ICAN is excited to announce Karen Troy as our August Volunteer of the Month!
How long have you been an ICAN member?
I have been an ICAN member since 2006.
How did you first find ICAN?
I started planning my VBAC the day that I scheduled my cesarean section with my son, who was breech. I was so glad to find resources, information, support, and community as I navigated our complex healthcare system.
What motivates you as a volunteer?
Although I’m done with my babies, I still feel very passionate about ICAN’s mission. I am also a “data junkie” and a trained scientist. I am really pleased that I am able to take some of my professional skills and use them to help people understand the scientific literature. Decision making that involves weighing of risks is complex, and depending on how we (or our healthcare providers) frame things, it can change our perspective from acceptance and responsibility to fear and worry. I feel like being a resource for the community is something that uses my strengths.
What was your proudest moment as an ICAN volunteer? What about your hardest?
I am really proud of two things: (1) the updated White Papers that I have helped create for ICAN. I actually need to do more work on these, since there are more than need updating! (2) I served as Co-leader for ICAN of Chicago for several years, and we started doing meal trains for new moms. I loved the way this built a community, although it was tricky to organize. Serving as a co-leader was tough for me, because although I cared very much for the mothers in our group, it was very difficult for me to be emotionally supportive to others who made decisions based on values that were very different from my own. Ultimately, I do not think leading a chapter played to my strengths very well.
Do you have a profession or any other passions outside of ICAN?
I work full time as an Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. I love working with students on health-related engineering projects. I also love hiking, running, sailing, and generally anything that gets me outdoors.
Congratulations, Karen! Thank you for all you do!