A Publication of WTVP

40 Leaders Under Forty

Kara Roat, Age 31

Manager of Digital Clinical Connect, OSF OnCall Digital Health

Kara Roat

In her current role, Roat oversees and manages the day-to-day operations of digital care programs that serve the most at-risk population served by OSF HealthCare. These virtual programs include remote patient monitoring for chronic conditions, the discharge loop for the highest risk for readmissions, and the pregnancy and postpartum program.

“Kara has … impacted the lives of thousands of patients with the work she has done. She is a strong leader who shows compassion for her patients and her staff. She is innovative and is continuously working to improve the programs to better serve those we care for. The work she does, including as a registered nurse in digital care, has improved the care patients receive,” her nominator said.

Specifically, Roat worked to secure funding from the State of Illinois to implement a 24/7 digital program during COVID to allow patients to remain safely at home, implemented a program to support women during pregnancy and up to six weeks postpartum, helped install a digital program for chronically ill Medicaid patients, and put together an effort to help parents of pediatric patients during the recent RSV surge.

‘She is innovative and is continuously working to improve the programs to better serve those we care for’ — Kara Roat nominator

Childhood ambition: “I always knew that I wanted to work in health care, but I didn’t know I wanted to be a nurse until closer to my college years. The more I learned about nursing, the more I knew it was the perfect place for me.”

Advice to 20-year-old self: “Always step back and look at the bigger picture.”

Hobbies: “As a wife, mom of two (soon to be three), daughter, sister, aunt and more, there is nothing more important to me than spending time with those I love most!”

Unknown to colleagues: “I have gone on six international missions trips.”

Best advice: “Don’t live a self-centered life. Live an other’s centered life.”

Motivating social issue: “Right to life.”

Recommended book: “The Bible. There are so many valuable leadership and life lessons.”

Leadership definition: “I always say we are only as good as those we invest in. It’s so important to take the time to … help grow other individuals to achieve success as a team.”

Local inspiration: “Lisa Pierce, vice president of Advance Practice at OSF HealthCare, has been an inspiration to me and the person who really drew me into leadership within health care.”