Karen (Katona) Rainey ’89, ’91, ’07, ’11 defines the true heart of a Battler. Always eager to learn new things and willing to go the extra mile for others, Karen exemplifies a lifelong commitment to service in an ever changing world.
A native of Welch, West Virginia, Karen received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Sports Medicine from Alderson-Broaddus College in 1989, and in 1991 completed requirements for a degree in Medical Science (Physician Assistant). In 2007, Karen returned to A-B as a student and earned her Master’s Degree in Physician Assistant Studies. She most recently was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Science Degree from A-B in 2011, and delivered the Commencement Address.
While attending A-B as an undergraduate student, she served as a Resident Assistant, member of Baptist Campus Ministries, trainer for both men’s and women’s basketball, and played both tennis and softball for the Battlers.
In 1991, she married David Rainey, also an A-B alumnus, class of 1988. While David attended The University of Kentucky College of Medicine, Karen began her health care career. Her first position was in private practice with Cardiovascular and Thoracic Associates of Lexington, KY.
“Because my PA degree came from Alderson-Broaddus, many doors were opened that I believe would have remained closed otherwise,” said Karen. “When I interviewed for my very first job 20 years ago in cardiovascular and thoracic surgery - I had no experience, but when then the interviewer found out I was an A-B graduate, they were willing to give me a chance because of their past experiences with A-B PA's.”
Karen’s A-B education has proven to be a springboard to limitless surgical opportunities. She served at Central Baptist Hospital, Lexington, KY; West Virginia University and Monongalia General Hospital, both in Morgantown, WV. Karen has worked in private practice with Dr. J. Kevin Dickenson, General Surgeon, also an A-B College alumnus, from 2005-2010. She is currently employed by Raleigh General Hospital as a staff Surgical Physician Assistant.
In 2002, Karen was reconnected with A-B when she was named a member of the College’s Board of Trustees, a role she served for nine years. During this time, the Rainey's have reinvested in their Alma Mater through their gifts of time, talent, and treasure.
“Upon recognizing and believing what James 4:14 teaches - our life is but a vapor - I try to spend my life on things that will last long after my life on earth is through,” said Karen. I believe in learn, earn and return. I've had my years of learning - now I am earning so I can return. It is my desire to continue the cycle for those who are eager to learn.”
Karen and David have three daughters – Catherine, Emily, and Heather. Catherine will graduate from high school in 2012, and plans to follow in her parent’s footsteps by attending A-B in the Fall.