PRINCETON, WV (WVNS) – 59News is proud to honor the remarkable women in our region. Today, we focus on Princeton Community Hospital CEO Karen Bowling.

Karen Bowling has devoted her life to caring for others in the healthcare field. A native of Wyoming County, Bowling started her career as an emergency room nurse, and from there she rose all the way to become the CEO of a hospital.

Bowling told 59News she still carries the lessons she learned at Wyoming General Hospital with her everyday.

“I learned really quickly there,” Bowling told 59News. “You know, small rural hospital, I had to be a jack of all trades. I was always ready to learn. I never stepped away from a challenge.”

Throughout Bowling’s illustrious career, one thing she’s always made time for is her family. But, like many working mothers, Bowling said balancing her career and her family was a challenge.

 “You know, I always felt torn,” said Bowling. “Every day I was torn. What direction to go in and what to do. I always tried to make arrangements. I have two kids, a son and a daughter. When they were in activities at school I’d work night shift and I would get up early to go to those activities.”

Throughout her career, Bowling has held leadership positions everywhere from the Beckley-Raleigh County Chamber of Commerce to the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources.

Bowling said she hopes young girls in Southern West Virginia see her story and know that wherever they come from, anything is possible.

“Dream big. The sky’s the limit. Do not let anyone discourage you. Find a good mentor, someone who can be a role model to you, to help you get through it. And it doesn’t matter what your family situation is. Nothing matters except you understanding that you can make a difference,” said Bowling.