Celebrating 1 P H O E N I X C... C E L E B R AT I N G ...

P H O E N I X C H I L D R E N ’ S H O S P I TA L
C E L E B R AT I N G 2 5 Y E A R S
Cover Photo:
Richard Reznick, MD with a patient in 1985
Hopes and Dreams is published
three times each year by the Phoenix
Children’s Hospital Foundation. To share
your comments, call (602) 546-2668 or
email [email protected]
If you would like to receive additional
issues of Hopes and Dreams call (602)
546-GIVE (4483).
Senior Vice President and Chief
Development Officer: Steve Schnall
Editor: Cheriese Chambers
Contributors: Jessica Catlin, Lauren
Hitchcock, Debra Stevens, Mark
Tsuchiya, and Jane Walton. A special
thanks to those who provided an
historical background of Phoenix
Children’s, particularly Teresa Boeger,
Melvin L. Cohen, MD, Cathy House,
Wendy Pauker, and Heather Walton.
Photography: Ben Arnold Photography
and Tim Lanterman Photography
Design: Scott Havice
Commercial Communications, Inc.
Phoenix Children’s
Hospital Foundation
Board of Directors
Chairman - Richard Kuhle
Treasurer - Alan Schnaid
Secretary - Sheila Zuieback
President and CEO, Phoenix Children’s
Hospital – Robert L. Meyer
Senior Vice President, Chief
Development Officer - Steve Schnall
David G. Areghini
Larry Clemmensen
Pam Kolbe
Greg Kruzel
Keith Maio
Manny Molina
Frank Placenti
Ben Quayle
Paul J. Roshka, Jr.
Julie Vogel
Melani Walton
Director Emeritus - Herbert J. Louis, MD
Director Emeritus - Virginia Y. Dayton
Phoenix Children’s
Hospital Board of
Chairman – Ronald C. Brown
Vice Chairman and Treasurer – David
Immediate Past Chairman – Dino R.
Secretary – Edwin E. Van Brunt
Phoenix Children’s Hospital President
and CEO – Robert L. Meyer
Phoenix Children’s Medical Staff
President - Bruce Morgenstern, MD
Phoenix Children’s Medical Staff
Immediate Past President – David
Notrica, MD
Rhet L. Andrews
Mark Bonsall
Kathleen Goeppinger, PhD
Thomas F. Hartley, Jr.
Joh Hulburd
Rick Kuhle
Orme Lewis, Jr.
Ronald Matricaria
Patricia G. Stark
Phoenix Children’s
Hospital Executive
Robert L. Meyer – President and Chief
Executive Officer
Thomas J. Diederich – Vice President,
Human Resources
Betsy Kuzas, Vice President, Support
Services and Construction
Carmen Neuberger, Esq. – Vice
President, General Counsel
Murray Pollack, MD, MBA – Vice
President, Chief Medical Officer
Robert Sarnecki – Vice President, Chief
Information Officer
Steve Schnall – Senior Vice President
and Chief Development Officer
Larry J. Smith – Senior Vice President,
Chief Financial Officer
Ed Troell – Vice President, Professional
Deborah Wesley, RN, MSN – Senior Vice
President, Chief Operating Officer
Phoenix Children’s
Hospital Foundation
2929 East Camelback Road, Suite 122
Phoenix, AZ 85016
(602) 546-GIVE (4483)
A message from
It’s difficult to believe that 25 years have passed since I came to Phoenix
Children’s when the Hospital first opened its doors within Good Samaritan
in 1983. Since that time, the Hospital has undergone extraordinary changes
thanks to the vision of the doctors and community members who worked
tirelessly to establish and build Arizona’s only hospital dedicated solely to
the care of children.
There is nothing more important than giving kids the opportunity to enjoy
a full and healthy life, and the founders of Phoenix Children’s understood
that. As a children’s hospital, we’ve been providing remarkable care to kids
for a quarter of a century, investing in their futures by steadfastly planning
for our own.
In this celebratory issue of Hopes and Dreams we look back on some of
the people who brought us here, the places inside our facility that make us
unique, and the children and families who have inspired us along the way.
By highlighting the moments that changed our history and made us who
and what we are today, you’ll see – from A to Z – why Phoenix Children’s
is so vital to our community.
Of course, behind this Hospital there are thousands of individuals and
organizations who have given so generously to Phoenix Children’s. There
has been an amazing spirit of giving that has enveloped us from the very
beginning. That same spirit will be imperative as our leadership prepares for
the expansion of Phoenix Children’s that will transform us from a children’s
hospital to one of the premier pediatric medical centers in the nation.
