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Karen L. Pellegrin, Ph.D., M.B.A.
Karen Pellegrin

Director of Continuing / Distance Education and Strategic Planning

Dr. Pellegrin has over 20 years of leadership experience in healthcare quality, strategy, research, and education. Since joining the College in 2008, she has led teams to win more than $30,000,000 in competitive federal grants in healthcare innovation. In 2010, she was named Founding Director of the Center for Rural Health Science. Prior to joining the College, she served for over seven years as an executive for Compass Point Research, a corporation with three subsidiaries providing clinical trials management and ethics review services and technology throughout the US. There she served as Vice President for Quality Management and Strategic Planning, Chief Compliance Officer, and then as its President. She began her career at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), where she served as a member of the MUSC Medical Center management team and junior faculty member.


  • MBA, The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina, Charleston
  • PhD, Clinical Psychology, University of South Florida, Tampa
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship in Quality Management & Health Psychology, Medical University of South Carolina

Classes and Courses

    Course Developer, Coordinator, and Instructor:
  • Personal Finance (PHPS 557)

  • Guest lecturer:
  • Wellness, Prevention, and Disease Management
  • Pharmacy Law and Ethics
  • Marketing and Management

Selected Presentations and/or Publications

  1. Pellegrin KL, Miyamura JB, Ma CSJ, Taniguchi R.  Improving accuracy and relevance of race/ethnicity data:  Results of a state-wide collaboration in Hawai`i.  Journal for Healthcare Quality , 2015 (in press).
  2. Pellegrin KL, Barbato A, Holuby RS, Ciarleglio AE, Taniguchi R.  Cost-effective strategies for rural community outreach.  Preventing Chronic Disease, 2014 (in press).
  3. Pellegrin KL, Ciarleglio, A.  The Pharm2Pharm Model:  Improving Care in Rural Hawaii.  Invited speaker for Arkansas Pharmacists Association annual convention, Little Rock, AR (June 6, 2013)
  4. Krenk L, Pellegrin KL.  Pharm2Pharm Health Care Innovation Award:  A Collaboration Coordinated through the Center for Rural Health Science.  Invited presentation for the session on “Opportunities for Pharmacy: New Models of Care Planting the Seeds for Local Innovation” at the National Community Pharmacist Association Annual Convention and Trade Exposition, San Diego, CA (October 16, 2012).
  5. Pellegrin KL.  A brief survey to identify priorities for improving clinician recruitment and retention:  Results from Hawaii Island physiciansHawaii Journal of Medicine & Public Health, April 2012; Vol 71, No 4, Supplement 1, 41-45.
  6. Pellegrin KL, Pezzuto JM.  Strategic direction for high demand degrees:  An analysis of the U.S. pharmacy degree competitive marketInternational Journal of Management in Education special issue on “Quest for a Competitive Edge in Higher Education”, 2011; Vol. 5 (No. 2/3):285-300.
  7. Pellegrin KL, Currey HS.  Demystifying and improving organizational culture in healthcare.  In:  Wolf JA, Hanson H, Moir MJ, Friedman L, Savage GT (ed.).  Organization Development in Healthcare:  Conversations on Research and Strategies (Advances in Health Care Management, Volume 10).  Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2011: 3-23.
  8. Holuby RS, Pellegrin KL, Chaisri I, Perez A.  The Changing role of the pharmacist:  Assessing patient and provider experiences.  Poster presentation at the 2010 American Pharmacists Association annual meeting, Washington, DC (March 12-15).
  9. Pellegrin KL, Emard E.  Seeking accreditation:  Is it right for your IRB?  Presentation at the Health Care Compliance Association (HCCA) Research Compliance Conference, November 7 - 9, 2004, Las Vegas.
  10. Pellegrin KL, Nesbitt LA.  Testing treatments in humans.  In:  Nesbitt LA.  Clinical Research:  What It Is and How It Works.  Sudbury MA:  Jones and Bartlett Publishers, 2003: 1-34.
  11. Childers DJ, Pellegrin KL.  Bioethics and human advocacy.  In:  Nesbitt LA.  Clinical Research:  What It Is and How It Works.  Sudbury MA:  Jones and Bartlett Publishers, 2003: 35-76.
  12. Pellegrin KL.  Data management.  In:  Nesbitt LA.  Clinical Research:  What It Is and How It Works.  Sudbury MA:  Jones and Bartlett Publishers, 2003: 135-154.
  13. Pellegrin KL.  Quality management and FDA readiness.  In:  Nesbitt LA.  Clinical Research:  What It Is and How It Works.  Sudbury MA:  Jones and Bartlett Publishers, 2003: 155-178.
  14. Pellegrin KL.  Quality improvement at the front lines of clinical trials:  Using data to improve data quality.  Presentation at the 17th Annual Drug Information Association Symposium and Exhibition on Clinical Data Management, 2002.
  15. Pellegrin KL, Stuart GW, Maree B, Frueh BC, Ballenger JC.  A brief scale for assessing patients’ satisfaction with care in outpatient psychiatric services.  Psychiatric Services, 2001; 52 (6):  816-819.
  16. Pellegrin KL.  Reducing children’s sedentary behavior to prevent obesity.  Balancing the Equation:  Health and Lifestyles of America’s Children (Proceedings), Georgetown University Center for Food and Nutrition Policy, Washington DC, 2000; 28-32.
  17. Pellegrin KL, O'Neil PM, Stellefson EJ, Fossey MD, Ballenger JC, Cochrane CE, Currey HS.   Average daily nutrient intake and mood among obese women.  Nutrition Research 1998; 18(7); 1103-1112.
  18. Pellegrin KL, Arana GW.  Why the triple-threat approach threatens the viability of academic medical centers.  Academic Medicine 1998; 73(2); 123-125.
  19. Pellegrin KL, Carek D, Edwards J.  Use of experimental and quasi-experimental methods for data-based decisions in QI.  Joint Commission Journal on Quality Improvement 1995; 21(12); 683-691.
  20. Pellegrin KL.  Selecting quality improvement projects:  The Dimensions of Impact Scale.  Healthcare Information Management. 1994; 8 (4); 75-79.

Active Grants

  • CMS Innovation Center Health Care Innovation Award