Carole KatzRegional Coordinator, Southwest

Carole Katz grew up in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where she became an anesthetist.   After attending an anesthesia meeting in Denver and falling in love with the Rockies, she took a job there and met her husband, the late Jeff Katz.  During the course of his medical training and afterward, they lived in Toronto, Philadelphia, Albuquerque, Santa Fe and, since 1979, Orange County, CA.

Although there were family fishing and camping trips when her two sons were growing up, Carole didn’t start fly fishing until the 1990’s but took to it quickly.   Fishing outings have taken her to some wonderful places and created lasting memories.   She has been on the Executive Committee of the Southwest Council of the IFFF since 2007, and has held several board positions at Long Beach Casting Club, including the presidency 2006-2007.   She spent several years in tournament casting before focusing her efforts on PHWFF.

Carole started the PHWFF program at the Long Beach VA Medical Center in January 2007 with volunteers from Long Beach Casting Club.  It was the second program in a VA hospital at the time and the first to sign the Memorandum of Agreement.   She remains the Program Lead of the Long Beach program and is now the only remaining original Regional Coordinator.  Additionally, she was on the national Board of Trustees from 2007-2013, chaired the Regional Coordinator Committee during the years of its existence and has served on the Field Advisory Council since spring 2016.

PHWFF always seemed like such a good fit, combining her background in health care with her love of the outdoors and fly fishing.   There was always an awareness of effects of PTSD because her father-in-law had been a POW for more than three years in Cabanatuan, Philippines during WWII.  He suffered the rest of his life from terrible PTSD and various medical issues that resulted from conditions in the camp.   If only Project Healing Waters had been available to ease his suffering….