As we reflect on all that has been accomplished over the past 25 years,
there has never been a more exciting time here. We ask for your
continued support as Phoenix Children’s prepares for the
next 25 years and all that is yet to come.
Steve Schnall
Senior Vice President, Chief
Development Officer
F rom idea to reality
This year marks 25 years of Phoenix
Children’s Hospital serving Arizona’s
kids and families. But getting
here wasn’t always easy. The
idea of a children’s hospital
began as early as 1978, with
practicing pediatricians working
to convince the community that
consolidating medical care for
children wasn’t just a good idea – it
was a necessity. It would be five more
years before physicians from pediatric
departments across the Valley would
merge into one dedicated pediatric
facility located within Good
Samaritan (now Banner
Good Samaritan). Another
20 years passed before the
founding fathers of Phoenix
Children’s realized their
original - and ultimate goal
- of a freestanding children’s
In 1978, members of the
Maricopa Pediatric Society
began discussing the idea of
a children’s-only hospital.
Although only about 340,000
children were living in the
Valley at the time, Phoenix
was still the ninth largest
metropolitan area in the
country and the largest
without a dedicated children’s
hospital. And nationally,
research findings were
placing greater emphasis
on the need for medical
care devoted exclusively
to children who have very
specific and unique physical
and emotional needs.
“We felt it was necessary to establish an
independent children’s hospital based on
growth of the city and the development
of pediatrics as a subspecialty,” says
Melvin L. Cohen, MD, medical director
of Medical Education at Phoenix
Children’s and one of the Hospital’s
founding physicians. “We really were
behind the times in developing a facility
just for children.”
Along with Dr. Cohen, a group of
practicing pediatricians spearheaded
the idea of a children’s hospital – a
consolidation of pediatric medical
services that would provide optimal and
cost-effective medical care for children.
By 1980, Phoenix Children’s became
its own legal entity, expressly organized
and incorporated to bring about the
establishment of an independent, fullservice hospital.
A Blue Ribbon Committee, comprised
of influential community members, was
established to determine the need for a
children’s hospital, and more importantly,
to determine where that hospital
should be located. Several hospitals
that already had pediatric departments
were interested, and each was reluctant
to relinquish their own programs to a
competing hospital. Good Samaritan, St.
Joseph’s, Phoenix Memorial, and Phoenix
Baptist all submitted proposals.
Competition for the children’s hospital
created hurdles that neither the physicians
nor the Blue Ribbon Committee members
had foreseen. Paul S. Bergeson, MD,
a founding physician says, “It was a
lot trickier than I thought it would be.
I naively thought a children’s hospital
would unite everyone…that it would be
something that everyone could agree on.
But where [the children’s hospital] should
be, and who should have control of it
were issues.”
In 1982, supporters of a children’s
hospital presented their case before the
Central Arizona Health Systems Agency.
“We really
were behind
the times in
developing a
facility just
for children.”
If approved, a “Certificate of Need”
would allow for an independent hospital
that would sit apart from other adult
facilities. At the time, Allen Rosenberg,
founding director and then president of
Phoenix Children’s said, “Never before
in the history of the Phoenix metro area
has a project been more comprehensively
studied and soundly planned over so
many years. Now the time has arrived
to turn these years of work and planning
into results. The time is now to open a
children’s hospital.”
After three long days of hearings, the
Certificate of Need was denied. “It was a
big blow…not just to us but to the whole
community,” says Dr. Cohen.
Good Samaritan offered to locate the
children’s hospital within their own
facility, providing the pediatricians with
an operational base. Led by then CEO,
Steve Morris, Good Samaritan spent
more than $2 million to prepare and
equip the hospital. In 1982, pediatricians
employed by St. Joseph’s merged with
those from Good Samaritan. But the
group remained employed by Good
Samaritan, unable to build a medical
staff on their own, or create their own
rules, regulations, and bylaws.
Hospital slowly began to employ its
own physicians, nurses, and staff, while
sharing ancillary services with Good
Samaritan. “It was a great sense of
accomplishment,” says Dr. Cohen.
Thanks to the visionaries who
recognized the need for a medical home
just for children, the “hospital that
almost wasn’t” is now one of the largest
and most respected children’s hospitals
in the nation.
