Dr Karen Forrest is the Head of Clinical Services who plays a pivotal leadership role in strengthening the quality of health care delivery at the Clinical Services Department (CSD). Dr Forrest is an internal physician with a specialisation in gastroenterology. She obtained her medical qualifications at the University of Oxford and then did postgraduate training in Liverpool. She has postgraduate qualifications in medical education. She also did her Masters in theology and anthropology in Kenya, completing a research project on Gambian understandings of illness and disease.
Karen has worked in The Gambia since 2011. Before joining The Unit in 2015, Karen was previously the Doctor-in-charge of Sibanor Health Centre in Foni Bintang, Upper River Region (URR). Her passion for providing optimum care to her patients is a clear manifestation of how she quickly grasped and can fluently speak Mandinka.
Since arriving at MRCG, Karen has developed systems for monitoring and managing the Clinical Services Department. She has worked hard to learn from the expertise of other departments and managers and has sought to improve working relationships with research teams. As such, she has written a large number of clinical guidelines and has highlighted the need to improve the quality of care provided in the CSD.
Karen was also actively involved in the development of the Electronic Medical Record System (EMRS) which was initiated in March 2015. In collaboration with Data Management, Karen saw the successful completion of phase one and phase two of the deployment of the EMRS at MRCG. Over the last few years, MRCG has seen her enormous contribution towards the integration of the automation of the Gate Clinic, pharmacy, inventory of stock, in-patient clinic, Electronic Gate Clinic, E-patient card, improved Doctor Interface and Wardfunctions into the EMRS. Thus the CSD now have an effective, efficient and economic operational automated system to support the entire Clinical Services infrastructure of MRCG.