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Dr. Karen Kent

Assistant Professor, Chair of Healthcare Administration and Director of the MBA Program

Dr. Kent has spent her career both as a healthcare practitioner and an academic leader. She’s held positions at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine as both the coordinator of Managed Care Arrangements and as the Administrator of the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery — where she led one of the largest ENT Departments in the country. She has also served as an independent consultant, leading strategic planning and business development efforts for healthcare and business clients. 

Her passion for the aging and those with disabilities is carried through her volunteer work in the Lehigh Valley. Dr. Kent serves on the Lehigh Valley Health Network’s Medical Home Project Board, the Lehigh County Area Agency on Aging Advisory Board and the United Way Health Aging Steering Committee. She has a long history of volunteering from her time in Cincinnati and Baltimore. In 2008, she was recognized as a Citizen of the Year in Wyoming, Ohio.

Dr. Kent’s passion for service extends into her teaching philosophy and she plans to incorporate service learning into her courses and the MBA program.

On the personal side, Dr. Kent moved to Pennsylvania with her husband Bill and son Ian. Her daughter Lauren lives in New York City, the Kents are thrilled to now live close enough to visit her in the Big Apple. Dr. Kent enjoys cooking, traveling, and spending time at the beach in Hilton Head, South Carolina.

Dr. Kent is an undergraduate alumnus of Penn State in Health Planning and Administration. She earned an M.S. in Health Systems Management from Rush University in Chicago and earned her Ph.D. in Social Gerontology from Miami University of Ohio. 

Dr. Kent has taught Marketing Management for DeSales after moving to Pennsylvania in late 2017 and has been a full-time faculty member for Penn State’s Master’s in Health Administration program over the last year.

For the past thirteen years, Dr. Kent was a faculty member in the graduate program in Health Services Administration at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio where she taught graduate courses in management and leadership, strategic management, and marketing and led several innovative academic program initiatives.

Dr. Kent has many research interests, including the delivery of healthcare services to aging clients, especially those with disabilities. Her dissertation, “Autism Spectrum Disorders and the Healthcare Experiences of Older Adults,” focused on the experiences of adults diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders and intellectual disabilities, and their challenges and successes in receiving quality healthcare services. She has presented on the topic at local, national and international meetings and her journal article will be published this summer.