2015 Tillman Scholar
Throughout her husband Ryan’s 15 years of active duty, including four combat tours, Katherine (Kate) witnessed first-hand the importance of accessible quality healthcare for our nation’s heroes and their families. As her husband retires from active duty service, Kate feels it is now her turn to lead, influence medical policy and serve as a nurse practitioner focusing on women veterans’ health care.
At a very young age, Kate admired her grandmothers. Both were registered nurses and both lost their lives at young ages to breast cancer and ovarian cancer. Becoming a registered nurse and an advocate for women’s health was a natural step for Kate. Having witnessed many emotional homecomings from combat deployments of women Marines firsthand, Kate often wondered who would address the unique needs and health challenges of women veterans. As a result of her involvement in the military lifestyle, the national shortage of primary care providers and the growing number of women in our services, Kate feels a strong commitment to expand her scope of practice as a primary care nurse practitioner to better serve women veterans.
Following graduation from The Catholic University of America, Kate was selected from over 200 highly competitive nurses to serve as a Cancer Nurse Fellow at The National Institutes of Health (NIH). Her experiences at NIH instilled a high professional standard, strong foundation in clinical research, and a commitment to lifelong learning that she would carry with her at each duty station.
As a spouse of an active-duty Marine, Kate has had the opportunity to practice nursing in a variety of clinical settings both in large institutions and rural underserved populations, conducted quality improvement projects, and has implemented a hospital-based nurse navigation program. As a Tillman Scholar and nurse practitioner, Kate plans to help define the future of primary care for women veterans, advocate for their unique health needs and provide the exceptional health care they deserve.