Cassie C. Kennedy, M.D.

Photo of Cassie C. Kennedy, M.D.
  • Consultant, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine
  • Assistant Professor of Medicine

What moment or experience in your life influenced your decision to be a clinician?

I love people. I like to listen to their life stories — about their families, their hobbies, their jobs, their experiences and their cultures. Physicians are very privileged to be entrusted with small windows into the lives of others. In addition, I love the jack-of-all-trades' nature of medicine. I can be a student, teacher, healer and researcher all in one day.

What motivated you to become a Kern Scholar?

Kern Scholars have access to phenomenal career development, peer coaching, faculty mentoring and other resources that would be difficult to find elsewhere.

To succeed in the next phase of my career, I will rely heavily on experiential learning. Having access to peers at similar career stages and to mentoring faculty who can offer guidance or advice will be so helpful.

What is your focus as a scholar within the Mayo Clinic Kern Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery?

My passion is optimizing health care delivery for patients receiving transplants. I am specifically focused on pretransplant optimization. Through my research I strive to understand and improve the roles of both physiological and psychological frailty in patients prior to transplants.

How will your research improve patient care or impact public health?

Currently, suboptimal candidates for transplant are either turned away or transplanted despite the higher risks. If turned away, most patients have few options other than palliative care. If they receive transplants, these patients' transplant outcomes are often worse than would normally be expected, which is not ideal for the patients, their donors or the transplant program.

I'd like to improve upon this situation by offering effective pretransplant interventions to patients with psychological frailty, physiological frailty or both, to improve their candidacies for transplant and their transplant outcomes.

Why did you choose Mayo Clinic to pursue your career?

I chose Mayo because of the contagious curiosity amongst staff members, the importance Mayo places on multidisciplinary teams, the strong commitment to education, and the outstanding work ethic and professionalism of Mayo employees.