Kathy Kastan

Director, Duke Medicine's Women's Health and Advocacy Initiative, Past President, Emeritus, Womenheart; Patient Advocate; Psychotherapist

Kathy Kastan, LCSW/MA Ed, became Director of Duke Medicine’s Women’s Health & Advocacy Initiative in October of 2011. As Director, Ms. Kastan is working on a strategic plan for the Women’s Health Initiative that will focus on improving the quality, satisfaction and evidence based clinical care, research and health education programming delivered to women and their families, locally, nationally and globally.

She is Past President, Emeritus of the Board of Directors of WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease. Ms. Kastan is the Past Chairman of the Board of Directors and board member for the Greater Southeast Affiliate of the American Heart Association. She has been a national spokesperson for the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute’s The Heart Truth®/Red Dress campaign since 2003. She is currently serving on the Board of Director’s of the Triangle’s American Heart Association

As a cardiac bypass survivor at age 42, Ms. Kastan understands the unique perspectives and challenges of women living with heart disease. In speaking with women’s groups, the media, health care providers, and political leaders across the country about heart disease, Ms. Kastan urges women to know their risk factors for heart disease and encourages their doctors to partner with them in their health care.

Ms. Kastan holds an MSW and MA Ed. from Washington University in St. Louis and is a certified LCSW and licensed family mediator. She has more than 14 years of clinical experience in hospital and private settings, specializing in individual, family and group therapy for children, adolescents and adults.

Ms. Kastan’s first book “From the Heart: A Woman’s Guide to Living Well with Heart Disease” was published in 2007 (paperback edition, 2008) by Da Capo Lifelong Books—a member of the Perseus Books Group. WomenHeart’s All Heart Family Cookbook, of which Ms. Kastan is a co-author, was published in 2008.

Ms. Kastan is an invited and frequent blogger for the Huffington Post. She has represented female heart patients in many public forums, including interviews on CNN, CBS, and ABC, has been featured in numerous articles in prominent national print media, including Time magazine, the Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post, and has been invited to participate in multiple White House functions related to women’s heart health. “Second Opinion,” a PBS show in its fifth season, highlighted Ms. Kastan as a “patient advocate” in 9 of their shows in 2009-2010. In February of 2010, Ms. Kastan was awarded the Woman’s Day Red Dress Award for her dedication and tireless devotion to the women and heart disease movement. (This award was bestowed upon Mrs. Laura Bush in 2007 and Ms. Barbara Walters and Hoda Kotb in 2011.)

Ms. Kastan has been married for 33 years and has 3 wonderful boys ages 28, 24 and 23. She resides in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.