Kate Elizabeth Birkenkamp was born April 30, 1984 to Dr. Ray and Kristin (Kelsey) Birkenkamp in Mitchell, SD. She grew up in Mitchell and graduated with honors from Mitchell High School in 2002. While in high school, she was a flutist with the Mitchell High School Band and was selected to participate in All State Band and All State Orchestra. Kate was also a pianist for the Mitchell High School Show Choir. Kate graduated with honors from St. Olaf College, Northfield, MN in 2006 with a B.A. in English and Biology. While a student at St. Olaf she had an opportunity to study in London and was selected to participate in a two week health mission in Chennai, India. Following college, Kate worked for one year as a research fellow in the Allergy and Infectious Disease Department at the National Institutes of Health at Bethesda, MD. In 2007 she entered the University of Minnesota Medical School. Following her second year of medical school, she spent one year in Baltimore, MD where she earned a Master’s degree in Public Health at Johns Hopkins University. She returned to the University of Minnesota Medical School in Minneapolis and graduated with her medical degree in 2012. Kate was currently an Internal Medicine Resident at Mayo Clinic School of Graduate Medical Education in Rochester, MN. During her first year as a resident she received a grant to spend a month in the Republic of Uganda, Africa, where she was involved in HIV research and furthered her interest in infectious disease and world health.
Kate was a member of First Lutheran Church in Mitchell and held memberships in the Phi Beta Kappa Society, Tri-Beta Biological Honor Society, the JB Grant Internal Health Society, the Anna Baetjer Society for Public Health Practice and the American Medical Student Association. She had received scholarships and was a recipient of the Wesley W. Spink Award for International Research. Her volunteer work included working with the homeless, the University of Minnesota’s free clinic, and the Baltimore City Health Department Needle Exchange Program. She enjoyed playing the flute and piano and also outdoor activities including cross-country skiing, hiking, birding, and astronomy with friends and family.
She is survived by her parents of Mitchell, SD; her sister, Dena Birkenkamp and her fiancé, Alex Baldwin of Boston MA; her boyfriend, Amit Patel of St. Paul, MN; her paternal grandparents, Virginia and Arnold Birkenkamp of Arvada, CO; aunts; uncles; cousins and numerous friends.
She was preceded in death by her maternal grandparents, Helmar and Barbara Kelsey.
A Memorial Fund has been established at the Mayo Clinic School of Graduate Medical
Education, Department of Internal Medicine in memory of Kate Birkenkamp.