Wednesday, August 10, 2016
Meet Karla Dzienkowski, RN, BSN: Executive Director In January 2014, Karla accepted the position of executive director. In two and...
Meet Karla Dzienkowski, RN, BSN:
In January 2014, Karla accepted the position of executive director. In two and a half short years she has made a huge impact on this organization.
Karla first learned about RLS in her dual roles as a mother and registered nurse when her daughter, then 11 1/2 years old, began to experience symptoms that doctors could not explain. Karla crossed the country looking for answers before finally finding a knowledgeable doctor, and shortly after, the RLS Foundation.
Eager for answers, Karla joined the Foundation’s Board of Directors in 2004 and served through 2009. As a board member, she encouraged pediatric RLS research, along with programs to increase awareness and education of RLS in the medical and school communities. Karla believes that much work has yet to be done in disseminating information about RLS to the public and the medical community, and that much more research into its cause and treatment is needed. Karla drives the mission of the Foundation with her leadership, and she is passionate about promoting research for better treatments and a cure.
Karla explains “The RLS Foundation serves as a beacon of hope, help and support for individuals and their families who deal with the daily impact that RLS has on their life. I want to thank each of our members for supporting the Foundation because you gave me and my family a life-line when we desperately needed one. With the help of the Foundation we were able to find the care my daughter needed and get back to living life.”
Karla has vast experience working with non-profits, including active participation for many years in Girl Scouts, Austin Children's Museum and three years serving on the Board of Directors for National Charity League, Inc., with one year as board president of the Capital of Texas Chapter. Karla, her husband, John, and their two daughters have recently welcomed a new Alaskan Klee-Kai puppy named Arrow into the family.
Karla is truly the Foundation’s #1 cheerleader. She always responds to difficult inquiries that come to the Foundation with genuine empathy, support and deep knowledge of RLS, drawn from her roles both as a family member impacted by the disease and as a nurse with over 30 years of medical knowledge and experience.
We recently received this note to Karla from someone with whom she was corresponding: “I also thank you for the empathetic warmth of your email. As you know, people in my situation feel very stressed and suffer from social isolation. It means a lot to feel contact with someone who understands. I think your organization is very blessed to have someone like you working in your position. I hope they appreciate you!”
Do we appreciate Karla? … Beyond measure!