Employee Spotlight: Adrienne Garbarino

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This month we spotlight Adrienne Garbarino, Senior Clinical Researcher. Adrienne joined Karna just months before the first few cases of a new virus was discovered in Wuhan, China. That virus caused a pandemic and changed Adrienne’s work life dramatically (read about it in her blog post here). While her work style may have changed, her can-do attitude and outgoing spirit did not. Read more about her in our Q&A below. 

Q: What is your position and what do you do?

I am a Senior Clinical Researcher. I contribute to research, evaluation, and health communications projects by offering the viewpoint of a clinician. I also serve as project manager for several CDC contracts. I participate in business development and proposal writing. 

Q: What has been your favorite project at Karna and why?

I don’t think I can pick just one! I’m so proud to be a part of both of my projects that are fighting the COVID-19 pandemic in real time through collecting, analyzing, and communicating vitally important scientific information (through MMWR and the COVID-19 Epidemiology Task Force).

Also, using my clinical background and creativity to design clinical interventions for different proposals has been really fun. Hopefully, we will win some of the proposals this year, and I’ll get to see my ideas put into practice! That would be exciting. 

Q: What have you gained from working at Karna? 

Coming from a clinical background, I have now had the opportunity to develop many existing skills and also learn entirely new public health consulting skills – anything from writing a professionally worded email to academic writing and research design. 

Q: What do you do to stay fit/healthy?

As a first-time mom with an 18-month-old, my health and fitness routine is not as disciplined as it has been in the past. Right now, I just try to make a conscious effort to get enough sleep, move my body regularly, and have some “me” time on occasion. 

Q: Do you have a tip for coping with stress? 

See above☺. I also am a big fan of deep breathing and guided meditation. 

Q: Where is your hometown?

I was born in Stephenville, Texas, but mostly grew up in the Huntsville, Alabama, area. After spending 15 years in Atlanta, I met my husband, had a baby, and moved back to Huntsville last year. We love it here!

Q: What did you want to be growing up?

My mother tells me that my first passion was to become a “pizza maker,” but I think I used to want to be a Broadway star. I have always enjoyed performing.

Q: You’re happiest when?

Laughing with my baby.

Q: What is something most people don’t know about you? 

I still get to perform occasionally with my buddy Wyatt Espalin – a great Americana songwriter and singer in the North Georgia area. Look him up! (See Adrienne in the background in this post

I was vegan for about a year. 

I spent 2 years as a travelling nurse practitioner including an assignment in South Dakota with the Indian Health System, where I kept a blog of my travels. 

Q: Anything you would like to add or say to help your colleagues and clients know you a little better? 

I love dogs but don’t currently have one. My sweet pup passed in 2019 just a few months after my son was born. She was 16 years old, and I called her Chippy because her feet smelled like Corn chips. It’s a thing – look it up! 

I used to be quite the dare devil until I broke my arm snowboarding in 2014.

Lear more about Adrienne’s career and expertise here

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