Karen J. Hammelef

Senior Director, Clinical Strategic Solutions


Years in oncology


Number of countries that have satisfied my wanderlust…so far!


Square footage of my heaven… my art/craft studio


Types of peonies in my garden…obsessive?

Random things about me…

  • I live for creative moments: in the garden, playing with art, shooting pictures, making a quilt
  • I once did balloon decorating at events… my best? a canopy of clouds over a wedding dance floor
  • I am working on a novel of letters exchanged by my great grandmother and her mother…every day for nearly 20 years (the letters, not my writing)


Dr. Karen Hammelef has practiced for more than 30 years in the oncology nursing clinical arenas of bone marrow transplantation, breast cancer and supportive oncology as both an acute care nurse practitioner and nurse. In 1999 she became the Founding Director of the Patient & Family Support Services Program at the University of Michigan; a comprehensive oncology supportive care program offering services in psycho-onocology, complementary & integrative therapies, psychosocial care including practical assistance, patient education, practical assistance and survivorship.

Dr. Hammelef received a BSN from Mercy College of Detroit, a MS from the University of Michigan and a Doctor of Nursing Practice from Duke University where her capstone project explored the implementation of distress screening in ambulatory oncology. She has published and presented nationally and internationally on a variety of supportive care topics in oncology including distress management and innovative methods for the provision of psychosocial care to patients and their families.

Why I Joined Carevive

As an oncology nurse, I’ve always believed in the power of the patient voice in their own experience. Who knows more about how they are doing or what they are feeling than the patients themselves. Yet, in my professional career and as a family member and friend of several cancer patients, I know how seldom they feel heard or seen beyond their disease. Being an oncology nurse, I also know how challenging it can be to gather comprehensive information on all the possible symptoms and side effects, provide education and resources needed to patients and families while also administering care and treatment for a complicated disease.

In Carevive, I found a way to do all of this; gather information for the healthcare team about the whole patient experience, empower patients with information and resources and reduce the burden of providing this wholistic care and education on the healthcare team. Through our care plans patients are empowered to learn about their cancer and its treatment and have access to information and resources from all over the world. Putting these resources in the hands of all patients and reducing the burden on providers to do this, has always been my vision, and I am fortunate to be part of a team that shares this vision.

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