Katherine earned her DVM from Cornell in 2004, completed a rotating small animal internship and continued along the emergency/critical care path, ultimately returning to Cornell as an instructor in emergency/critical care in 2006. While in the ICU she developed an interest in the ethics of intensive care for animals, the impact of critical illness on family dynamics, as well as palliative medicine & hospice care. She then spent 3 years in general practice, providing client consultation on palliative medicine options, death & dying, as well as in-home euthanasia services, before exclusively dedicating herself to family centered end of life care.
She became a trained volunteer for Hospicare & Palliative Care Services of Tompkins County in Fall 2009, and founded her practice Whole Animal Veterinary Geriatrics & Hospice Services in 2010. Whole Animal is one of the only practices in the country exclusively dedicated to this area of care that is not focused primarily on mobile euthanasia services. She is currently a member of Hospicare’s Ethics Committee & is dedicated to exploring the connection between hospice services for people and animals.
Katherine has a courtesy lecturer appointment at Cornell and has significantly increased student exposure to end of life topics since 2012. In addition to end of life material within the core curriculum, her course, “Gerontology, Hospice & Palliative Medicine for Veterinarians” was first offered in 2015. She is trained in the Serious Illness Communication Guide developed by the palliative medicine teams at Harvard Medical School & the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, and is currently pursuing her Masters of Social Work at Syracuse University. At Syracuse, she is part of the team developing a certificate of advanced study in Human-Animal Interactions for the BSW and MSW programs.
She is co-founder of the Veterinary Society for Hospice and Palliative Care – the only hospice organization exclusively dedicated to veterinarians. Katherine is dedicated to the development of an AVMA/ABVS-recognized veterinary specialty in Hospice and Palliative Medicine.