Kristen Elkins began her career as a Direct Support Professional working as a teacher’s aide at a special education preschool during summer breaks from college. She subsequently earned degrees in both Psychology and Criminal Justice with a Forensic Psychology specialization from St. John’s University.
After graduation from college, Kristen was employed as a Qualified Intellectual Disabilities Professional at United Cerebral Palsy of New York City, where she spent 11 years in positions of increasing responsibility. She last held the position of Director of Compliance and Quality Improvement at the agency.
Kristen relocated to the Hudson Valley from Brooklyn where she was referred to Opengate by a former colleague. She immediately felt the position with Opengate was a perfect fit for her.
Coming to Opengate with 15 years in the field, Kristen currently holds the title of Chief Compliance Officer where she oversees compliance with federal and state regulations, the incident management process, and internal policies and procedures. She also develops and maintains training curricula and coordinates the internal audit process. Kristen recently earned Certification in Healthcare Compliance (CHC) from the Compliance Certification Board.
My goal is to make compliance fun! I want to empower employees with knowledge, and to support programs to achieve innovative, person centered programming.
As an avid long distance runner, Kristen has completed 13 marathons and 5 ultramarathons (a distance longer than 26.2 miles), and recently participated in the Boston Marathon. She loves to travel and calls herself an adrenaline junkie! Travel highlights include shark diving in Honduras, the running of the bulls in Pamplona, bungee jumping in Costa Rica, trekking in Peru and rappelling down waterfalls in Ecuador.