Kelda M. Gardner, PA-C

Kelda M. Gardner, PA-C

Kelda M. Gardner, PA-C

  • Physician Assistant, Fred Hutch
  • Teaching Associate, University of Washington School of Medicine

“The treatment of leukemia rarely follows a straight path. I enjoy guiding patients through this complex journey.”

— Kelda

Why do you specialize in acute myeloid leukemia (AML)?

When it comes to treating AML, there isn’t usually one clear answer about how to proceed. Given the high number of potential genetic and molecular mutations, there is significant heterogeneity to AML — meaning that the disease can act differently in individual patients — and many AML subtypes don’t respond well to standard therapies. It’s a privilege to guide patients with AML and their families through what is often a very intense time in their lives. I find it fulfilling to act as both an educator and an advocate, explaining what the treatment options are, from the traditional to the experimental, and supporting your ability to make decisions that align with your personal goals.

What do patients appreciate about the way you work with them?

I think patients and families value my sense of compassion and my ability to attune to their needs in the moment, whatever they are. I try to be sensitive to everyone in the room, encouraging loved ones to be part of the conversation at a level the patient is comfortable with. I also recognize that people have different ways of coping with stressful situations like a cancer diagnosis, so I hold space for you to share feelings, questions or concerns without passing judgement.

Provider Background

Acute myeloid leukemia
I am a board-certified physician assistant with 15 years of experience in the field of hematology-oncology. At Fred Hutch, I have enjoyed a wide range of roles, from providing inpatient care in the oncology intensive care unit (ICU) to working with the inpatient oncology care team at UW Medical Center - Montlake and supporting patients and families through our outpatient clinics. While I still provide clinical care, my main role is now research-focused; I help patients with AML access clinical trials that might be a good fit for them. Whether they’re testing a new drug regimen or different combinations of chemotherapy, our AML trials aim to improve outcomes and quality of life. In addition to working with patients and helping to coordinate clinical trials, I also collaborate with medical students, residents and fellows on leukemia-related research projects.

Diseases Treated



Education, Experience and Certifications

Undergraduate Degree
University of Colorado, Boulder

Medical Degree
Duke University School of Medicine

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 or call 206.667.2210