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Have You Met Katherine Noe, M.D., Ph.D.?

Even though she is a busy, practicing physician, Dr. Katherine Noe believes strongly in supporting the Epilepsy Foundation of Arizona. "I chose to serve as a Chair on the board of the Epilepsy Foundation of Arizona because it was a natural flow from my professional life moving into my volunteer activities. As an Epileptologist I consistently refer my patients to the organization for education, support, and advocacy.

So when a position opened up for greater involvement, I took it. I am personally very passionate about the subject of epilepsy. The disease has been so highly stigmatized in society in the past, and we are just now overcoming that, thanks in large part to the work of the EF."

Dr. Katherine grew up outside of Washington, DC. After medical school, she fulfilled her Epilepsy fellowship at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. "While I was in medical school I was exposed to the field of treatment for epilepsy, and was intrigued by the many approaches that can tackle the disease. It just resonated with me, as I realized I could make a huge difference in the quality of people’s lives!"

She explains, "It’s estimated that one out of ten people in America will experience a seizure sometime in their lives. Epilepsy can sometimes be a hidden disease; there are many causes, from infections to head injuries. And a seizure may not happen until many years after a head injury occurs. So through the Foundation we are trying to do outreach programs, especially helping veterans who may have experienced brain or head trauma while in the military. We are working to overcome the stigma that has existed far too long with this disease!"

Spending many years up North has made Dr. Noe grateful for Arizona. "I definitely don’t like winter weather, so I was thrilled to be offered a job with the Mayo Clinic here. I love the sun, and don’t even mind the heat of an Arizona summer!"

She also enjoys spending time at her family’s 100 year old cabin outside of Flagstaff. "That’s another great thing about Arizona, here I can go from living and working in a modern city, but then in a few miles I can be out roughing it without electricity in the wilderness. Along that same line, I’m learning to ride a horse -- my family is gradually pulling me into their love of horses!"

Dr. Katherine Noe’s passion for the Epilepsy Foundation of Arizona is evident: "Our strongest facet is that we are a powerful force for education and advocacy in America. Anyone suffering from epilepsy faces unique challenges, because there is so much misinformation and misunderstanding about the disease. We really play a unique role providing information to the public. One of our most recent programs is working to educate first responders such as firemen, EMTs, policemen and teachers. I believe the Epilepsy Foundation has the power to change the public’s attitude towards those with epilepsy!"

What are your local volunteer activities? Chair, Board of Directors, Epilepsy Foundation of Arizona.

Who inspired you to give back to your community? My patients inspire me every day with their strength and resilience in facing the challenges and stigma of epilepsy. They inspire me to find better treatments, expand opportunity, and eliminate the misperceptions of epilepsy in the community.

Which fundraising event is your favorite? EFAZ Mardi Gras

Favorite restaurant? Lon’s at the Hermosa Inn in Scottsdale.

Who do you most admire, and why? I recently read a biography of Nelson Mandela. His capacity to move beyond a personal agenda and advance the cause of his people and country is awe inspiring.

If your life were a movie, who would you want to play your part? Meryl Streep – her acting might distract from the slow story line.

Do you have any pets? Dogs, cats, fish, chickens, horses.

When you move, what will your home tell its next owner about you? Hopefully nothing!

What’s the best lesson you’ve learned through the years? Don’t sweat the small stuff.

What was your first job? Camp counselor.

What is your greatest indulgence? A pedicure.

What is your most treasured possession? I try not to put too much value in things. I treasure my family.

What is the quality you most like in people? Forthrightness

Favorite books/Writers? Charms for the Easy Life – Kaye Gibbons

What is the trait you most deplore in others? Dishonesty

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? Relaxing with my family, travel, reading.

What would we be most surprised to know about you? My second home is a 100 year old cabin with no electricity, and I love it there.

What is the best advice you have ever received? If you discover a problem, don’t wait for someone else to fix it. Recognize what is in your power to manifest change, and act on it.

What are some challenges facing nonprofits? The current economic climate is challenging.