Dan Cloud, MD, a pediatric surgeon who
had practiced in Phoenix since 1955, and
had also served as president of the
American Medical Association,
was CEO of Phoenix Children’s
at the time. He convinced Morris
that the children’s hospital
should be independent from
Good Samaritan, and negotiated
with them to finally relinquish
control over their pediatric beds.
“It’s because of Dan Cloud that
Phoenix Children’s became
a licensed and independent
hospital,” states Dr. Cohen. Dr.
Cloud served as CEO of Phoenix
Children’s for 10 more years, and
is still active in the community.
On September 18, 1983, with
71 beds, Phoenix Children’s
Hospital became its own
institution as a hospital within
a hospital, where it remained
for nearly 20 years. Occupying
floors four and eight, the
Caring versus curing
Dr. Beyda, who is also a leading medical
ethicist. “Doctors truly are partners with
the parents, and should give them realistic
Doctors don’t choose pediatrics because
of the hours or the salary. It’s not a field
of medicine they fall into merely by
accident during medical school. Ask
any physician why they chose pediatrics
and they’ll tell you it’s because they like
working with kids.
The philosophy that guides care at
a children’s hospital is inherently
different. “Pediatricians are just a
different breed,” says David Beyda, MD,
a founding physician and critical care
doctor at Phoenix Children’s. “I think
they’re more sensitive to the emotional
aspects of illness.”
Paul S. Bergeson, MD, another founding
physician agrees. “The most important
thing is compassion. You can have
technology, and expertise, and that’s
all fine. But those things without
compassion ring very hollow.
That’s the difference of the select
people who gravitate to a children’s
hospital,” he says.
“The most important thing is compassion. You can have
technology, and expertise, and that’s all fine. But those things
without compassion ring very hollow.”
expectations of outcome. These are the
aspects of the doctor/patient relationship
that differ from the ‘contractual’
relationships that often dominate medical
care today.”
Nearly 20 years ago, Dr. Beyda led a
research study to evaluate the aspect of
touch and loving interaction with patients.
He now travels around the country giving
lectures about his findings to other
doctors, reinforcing the idea of creating
a balance between the use of technology
and compassion.
Pediatric care differs from adult
care in many respects. The
equipment and instrumentation
is made for smaller bodies.
Medications and dosages are
different. Pediatricians must
take into account growth and
development patterns. But perhaps
the single biggest distinction is the
need to establish relationships with
the child and family. It’s a dynamic
that calls for a very different type
of bedside manner.
“Doctors who work with kids must
build and develop a relationship
with the patient and their parents
based on trust, mutual respect,
honesty, and shared values,” says
He admits that this doesn’t always come
easy to some physicians who may not be
comfortable providing that type of care,
Dr. Beyda with patients at the old Hospital’s
location within Good Samaritan.
or who work in environments where
a “contractual” type of relationship is
customary. “When you’re working with
children, providing this type of care
is a given,” says Dr. Beyda. “But as a
whole, we’ve become so engrossed with
technology that modern clinicians are
more comfortable treating the disease
rather than the patient.”
Dr. Beyda emphasizes his “high touch”
philosophy of care while making rounds
with new residents, making sure they
understand the importance of knowing
the child, not just their medical
chart. He routinely challenges
the critical care residents to use
technology only when it’s a medical
necessity to the patient, not merely
a convenience to the staff. He
believes that 60 to 70 percent of
technology used in critical care is
used for convenience. For instance,
a 24-hour monitor allows the
staff to continuously check blood
pressure, respirations, and heart
rate. But by performing those
functions manually, residents
not only spend more time with
the patient, they’re utilizing the
powerful and healing nature of
“Technology has opened windows
into the disease process that has
allowed many human lives to
be saved,” adds Dr. Beyda. “But
technology can supersede caring,
something children need, especially
when they’re sick.”
The Phoenix Firebirds helped kids play a unique
version of baseball using medical equipment in the
center pod of floor eight at the Hospital’s Good
Samaritan location.
H elping children and families cope
There was a time when Friday mornings
at Phoenix Children’s were serious
business, and doctors and nurses knew
better than to interrupt. While still
located at Good Samaritan, patients
would gather in the Hospital’s center
pod to play medical bingo, which
was organized by the Child Life staff.
Children too sick to leave their beds
played from their rooms, watching and
listening on closed circuit televisions.
The kids chose their prizes from a cart
that was wheeled to the winner’s room.
There were other ways the Child Life
staff would help kids forget about their
treatment and focus on fun. One day
each month the patients operated on the
doctors – a delicious form of retribution.
