Kate Willhardt, APN
My first degree is a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Illinois with a major in Sociology and a minor in Spanish. This was followed by service in the United States Peace Corps. Upon return, I entered OSF Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing for my Bachelor of Science in Nursing (my RN). I earned my master’s degree from Vanderbilt University as an Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner and am certified by the American Nurses Credentialling Center.
When did you join Illinois CancerCare?
Hobbies / Interests:
My sweet family gets most of my attention. I do love debating politics and current events (but not at work!), reading anything and everything, gardening and just generally being outdoors. My suitcase is always packed and ready for a beach vacation. Currently my family and I are learning golf and I am really enjoying it even if I miss the ball more than I hit it.
What medical change has impacted the field of cancer the most since you began practicing medicine?
The pharmaceutical options for treatment!
Why did you choose your field?
As an RN, I worked in the hospital on the oncology/hematology unit. There, I fell in love with the patients and their families. I valued the relationships built and felt it was a privilege to be included in their healthcare journey. When I considered my nurse practitioner degree, I hoped I would be able to return to work within the oncology/hematology specialty again, as I believe it to be a very special group of patients and staff. So happy to be here with you.
Do you have any advice to give patients after they have been diagnosed with cancer?
I believe life is lived in the small, everyday moments not just the big milestone events; there is joy to be found in each day, even the hard and scary ones. Please rely on your Illinois CancerCare team - we are here for you!