Kathy Plakovic, MSN, FNP-BC, ACHPN, AOCNP

Kathy Plakovic, MSN, FNP-BC, ACHPN, AOCNP
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Kathy Plakovic, MSN, FNP-BC, ACHPN, AOCNP

  • Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner, Fred Hutch
  • Teaching Associate, Department of Medicine Oncology, University of Washington School of Medicine

“Seeing a patient feeling better and able to enjoy life again makes my work very meaningful.”

— Kathy

Tell us about an interaction with a patient that had an impact on you.

There was a six-year-old patient who had advanced bone cancer, and her doctors were having a hard time treating her pain. The medications they had given her were leading to sedation, so they called me in to see if I could help better manage her symptoms while also maintaining her ability to function. It was a difficult case; this little girl had to bear burdens that no child should ever have to experience. After changing her pain regimen, I went back to check on her the next day, and she was sitting up in bed and drawing. It was so rewarding to see her just being a kid.

How do you like to work with patients?

I support you and your family as you go through treatment, making sure that your symptoms are well controlled, that you have the information you need about your disease and that you have a clear sense of your goals. The most rewarding part of my job is finding the right regimen to help you keep pain and discomfort in check. Each person and situation is unique, and I understand that what works for someone else may not work for you. I focus on customizing my care to meet your specific needs.

Provider Background

Palliative Care
I am an advanced registered nurse practitioner who specializes in providing palliative care to patients diagnosed with cancer. Delivered in conjunction with regular treatment, palliative care focuses on managing symptoms and improving quality of life. It can be helpful during any stage of disease, regardless of the expected outcome. I am triple-board-certified in family practice, hospice and palliative medicine, and oncology. I worked as an oncology nurse for the majority of my 30 years in nursing, and a large part of my work was helping patients clarify their goals for care and alleviate troubling symptoms. Today, specializing in palliative care allows me to do what I do best. In addition to working with patients, I am also a published author and have lectured widely on nursing practice, palliative care and pain management.



Education, Experience and Certifications

Undergraduate Degree
University of Texas Health Science Center

Medical Degree
University of Texas Health Science Center

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Pain and Palliative Medicine

Board Certification
Family Nurse Practitioner, 2006, American Nurses Credentialing Center

Advanced Certified Hospice and Palliative Nurse, 2012, Hospice and Palliative Credentialing Center; Advanced Oncology Certified Nurse Practitioner, 2009, Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation


Seattle Met's 2023 Top Doctors award
Kathy has received this peer-nominated award for exceptional patient care.

Award for Clinical Excellence, Sigma Theta Tau 2013

Clinical Trials

We make promising new treatments available to you through studies called clinical trials led by Fred Hutch doctors. Many of these trials at Fred Hutch have led to FDA-approved treatments and have improved standards of care globally. Together, you and your doctor can decide if a study is right for you.

Your Care Team

At Fred Hutch, you receive care from a team of providers with extensive experience in your disease. Your team includes doctors, a patient care coordinator, a registered nurse, an advanced practice provider and others, based on your needs. You also have access to experts like nutritionists, social workers, acupuncturists, psychiatrists and more who specialize in supporting people with cancer or blood disorders.


Fred Hutch accepts most national private health insurance plans as well as Medicare. We also accept Medicaid for people from Washington, Alaska, Montana and Idaho. We are working to ensure that everyone, no matter what their financial situation, has access to the care they need.

For the Media

The Media Relations team at Fred Hutch is available to assist members of the news media who would like to arrange interviews with providers.

Email media@fredhutch.org or call 206.667.2210