INTERVIEW:

BIO:

Karenlee Robinson has been a mental health administrator and advocate for persons with serious mental illness for the past forty years.

Karenlee has a Masters Degree in Social Work from Columbia University in New York and a second Masters Degree in Health Administration from Lindenwood University in St. Louis.  She was Hospital Administrator at San Diego County Psychiatric Hospital,  provided leadership for Mercy Hospital’s Behavioral Health and Psychiatric Services, and was Regional Director for Telecare Corporation.  Currently, she is Chief Operating Officer for Sharp Mesa Vista Hospital.

Karenlee has been active in many mental health and community organizations, including the San Diego Mental Health Coalition, the San Diego County Psychiatric Hospital Auxiliary, the CHIP Mental Health Workgroup, and the AIDS Housing Commission.  She is currently Vice President of the San Diego Mental Health Association Board of Directors and is Co-Chair of the San Diego Mental Health Board Committee on Housing for Persons with Mental Illness.

In May, 2002 Karenlee was named San Diego Mental Health Person of the Year by the Mental Health Community.  In April 2004 Karenlee received the International Soroptomist “Woman of Achievement” award and was recognized by the San Diego County Psychiatric Hospital Auxiliary with the 2005 Hero Award and by the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill with the NAMI Recovery Leader Award in 2006.  In 2008 the San Diego Psychiatric Society recognized her work with its Annual Advocacy Award.

Karenlee has over the years been active in many mental health and community organizations, including the National Association of Psychiatric Hospitals, the California Behavioral Health Board, the San Diego Mental Health Coalition, the San Diego County Psychiatric Hospital Auxiliary, the San Diego Community Health Improvement Partnership (CHIP) Mental Health Workgroup, the AIDS Housing Commission, and the San Diego Mental Health Board Committee on Housing for Persons with Mental Illness. She has been most active with the San Diego Mental Health America (formerly Mental Health Association) Board of Directors for over fourteen years and was the Board President of San Diego Mental Health America from 2007 to 2009.  During the last several years she has participated on the Sharp Mesa Vista Philanthropy Committee helping to raise funds for Sharp Mesa Vista and the Sharp McDonald Center.

In her retirement, she has been very active in volunteering in a leadership role with the San Diego Sierra Club and trekking to far-flung parts of the globe including Nepal, Galapagos, Peru, New Zealand, Bhutan and Cambodia.