Katherine Pool, LCSW

Licensed Clinical Social Worker


Having dedicated much of the last decade to working in oncology and palliative care, I am honored to now contribute to the whole-person care championed by the Simms/Mann Center. In my role as a licensed clinical social worker, I support our patients and their loved ones as they navigate their health care needs, cope with the emotional upheaval related to a cancer diagnosis, and feel empowered to live lives that align with their values and wishes.

Training and Professional Work

I earned two bachelor’s degrees (Psychology and Theater Arts) from UC Santa Cruz and then spent several years in the Bay Area working in arts education and classroom-based mental health. These experiences motivated me to pursue a master’s degree in Social Welfare from UCLA, where my concentrations included Health Social Work and Child Welfare. My graduate fieldwork involved one yearlong internship with the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services and another with Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank.

Since earning my MSW in 2015, I have specialized in working with adults who live with cancer, neurodegenerative conditions, and other serious illnesses. I have worked in several NCI-designated comprehensive cancer centers, including UCSF (San Francisco, CA), UT Southwestern (Dallas, TX), and now UCLA. I earned certification in Oncology Social Work (OSW-C) and Advanced Hospice and Palliative Social Work (APHSW-C), and have further developed these skills through training offered by the Center to Advance Palliative Care.

In addition to working directly with cancer patients and their loved ones, I have developed webinars and other programs to help this community learn about legacy work and meaning-making, palliative care, hospice, factors that lead to an increased quality of life, and more. I also firmly believe in collaborative interdisciplinary education that allows the entire medical team to advocate effectively for our patients’ emotional well-being. Consequently, I have contributed to projects accepted by the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, the Center to Advance Palliative Care, and the End-of-Life Nursing Consortium.


Now living again in Los Angeles, I am happily revisiting my favorite corners of town, exploring new spots, and reconnecting with family and friends. I am still involved with Bay Area arts education through my work on the advisory board for The Quinan Street Project, a nonprofit organization providing accessible visual and performing arts education to children and public elementary schools in Contra Costa County. In my free time, I enjoy seeing live music, tackling cooking projects with my spouse, camping and hiking, and showing endless pictures of our pets to anyone who will indulge me.