Kids were often driven around the
Hospital’s two floors in golf carts.
Children too ill to attend regular camps
in the Arizona high country attended
“Camp Get-A-Wella” where the Hospital
staff would carry the patients around in
canoes. And since the kids couldn’t go to
a zoo, monkeys, bears and tigers came to
see them.
“We always had patient safety in mind,
but Good Samaritan never really knew
what we were doing up there. They’d get
wind of something and panic a little,”
laughs Teresa Boeger, director of the
Emily Center and Volunteer Services
who started her 25-year career at Phoenix
Children’s as a recreational therapist. “It
was important for children to not feel like
their hospitalization was causing them to
miss out on something.”
Cathy House, a Child Life assistant who
has been with Phoenix Children’s for
eight years, agrees that Good Samaritan
didn’t always approve of the shenanigans.
“I think that’s why they didn’t want us
leaving those two floors,” she chuckles.
Although stricter infection control
standards put an end to some of the
antics of yesteryear, it’s still the role
of the Hospital’s Child Life specialists
to help children cope with the fear
and anxiety of hospitalizations, and
sometimes even have a little fun.
They coordinate activities and events,
celebrate birthdays, and plan Halloween
parties. They bring Santa, Mrs. Claus,
and even reindeer at Christmas. They
also supervise the “medical-free zone”
playrooms and Teen/Preteen Lounge. For
children too sick to leave their rooms,
they bring the fun to them.
In 1983, Phoenix Children’s was chosen
to conduct a groundbreaking three-year
national research project aimed at better
understanding the value of a Child
Life program. “The Phoenix Study,” as
it’s known today, proved that children
exposed to the program suffered less
emotional distress during their hospital
stay, better understood hospitalization
and procedures, and physically recovered
more quickly than patients not exposed to
the program.
Child Life specialists also work one-onone with children. They use medical play
and other techniques to help children
understand tests and procedures, and
assist parents in talking to their children
about their hospital experiences. They
may explain an MRI to a pre-schooler
using a barbie doll. Patients aren’t
wheeled into surgery; they drive a
Hummer. Specialists teach a young child
recently diagnosed with diabetes to show
where he wants his next injection by using
his own needle-free syringe on a teddy
continued >>
bear. They’ll have a more frank discussion
with a teenager diagnosed with leukemia.
“The families count on us for so many
things,” explains Wendy Pauker, a Child
Life specialist at Phoenix Children’s for
11 years. “We try to make it as positive
an experience for the kids as we can, and
sometimes they don’t want to leave. For
the children who will have to return, it
makes it easier for them to come back.”
At the old Hospital
location, one of Santa’s
elves was brought each
year from the North Pole
via helicopter to meet
patients and help them
fax their letters to Santa.
A quick reply was always
made by Mr. Claus.
A hemodialysis unit
just for kids
The Phoenix Children’s Pediatric Dialysis
Center opened in 2005. Now, kidney
patients at Phoenix Children’s receive
hemodialysis in the Hospital under careful
medical supervision – where the staff and
environment make dialysis as pain- and
stress-free as possible.
“We try to make it as positive an
experience for the kids as we can, and
sometimes they don’t want to leave. For
the children who will have to return, it
makes it easier for them to come back.”
The Children’s Advisory
Board is overseen by the
Child Life staff. Made
up of current and former
patients and siblings, the
board helps the Hospital
make important decisions
based on their own
firsthand experiences.
The first board (seen
here) was formed in
1995. Phoenix Children’s
was the first hospital in
the nation to form such
a group.
The center is the only one in the state
dedicated exclusively to children who have
virtually no kidney function – many of
whom spend three to four hours receiving
hemodialysis in the center three times each
week. “Prior to the unit opening, all dialysis
for children in Arizona was performed in
adult centers, which can be a tough setting
for a small child. It wasn’t very pleasant for
the kids,” explains Melvin L. Cohen, MD.
“It’s extremely disruptive to have a child
on dialysis. But in addition, these kids also
need care 24 hours per day seven days a
week. They need a large multi-specialized
group to support that.”
