By Erik Goldman
With great sadness, Holistic Primary Care reports the death of Mike Katke, a true visionary in the field of natural healthcare, holistic medicine, and nutritional product development.
On the evening of August 12, 2015, Mike was killed in a highway accident on US 36 near Boulder, CO, when his motorcycle struck a jeep making a sudden turn. He was 65 years old.
Mike co-founded Metagenics in 1983, with his brothers Jeff, Tim, and Chris, along with family friend Lyra Heller. In the process, he helped to define the core concepts as well as the practical tools for nutrigenomics and nutrition-based medicine.
In the 30 years since, Metagenics evolved to become a leading practitioner-only dietary supplement company, and one of the first to commit significant resources to original nutraceutical research. Always ahead of his time, Mike spearheaded Metagenics’ “FirstLine Therapy” program, an innovative system for integrating personalized, lifestyle-focused medicine into routine clinical practice.
Several years after Metagenics was acquired by Alticor, Mike re-entered the nutrition industry as Vice President of Marketing at Designs for Health, a position he held at the time of his death and one to which he was greatly devoted.
Thoughtful, energetic and kind-hearted, Mike translated his passion for health and for helping others into a legacy of products, services and educational programs that have had—and will conitine to have—tremendous impact on the practice of holistic and functional medicine. He was dedicated to freely sharing knowledge about health and nutrition, and was an early champion of Holistic Primary Care, and of other publishers committed to practitioner education.
Speaking at our first Practitioner Channel Forum in 2013, Mike summed up his approach to developing and marketing nutritional products to clinicians:
“Have respect for practitioners’ time and for their knowledge. Be honest and don’t BS them. Deliver on the promise. If you say you’re going to do some thing, then do it. Have good communication, and provide real benefit with each contact.”
We are grateful that we had the opportunity to know this fine man, and we extend condolences to his family and his many friends and colleagues.