Kathleen is a co-founder of Life House Atlanta and serves as its Executive Director. She first heard about a care home providing respite and palliative care for pediatric patients from a Phoenix newspaper article, and that there were only 2 such homes in the United States. After touring the Phoenix facility (Ryan House) in 2017, she began to build a team and a plan to found a similar home in Georgia.
Dr. Fleiszar earned her B.S. in Biology from Loyola University and her Ph.D. in Human Genetics in 1976 from the University of Illinois. Moving to Georgia after graduation, she joined the faculty of Kennesaw State University (KSU), then Kennesaw College. During her 30 years on the faculty at KSU, she focused her attention on the field of Medical Genetics, becoming Board Certified by the American College of Medical Genetics in 1984. During her tenure at the university, she founded a consulting firm, Medical Genetics, and worked as a genetics consultant to several diagnostic labs. She remains a member of the American Society of Human Genetics and the National Society of Genetic Counselors and is Professor Emerita at KSU.
Since 1996, she has volunteered for Wellstar Community Hospice and served on the Hospice Board of Advisors. In 2001, Dr. Fleiszar turned her attention to volunteering for the disabilities ministries at her parish, as well as serving on the Archdiocese of Atlanta Disabilities Board. Dr. Fleiszar is a member of the Cobb Chamber of Commerce, the Kennesaw Business Association and the Cobb Collaborative.
Kathleen’s passion for supporting families with children who have life-limiting illness comes from a deep understanding and breadth of experience in the world of grief and loss. “The value of adult respite and hospice care organizations is understood by the general public. There is, however, little awareness of the lack of respite for pediatric patients with life-limiting illnesses and their families. There are no such homes in Georgia. My goal is to change that and provide a place for their children to spend time in a safe and caring environment and an opportunity for families to recharge on a vacation get-away.”