Katharine K. O'Dell

Kate grew up in Duluth, Minnesota and attended undergraduate school at the University of Michigan to study physical anthropology. She found working with old bones a little too dry, and switched to nurses' training at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester MN, as a first step toward a new goal of becoming a midwife.

After completing her nurse-midwifery education at Frontier Nursing Service in Hyden KY in 1978, she moved with her family to a variety of rural settings, practicing full scope midwifery in Kentucky, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. When their 2 children went off to college, Kate and her husband moved to New England to pursue their own academic adventures.

Kate completed her Master's degree at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland OH in 1997, and is currently working on her doctoral dissertation through the University of Massachusetts Graduate School of Nursing Amherst/ Worcester Collaborative.

One of Kate's areas of interest in women's health involves pelvic floor health promotion and treatment of pelvic dysfunctions. Her dissertation relates to healthy exercise parameters in women at increased risk for pelvic floor prolapse. She currently practices clinically through the OB/GYN Department at UMass Worcester, where she alternately cares for pregnant teens, and for women with pelvic floor problems through her work with the Division of Urogynecology. She is a full-time faculty member in the Medical School, and an affiliate at the Graduate School of Nursing.

Kate's long-term career goals include improving her scholarship at all levels through her active clinical practice, role as an educator of students, fellow providers, and women in the community, and increased emphasis on multi-disciplinary clinical research related to pelvic floor health promotion through safe birthing practices, life-style changes, and effective treatments.