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KATHARINE WILLRICH (KATE) NORDAHL


1966 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
KATHARINE WILLRICH (KATE) NORDAHL Obituary
NORDAHL, Katharine (Kate) Willrich Of Westwood, died peacefully at home on August 15, 2018. Kate was born in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 1966 to Mason Willrich and Patricia Rowe Willrich. Kate lived in Charlottesville, Princeton, NJ, and Palo Alto, CA, before graduating from Brown University. She earned a master's degree in Health Care Policy and Management from the Harvard School of Public Health. Kate was a passionate advocate for providing health care to everyone – particularly to vulnerable persons – and she zealously devoted her productive career to that goal. She spent many years in leadership positions within MassHealth in roles that ranged from directing the MassHealth managed care program to designing the Senior Care Options program for seniors. Kate also served as Assistant Commissioner for the Massachusetts Division of Health Care Finance and Policy, where she led the agency's work monitoring the impact of the state's health reform law and analyzing health care cost trends in the Commonwealth. In her final professional role, Kate worked at the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation directing the Massachusetts Medicaid Policy Institute (MMPI). In 2016, Kate was honored with the Boston Center for Independent Living's Marie Feltin Award for her work advancing innovative Medicaid policy in Massachusetts. In August 2018 the Massachusetts House of Representatives issued a Resolution honoring Kate's "lifetime of dedicated public service." The resolution noted, in part, that Kate "possesses a unique combination of intelligence, dedication and perseverance, good judgment, humor and kindness and that she is universally loved by all of her colleagues." When she wasn't working, Kate most enjoyed spending time with family and friends at Stinson Beach, CA, and Long Pond in Plymouth. Kate was the beloved wife of Erik Nordahl and cherished and adored mother of Emery Nordahl and Tommy Nordahl. Kate is survived by her father and stepmother, Mason and Wendy Willrich of Piedmont, CA and three older brothers and their respective families: Christopher and Susan Willrich (nephews Mason and Quinn) of Piedmont, CA; Stephen Willrich (nephew and niece Henry and Grace) of San Anselmo, CA; and Michael and Wendy Willrich (nephew and niece Max and Emily), of Wellesley. Kate's life will be celebrated at a memorial service on Saturday, August 25, at 4 p.m. at First Parish Church (Unitarian Universalist) in Dedham, with a reception immediately following. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Kate Willrich Nordahl Fellowship Fund at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, DBA President and Fellows of Harvard College, P.O. Box 419209, Boston, MA 02241 by check or online at hsph.harvard.edu/giving please specifically note the Kate Willrich Nordahl Fellowship Fund). The fellowship will support a graduate student who has demonstrated passion and commitment to social justice and health equity. Online guestbook at gfdoherty.com. George F. Doherty & Sons Dedham 781-326-0500
Published in The Boston Globe from Aug. 17 to Aug. 19, 2018
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