Staff profile: Karen Barnett

Staff profile Karen Barnett

When and how did you start working for Ethos Health?

After returning to Australia from living overseas for 5 years, I was looking to return to work. At that time, I had three kids under 3 so I was hoping for a role with lots of flexibility. A fellow physiotherapist told Ethos Health (then Physio at Work) that I was an experienced physio and it led to Ethos offering me a flexible role which was too good to refuse! Here I am 12 or 13 years later… I’ve lost count!

Describe your role in one sentence.

‘Jack of all Trades’ and some will argue ‘Master of None!’

What’s the best part of your job?

Playing a part in advocating/motivating/inspiring people to be better. Everyone can make small, positive health changes. Years of varied clinical experience, life, and a husband that never stops research/reading means I’m never lost for words of advice (or words in general).

What’s the worst part of your job?

Anything IT-related and the fact I have to do it!

What do you enjoy outside of work?

Cooking, gardening, cleaning, and exercising! My kids say that’s all I do which is pretty sad, but I have to admit I find it quite satisfying and therapeutic (although the cleaning has its moments!).

Can you tell us something we probably don’t know about you? (any unusual talents, etc.)

My teenagers are right, I’m very boring… a typical Karen! Before kids (and pre-Covid), I backpacked around 30+ countries for which I’m extremely grateful! I would love to say I’m a gun water-skier, tennis player, pianist and decent on the flute but at Ethos Health you can’t claim any such prowess, it will turn into a competition and I’ll have to prove it! BUT I have nearly completed 5,000 levels of Candy Crush on the iPad. Is that an IT skill?!!

Anything unusual about your childhood?

I’d say no. Just normal rural 1970s stuff. On a farm driving a car by age 8, motor bikes, milking cows, pet kangaroo etc. etc. Maybe not so normal in Newcastle.

What makes you smile?

Family, friends and food! Our border collie, Mali, and the occasional glass of bubbles.

What keeps you awake at night?

Anything and everything. I’m not the best example of good sleep hygiene. What mother is?!

What keeps me healthy?

My husband! At the moment, it’s intermittent fasting, regular X for my mental health. Everyone at Ethos knows my daily dark chocolate habit!

Any health tips?

I think it’s all about balance! When possible, make meals from scratch. My kids will tell you it always tastes better!

Who does the cooking at home?

ME! But with grown up children, I’m trying to step back and let them do their bit. It’s hard!!

Would you share a recipe?

I’m not great at following recipes. I tend to cook a lot of Asian and Middle Eastern flavours and make something up depending on what’s on special. I always cook big quantities. My family of 5 eat a lot!

Find out more on Karen’s role at Ethos Health here…

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