Kasia Clark, MD

Katherine Whipple Clark, MD: Principal Subject / Executive Producer

A family physician for over twelve years, Kasia’s interests in science and healing – influenced by her father, George, an MIT Professor Emeritus of Physics, and by the mental illness of her sister, Jackie – have always been equaled by her innate artistic leanings, engendered by her mother, Liz, a visual artist in New York City. Growing up in Brookline, Massachusetts, Kasia and Jackie excelled in their music studies – Kasia on violin and Jackie on flute – playing chamber music with their father, an avid pianist, and others. When Jackie was committed with schizophrenia at age 16, life changed dramatically. George and Liz separated and Kasia attended Brown University, eventually deciding to become a physician.

After graduating from Brown University in 1985, Kasia received her M.D. from Mt. Sinai School of Medicine. In 1993 she moved to upstate New York where she finished her residency in Family Medicine and with her partner, Julie Abrams, bought a beautiful country home in New Paltz. Kasia practiced family medicine at Hudson River Community Health from 1996-2007 and was on the faculty of a family medicine residency training program, noted for her role in caring for the underserved in her community.

In the year 2000, when Kasia was diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer at age 42, her world collapsed. After her radical surgery and chemotherapy, Kasia’s mother encouraged Kasia to express her feelings to a video camera, resulting in a series of short art films – Marking Time: 3 Haikus, a trilogy exploring Kasia’s passions and nightmares, and Steppin’, expressing her pursuit of physical excellence in relation to the freneticism of 9/11. Sparked by the excitement of filmmaking, Kasia bought a video camera and began documenting her ovarian cancer journey.

Kasia joined with film professionals in 2002 to create The Kasia Project, a chronicle of her cancer experience that would marry art and science as partners in recovery and serve to enlighten a wide audience about living with a life-threatening illness. Leaning more and more toward art and nature as healing forces, Kasia pursued violin studies with the Manhattan String Quartet, persuading the musicians to perform with her on camera and contribute their recordings to the film. To hone her filmmaking skills, she interviewed people on health issues en route to work at the Florida polls, recording Election Diaries 2004. In 2005, she studied at the Maine Photography and Film Workshop, and Boston University’s Center for Digital Imaging Arts, where she made two short films: Arthur expresses a man’s struggle to cope with his wife’s cancer through photography, and Swimming the Butterfly is a how-to video where Kasia is both filmmaker and subject.

In 2006, Kasia relocated to Waltham, Massachusetts to practice medicine with Harvard Medical Faculty Physicians, Affiliated Physicians Group and focus on Outside In. As subject and executive producer, she collaborated with producer/director Katherine Deutch Tatlock and co-producer/editor, Julia Dixon Eddy to realize their artistic vision, and in 2009 the film that was long-dreamt was finally completed. Kasia is currently on sabbatical from practicing medicine to focus on her health and to seek distribution for Outside In. She also is continuing to pursue her other interests in classical music performance, extreme sports and world travel.