Karen Teshima has worked for over 20 years to build a healthier Big Island. Her career started at Bay Clinic, a non-profit community health center that serves one in 10 island residents. As a health educator, Karen planned, organized and implemented health education programs in reproductive health for young adults and professionals. As case management coordinator, she worked closely with patients and physicians to ensure that patients with complex illnesses received consistent care across a multitude of facilities and providers. Karen has also written grants to expand patient navigation programs in Hawaii County. As executive assistant to Mayor Billy Kenoi, Karen was the administration’s lead on community health initiatives such as the Hawaii Island Beacon Initiative, the designation of Blue Zones Project communities on the island, and the administration’s expansion of parks and activities for keiki and kupuna. She also served as liaison within the administration for upgrades to the built environment to make biking, running and walking safer for all. Karen has also served on the boards of the National Cancer Survivors Network, Hawaii State Rural Health Association, Hawaii Island Healthcare Alliance, and YWCA Hawaii Island.