Karla is a social work practitioner with over 20 years of experience in research, clinical practice, and non-profit management. She has collaborated with leading trauma practitioners, evidence-based treatment developers, and implementation science experts at the Center for Child and Family Health and RTI’s Center on Social Determinants, Risk Behaviors, and Prevention Science. Karla has also partnered with top national health service researchers at University of North Carolina’s Cecil G. Sheps Center to conduct stakeholder-engaged research funded by Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI).

In her work, Karla has centered issues of community mental health, biculturalism, welfare reform, and provision of services to domestic violence offenders. In 2009, she co-authored an article in the Journal of Family Violence, and in 2019, she contributed to the Becoming a Church that Cares Well for the Abused curriculum. In 2021, Karla co-authored an article for the Journal of Emergency Medicine, “Trauma Mitigation for the Workforce: A Conceptual Framework Applied in COVID-19 Pandemic Conditions,” with colleagues Dr. Siddharth Ashvin Shah, MD, MPH and Dr. Trever Dangel, PhD. The article was written for leaders and managers of organizations whose staff are routinely exposed to traumatic events or encounter dangerous conditions in the course of their work.