Karen-Ann has created an environment where coworkers are respected, their work valued, and the families and individuals The Center supports are cherished.”
For 45 years, Karen-Ann has been a fierce advocate for people with disabilities. Prior to coming to The Center, Karen-Ann was well known as a health and disability consultant in the community. She was instrumental in founding and leading Alternative Living, Inc. a pioneering effort of community inclusion for adults with disabilities, which is now a division of The Arc of the Central Chesapeake Region.
Karen-Ann began her tenure with The Coordinating Center in the 1980s and is credited with significantly growing the organization’s capacity to achieve its mission. Today, The Center’s team of over 300 coworkers (licensed nurses and social workers, community health coaches, service coordinators and housing coordinators) support more than 10,000 children and adults with disabilities and complex needs across the state of Maryland. What began as a small organization committed to helping children who were ventilator dependent, and living in hospitals transition back to homes in the community with their family, is now a comprehensive, innovative and nationally recognized organization. For more than three decades, and under the leadership of Karen-Ann, The Center has translated national movements into ground-level, community-based programs including transitions of care, Medicaid rebalancing initiatives, aging in place, hospital readmissions reductions, and addressing homelessness.
Retired Coordinator of Anne Arundel County Public Schools Birth to Five Services, and the founding Chair of the Board of The Coordinating Center, Ed Feinberg, Ph.D., has had the pleasure of working with Karen-Ann since she first joined The Coordinating Center in 1985. “I have been incredibly impressed with Karen-Ann’s unwavering commitment to the population served by The Center. She always fights to ensure that people with special health care needs are treated with dignity and respect. What is so extraordinary is that Karen-Ann is not only an advocate for people with disabilities, she is an innovative leader who strongly believes in person-centered care and collaborative governance” said Ed Feinberg, Ph.D.
As stated in “Coordinating Center’s Lichtenstein retiring after 45 years of service to community” Capital Gazette, Karen-Ann is working to ensure that the new CEO will “maintain our person-centered philosophy and inclusive culture as we move into our 36th year of changing the lives of children and adults with disabilities and complex needs. The Coordinating Center needs a visionary leader capable of taking us to the next level.” Karen-Ann states “I’m leaving on a high note fortunately. I think it’s time for me to leave and time for an evolution of the organization. While I still have the energy and could keep going, I know leaving is the right decision.”
“We cannot thank Karen-Ann enough for her dedication, passion, enthusiasm and motivation over the years. She will be greatly missed by coworkers, board members, and partners alike,” stated Hall.