Karen Fordham


“A woman is like a tea bag – you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water.”

– Eleanor Roosevelt

Karen Fordham is an accomplished healthcare executive and leader of change with more than 20 years of diverse experience specializing in hospital operations, service line development, strategic planning, physician recruitment, process improvement and financial management for major healthcare systems.

Most recently, she served as CEO of St. Joseph Hospital in Fort Wayne, Indiana, with approximately 850 employees and 250 physicians on staff.  She also oversaw the St. Joseph Medical Group of 20 employed physicians at nine locations. 

For much of the past decade, Karen served in executive roles with the Detroit Medical Center (DMC) system where she was president and CEO of Huron Valley-Sinai Hospital, a 158-bed full-service, community teaching hospital near downtown Detroit, and Detroit Surgery Hospital, an orthopedic hospital, in the same market.

She ran her own consulting company for healthcare organizations across the country for most of 2017.  She is also the founder and co-owner of Keeping It Golden Senior Care, LLC, a home care company based in the Detroit area. Largely because of her volunteer work, Karen was selected as part of the 2014 Esteemed Women of Michigan. 

Karen was born and raised in Gross Pointe, Michigan.  She earned a master’s degree in business administration and a bachelor’s degree in science with minors in business, social work and criminal justice from Western Michigan University.

Karen enjoys kayaking and playing golf with her two school-aged children.  They and their 93-pound Golden Retriever, Sparty (named for the Michigan State Spartans).