As a woman, a business owner, and a nurse - Katrina Robinson is no stranger to perseverance. In her greatest pursuits she has diligently concentrated her work to serving as a community advocate and problem solver.
Katrina came to state-wide attention as an entrepreneur in 2015, when she successfully wrote her own grant proposal to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, with no prior formal training or education in grant writing. She secured a $1.6 million federal grant, and began The Healthcare Institute Inc. - a vocational training school which has since become only independently owned licensed nursing program in the state of Tennessee. Katrina and The Healthcare Institute have provided scholarships to over 500 Memphians in the school’s first three years of operation.
Katrina’s dedication and advocacy to increase educational and career attainment in Memphis, also reaches public school education as she is the chair of the Health Design team for Shelby County Schools Career and Technical Education programs. Her motivation stems from her own educational journey. As the youngest in her class to graduate from Whitehaven High School in 1998, Katrina headed to Xavier University in Louisiana in pursuit of a career as a plastic surgeon. Her educational career had to be put on hold when she became a teenage mother and began to experience the real life rigors of providing for herself and her children. After returning to Memphis, Katrina would spend the next 10 years taking classes at the University of Memphis, all the while navigating a calculated ascent within the business world. Katrina graduated from University of Memphis with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing Management. It was after closing a huge deal as a Strategic Accounts Director for a major gas company that Katrina was laid off and in need of a change.
At that moment, she made up her mind to return to her love of healthcare and service through a nursing education. In 2010, she received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Union University – Germantown. Katrina started The Healthcare Institute Inc. as a personal challenge to make a powerful impact on her community. She sought to fix plaguing issues of inequity in postsecondary educational opportunities, workforce development, and healthcare for Memphis’s underserved communities. During her tenure as a registered nurse for Methodist Healthcare, Katrina had developed a keen interest in clinical education and devoted her time to mentoring young adults and providing career guidance. She discovered that there were a number of individuals interested in educational programs in healthcare but they often lacked the resources or funding. It was her vision to provide new and second chance opportunities to those in the Memphis community desiring an education in healthcare and also to increase the number of those trained for the medical care of our elderly community.
Katrina has been significantly effective in creating change for her community and has been honored for not just her community leadership but also her business acumen. She has received a list of honors including 2018 Shelby County Young Democrats Barack Obama Gala Woman of the Year, 2017 Memphis Business Journal Top 40 Under 40, 2017 Memphis Business Journal Super Women in Business Executive Profile, 2016 Greater Memphis Chamber Top Young Memphian, and 2016 the New Tri-State Defender Woman of Excellence. The confluence of many situations and opportunities have shaped Katrina to be a strong and experienced proponent of healthcare and educational equity, entrepreneurship, and economic development in the Memphis community. From depending on public assistance to now becoming a public servant, Katrina has experienced Memphis from several vantage points that have now solidified her commitment to building her district through good government.
For the last 10 years, Katrina has been an active civic advocate in local government affairs. Today she serves as chair of the Shelby County Government Ethics Commission and is involved in City of Memphis government and Greater Memphis Chamber program initiatives to increase support to minority and women owned businesses.
Katrina has even passed on the entrepreneurial spirit to her children, Jaden and Amaya, who own Kool Kidz Sno Konez - a successful frozen treat company. They have most recently signed a partnership deal with the Memphis Grizzlies and have been recognized as 2017 Teen Entrepreneurs by Black Enterprise Magazine.