A woman in medicine, champion for children and Miss International 2022, Katie Stapleton, is dedicated to keeping pediatric patients close to their families as they brave the fight of illness.
Katie was born and raised in Bloomington, Illinois, a college town with major corporations and a family-centered atmosphere. Katie describes herself as a woman who enjoys life’s simplest pleasures, yet she also enjoyed the rigor, glitz, glamor, and production of the performing arts growing up as a competitive dancer. Her involvement in pageantry has not only allowed her to remain connected to the stage, but also to further her personal and professional goals in Keeping Families Close through this platform.
As a child, Katie was diagnosed with multiple ailments such as asthma, hypothyroidism, and endometriosis that required frequent travel for treatment from pediatric subspecialists.
Now working at the hospital where she was once treated, Katie has witnessed sick children suffering alone on a daily basis. Through her experience as an ill child and now as a Pediatrician, Katie has recognized that children recover faster and stronger when loved ones are present and actively involved at their bedside. Katie credits her mother, Kristy, who was a full-time business woman and mother of four for providing funds, resources, and transportation necessary to receive the treatments she needed. Through Keeping Families Close, Katie hopes to address socioeconomic and healthcare disparities such as distance to caregivers, so that all children may have a fighting chance at a successful health journey.
Katie has worked with numerous organizations to Keep Families Close, she has partnered with and visited Ronald McDonald Houses throughout the United States and overseas, raced hundreds of miles as a global ambassador for Compass to Care and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and educated children throughout Illinois on the importance of preventative wellness. Katie is looking forward to continuing these projects, in addition to starting new ones such as crafting an RMHC Collective Cookbook to further family togetherness, presenting a Lunch & Learn series to inform medical personnel about available support services, and partnering with Doctors Without Borders to provide life-saving medical treatment to underserved children and families in over 70 counties.
Katie attended Illinois Wesleyan University, where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Biology with Cum Laude distinction and studied abroad while researching various ecosystems of Costa Rica. She attended Midwestern University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine, where conducted research on the molecular mutations involved in Pierre Robin Syndrome and received her degree as a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.). She currently serves as a third-year Pediatric Resident Physician at the Children’s Hospital of Illinois in Peoria, Illinois, where her role is twofold as a clinician and educator earning her the 2021 Outstanding Resident Teacher Award. In parallel with her career aspirations, Katie enjoys serving on a variety of committees, conducting research in Pediatric Cardiology and Intensive Care, and she is excited for the opportunity to serve as an administrator through her position as a 2022-2023 Chief Resident.
In her free time, Katie enjoys spending time with her family and friends, being a “foodie” and putting a healthy spin on family favorite recipes, bargain shopping with her mother, training for races such as the 2022 Bank of America Chicago Marathon, “painting to poetry”, and taking long walks around the park with her rescue dog, Miles.
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