Karen Gaddis is the Director of Violence Prevention Services at the Chickasaw Nation. She has been employed with the tribe for 12 years and oversees program services relating to domestic and sexual violence. Under her leadership, the Chickasaw Nation program has been recognized as a leader in the Native American community in regards to awareness, prevention and direct services for Native families experiencing domestic and sexual violence. In 2008, Karen was instrumental in opening the Chickasaw Nation’s first domestic violence shelter for women and children. In 2009, Karen was credited with the establishment of a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) and Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) program at the Chickasaw Nation Medical Center. Furthermore, in 2013, Karen launched a tribal batterer’s intervention program, and in 2015, made the Chickasaw Nation be the first tribe in Oklahoma to offer Domestic Violence Nurse Exams (DVNE.) Ms. Gaddis currently oversees four federal grants through the Department of Justice Office of Violence Against Women, Administration of Children and Families, Family Violence Prevention, and Indian Health Services. Her current focus is the opening of the Violence Prevention Center in 2017. Through the generous support of the Chickasaw Nation, the new Violence Prevention Center facility, currently under construction, will quadruple the current shelter space available for women and children needing emergency services.
Ms. Gaddis is a licensed clinical social worker who holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work (1999) from East Central University and a Master’s Degree in Social Work (2003) from the University of Oklahoma. Her background also includes experience as a medical social worker in a community hospital setting. She was recognized by the School of Social Work Hall of Fame in 2012-2013 by being named the Rural Social Work Professional and is honored to now be included as one of the 100 for the 100th anniversary celebration of the school. Ms. Gaddis has served as a practicum instructor and mentor for many social work students through both East Central University and the University of Oklahoma, an aspect of her career that she truly enjoys.
Ms. Gaddis has served on various committees and task forces to address issues related to family violence, mental health, and substance abuse. She currently serves on the Advisory Committee for the East Central University Social Work program and is Vice-President and a founding member of the Native Alliance Against Violence, Oklahoma’s tribal domestic and sexual violence coalition.
Posted on Wed, February 8, 2017
by Laura Kent filed under