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Karen Ong

Nurse, Patient Advocate, Entrepreneur, Author


Karen is a nurse, patient advocate, entrepreneur, and author.


Above all, she is a survivor. A long series of painful experiences taught Karen important lessons about the type of person she wanted to be and what she should do with her life. The weight of the death of a beloved niece, serious pre-natal injuries to one of her sons, two of her sons struck with malaria, a close friend’s child dying from malaria, and multiple occasions of medical misdiagnoses that almost cost her life and the life of her sons drove Karen to become a nurse and patient advocate.

She earned her Bachelors of Nursing with honors from the University of Queensland while raising her three sons as a single mother. Upon graduation she was accepted into an elite post-graduate program and quickly found a position as a clinical nurse. Karen progressed quickly into management positions before transitioning from the hospital setting into a project management role with McKesson, an international health care solutions company.

While working for McKesson, she contributed to the creation and implementation of many landmark tele-health initiatives for several state health departments that are still in service. The mental health collapse of one of her sons and the unexpected death of her close brother from melanoma sparked another painful period in Karen’s life. She emerged from this traumatic time by partnering with her sons to make a difference in the lives of others. Together, they formed Spotscreen, an organization dedicated to reducing skin cancer deaths by providing skin cancer screenings in the workplace.

Karen is certified in primary skin cancer medicine and dermoscopy, and is a member of the Skin Cancer College of Australasia. Her future plans include identifying deficiencies in the provision of health services and collaborating with governments to develop strategies to fill the gaps. She has a particular interest in mental health services and the homeless.

Karen Ong is the author of The No1 Guide To Preventing Skin Cancer – Proven Advice From An Expert.

Karen lives in Perth, Western Australia with her husband and sons.