Nurse practitioners and nurse practitioner advocates, recipients of the prestigious American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) 2018 State Award for Excellence, will be honored at an awards ceremony and reception held during the AANP 2018 National Conference June 26-July 1, in Denver, CO. Newton Medical Center’s (NMC) Karen Lehman, DNP, MSN, APRN, FNP-C, will be among the recipients honored and the only nurse practitioner recognized in the state of Kansas.

The State Award for Nurse Practitioner Excellence, founded in 1991, recognizes a single nurse practitioner (NP) in a state who demonstrates excellence in practice. In 1993, the State Award for Nurse Practitioner Advocate was added to recognize the efforts of individuals who have made a significant contribution toward increasing awareness and recognition of NPs.

Serving as a core member of NMC’s Hospitalist department since 2011, Lehman co-developed the ‘Right on Track’ transitional care program, which evaluates high-risk patients to identify barriers to achieving optimal health and reduce hospital readmission. She also works with the hospital’s home health agency and case management department to help patients plan ahead for medical care by completing advance directives.

“Karen is a huge asset to Newton Medical Center,” said Heather Porter, NMC’s chief clinical officer. “She continually searches for ways to address patients’ needs, before, during and after a hospital stay or emergency room visit. We are proud to see Karen nationally recognized for her work.”

Lehman earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Bethel College and went on to complete her Master of Science in Nursing, Family Nurse Practitioner Program, from Wichita State University. Just last December, Lehman earned her Doctorate of Nursing Practice, also from Wichita State University.