- Professor of Medicine
- Division of Hematology
- University of Colorado School of Medicine
- Medical Director, Anschutz Inpatient and Outpatient Pharmacy Anticoagulation Services
- Director, Colorado Sickle Cell Treatment and Research Center
A native Minnesotan, Kathy spent her early formative years in northern Minnesota, up near the Canadian border. The impact was clear – when asked what she wanted to be when she grew up, she would emphatically state: “Canadian”. However, Kathy stayed in the United States to pursue a childhood hockey career in the Twin Cities. Somewhere along the way, between practices, she found herself fascinated by laboratory science, and especially the blood.
While attending Medical School at the University of Minnesota, Kathy took quick trip to Texas where she met Roger, who she married 18 months later. Since Roger declined to live where the ponds froze in the winter, a middle latitude was selected. Kathy completed her residency in Internal Medicine at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and then a fellowship in Hematology and Oncology at the University of Colorado Denver. She stayed to join the faculty, filling an empty niche at the University, focusing on the care of adults with sickle cell disease and in the area of thrombosis and thrombophilia.
Colorado was good to the Hassells, who took advantage of its many outdoor opportunities. Kathy took up technical rock climbing, enjoying many a long day on the walls of Eldorado Canyon. However, since sons Matthew and Daniel came along, time is spent as a family enjoying the outdoors and traveling.
Over the (many) years, Kathy has sustained a crazy desire to “multi-task”. She has a busy academic clinical practice, providing consultative services for the diagnosis and management of thrombotic disorders and supervising anticoagulation for over 600 outpatients and for inpatients through the pharmacist-directed services at the University of Colorado Hospital. She is also the Director of the Colorado Sickle Cell Treatment and Research Center, the only one of its kind in the Rocky Mountain West, and cares for approximately 150 adults living with sickle cell disease. Kathy recently completed a 4-year part-time appointment to the Division of Blood Diseases and Resources at the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), where she worked in the development of national projects in Blood Diseases Program. Taking the title “professor” seriously, Kathy teaches for many different schools and programs at the University and at local, regional and national conferences.
Kathy’s long-standing clinical research focus has included the recognition and management of thrombotic disorders, and the use of new anticoagulants for prevention and treatment. A particular interest is the complex and challenging area of the role of hypercoagulable states in cryptogenic stroke and patent foramen ovale. Kathy has not only provided clinical consultation and collaboration at the University, but has been active in the clinical research efforts and contributed to the study design of PFO trials.
A strong advocate for engagement of individuals in their own healthcare, Kathy has been involved in a number of organizations that serve to enhance community awareness and education. She has given presentations for the public on thrombosis and thrombophilia, sickle cell disease, and other blood disorders. Kathy also sits on the Board of Directors for Mount Evans Hospice and Home Health Care, an agency that serves the rural mountain communities west of Denver where she lives.