Katrina Sandoval Nickels

Katrina Sandoval Nickels, MD

Katrina Nickels, MD, is a palliative physician with the Bluegrass Care Navigators (BCN)/University of Kentucky (UK) Hospice & Palliative Medicine Fellowship program. She is also the medical director of the BCN HEALing Transitions program, a service line developed in partnership with the UK HEALing Communities Study NIH HEAL Initiative, which is a multi-site implementation research study investigating tools to prevent and treat opioid misuse and opioid use disorder at the local level. The program’s mission is to connect (and retain) people living with opioid use disorder with evidence-based treatment.

She has been affiliated with BCN and UK for over 14 years. During her tenure at BCN, she held multiple positions, including: associate hospice medical director in the community and inpatient hospice units; community-based palliative physician in home and nursing home settings; and an inpatient palliative care consultant in community hospitals and the UK Medical Center. At UK, she is starting embedded palliative/addiction clinics in the Markey Cancer Center and the Infectious Diseases Bluegrass Care Clinic. Katrina is also active in opioid stewardship and pain management committees at state and hospital-based health care organization levels.

Outside of her work, Katrina serves in leadership with the Kentucky Chapter of the American Society of Addiction Medicine. She is a graduate of the UK Addiction Medicine Fellowship program. Her clinical interests address the intersection of palliative care with chronic pain management and addiction medicine.

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