Distinguished Alumna
Class of 2015
Karen Conlin Faler

AHS Class of 1966

Karen Conlin Faler, RN, C, ONC, is a highly regarded leader and mentor in the nursing community. She has maintained passion for her work and compassion for her patients for nearly a half century. Karen was born June 29, 1948, in Mattoon, Illinois, the first of five children of Laurence G. and Lucille Meehan Conlin. The Conlin family soon moved to Arcola and she attended Arcola schools until her graduation in 1966.

While Karen was involved in GAA, FTA, Library Club, Senior Class Play, Torch and Arco-Lite staffs at Arcola High School, her interests were concentrated on Band. She played clarinet and saxophone in the concert and dance bands, competed in solo and ensemble contests and was a member of the Band Cabinet. Karen was selected to Modern Music Masters, the national music honor society, and was also chosen to attend band camp at the University of Illinois. Her interest in the nursing profession led to her membership in Future Nurses of America at Arcola High School.

Following high school graduation, Karen enrolled in St. Johnís College of Nursing in Springfield, Illinois, where she completed her studies to become a Registered Nurse in 1969. Karen and Mark J. Faler were then married in Arcola on August 1, 1970. Their daughters, Amiee and Lucille, were born in 1973 and 1980.

Karenís nursing profession began in St. Johnís Hospital Orthopaedic Department in Springfield. In 1970, she continued her work in obstetrics and gynecology at Marion Medical Center in Santa Maria, California. The Falers returned to Illinois in 1972, when Mark completed his U.S. Air Force military service. Karen was then employed as an orthopaedic nurse at Burnham Hospital (later Covenant Medical Center). At Covenant, she served as Director of the Orthopaedic Trauma Unit (1973-1989) and then Director of the Ortho-Neuro Unit (1989-2000). Karen was engaged in a collaborative orthopaedic practice with Kenneth DePersio, MD, at Christie Clinic (2000-2003), and then served as Lead Registered Nurse with OAK Orthopaedics (2003-2006). Since 2006, Karen has been employed at Presence Medical Center (formerly Provena Covenant) as a staff nurse in the Emergency Department, where she continues to be an orthopaedic nursing resource, as well as a mentor for new nurses.

As her career progressed, Karen furthered her education by earning her certificate in Adult Medical Surgical Nursing in 1984 and her Orthopaedic Nurse Certification in 1988.

Faler has a longstanding membership with the National Association of Orthopaedic Nurses, serving as Secretary (1988-1992), President-Elect (1997-1998), President (1998-1999) and Immediate Past-President (1999-2000). She was 2002-2006 President of the NAON Foundation.

In 1997, Karen led the People to People Orthopaedic Nursing Delegation to Egypt, and was selected to co-chair the annual meeting for the National Association of Orthopaedic Nurses/American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Allied Health in 2005. She was honored with Presence Covenant Medical Centerís Clinical Nurse Excellence Award in 2009. The following year, she received their Guardian Angel Award for outstanding care provided to patients. Karen was 2013 Delegate to the Emergency Nurses Association National Workshop on Violence in the Workplace. This groupís proposals have been adopted by Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Karen has presented locally, nationally and internationally on topics of clinical practice, professional practice, leadership and mentoring, including presentations in England and Scotland. Her professional memberships include Canadian Orthopaedic Nurses Association, National Association of Orthopaedic Nurses, International Coalition of Orthopaedic Nurses and Emergency Nurses Association.

Falerís service in our community includes work with the Citizenís Advisory Board of the Arcola School District, Arcola Fire Department Womenís Auxiliary and Douglas County Medical Reserve Corps. She served as Ward III Arcola City Council Alderman (1992-2001) and then served on Arcolaís TIF Advisory Board. Karen is a lifelong member of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church.

Karen and Mark Faler shared twenty-five years together before his passing in 1995. She now greatly enjoys time with her daughters, Amiee and Luci, and her four grandchildren.

Questions/Comments to
Last Revision November 11, 2017