Dr. Cohen established the division of nephrology in 1968 when the pediatric nephrology program at St. Joseph’s collaborated
with the adult nephrology program at Good
Samaritan. The pediatric program moved to
Phoenix Children’s when the Hospital was
founded 25 years ago. Today, it’s the largest
treatment center in the Southwest for chil-
Opening of the unit in April, 2005. Left to
right, Raymond Adelman, MD, nephrologist, Bruce Morgenstern, MD, Division
Chief of Nephrology, Robert L. Meyer,
President and CEO of Phoenix Children’s, Carol Bombeck, Melvin Cohen,
MD, Director of Medical Education; Bill
Bombeck, and Mark Joseph, MD, Medical Director of the Hemodiaylsis Center.
dren and adolescents with kidney disorders. The state’s only dedicated pediatric
kidney transplant program is also housed
at Phoenix Children’s.
dren. Each station has its own television.
Laptops are available, and teachers from
1 Darn Cool School help kids keep up
with their classwork. Social workers and
child life therapists are present to help
The center’s staff is specially trained in
the children and their families cope.
pediatrics and has a 1:2 nurse to paThere’s even plenty of room for parents
tient ratio. In adult units, that number
and siblings who stay in the center during treatment. “There are very
few chronic conditions that leave
“There are very few chronic children essentially tethered to a
conditions that leave children machine. That’s why it’s important that we provide these things,”
essentially tethered to a machine. states Dr. Morgenstern.
That’s why it’s important that we
provide these things.”
can be as high as 30 patients for every
nurse. According to Bruce Morgenstern,
MD, medical staff president and division chief of nephrology, the technical
aspects and psychological impact of
dialyzing a child in an adult unit can be
overwhelming and intimidating for a
child. “That’s why we gear both towards
children here,” he states.
Kids have access to PlayStations®,
games, and toys that make the long hours
of hemodialysis more tolerable for chil-
Carol and Bill Bombeck funded
the center. The cause is near and
dear to their hearts. Bill’s first
wife, Erma, the famous author and
humorist, died in 1996 of complications
following a kidney transplant. Carol,
his second wife, lost two sons to kidney
disease. The couple was committed to the
idea of a creating a child-friendly unit at
what would be the new Hospital’s campus
after touring the Phoenix Children’s unit
when it was located inside Banner Good
Samaritan. “A lot of small children need
dialysis,” says Bill. “But hospitals can be
depressing, and for small children, a really
scary situation. You want to give them the
most benign situation possible.”
Five-year-old Tony receives dialysis in the
Kids Kidney Center as he watches SpongeBob
SquarePants and reads a book.
A reputation for excellence in more than
40 areas of pediatric care
to bring together all the necessary components to
provide all the services to care for sick children.”
In 1982, as founders of Phoenix Children’s were
gearing up for the Certificate of Need hearing with
the Central Arizona Health Systems Agency, Frederic L. Ruskin, MD, a pediatric anesthesiologist and
member of the first board of directors of Phoenix
Children’s argued, “Medical care is so specialized
in this day and age that it requires a tremendous
amount of equipment and personnel to perform the
miracles people have come to expect. It makes medical and economic sense to combine critical functions in one first-class institute that is large enough
to adequately do the job. Phoenix Children’s intends
Today, Phoenix Children’s is home to more than
40 different medical and surgical specialties, and
that number grows every year. Many of the finest
pediatric specialists and sub-specialists in the
country work collaboratively to meet the individual
needs of each child. The Hospital boasts leadingedge technologies and treatments that effectively
diagnose, evaluate, and manage a variety of diseases
and disorders.
Additionally, the Hospital’s six Centers of Excellence represent the best the state has to offer in pediatric medicine, including the Center for Cancer and
Blood Disorders; Children’s Neuroscience Institute;
Children’s Heart Center; the Julie and Tim Louis
Newborn Intensive Care Unit; Center for Pediatric
Orthopaedic Surgery; and the state’s only Level 1
Trauma Center exclusively for children.
Phoenix Children’s Hospital Chief Executive Officers
Dan Cloud
Leland G. Clabots
Burl Stamp
Robert L. Meyer
Phoenix Children’s Hospital Medical Staff Presidents
Areas of
specialty at
Herb Winograd, MD
1983 — 1987
Charles Dries, Sr., MD
1988 — 1989
Richard Reznick, MD
1990 — 1993
Marshall Lustgarten, MD
1994 — 1995
Mark Rudinski, MD
1996 — 1997
John Raines, MD
1998 — 1999
Aubrey Maze, MD
2000 — 2001
Richard Leonard, MD
2002 — 2003
Mitchell Shub, MD
2004 — 2005
David Notrica, MD
2006 — 2007
Bruce Morgenstern, MD
2008 — 2009
Adolescent Medicine
Allergy & Immunology
Cardiothoracic Surgery
Critical Care
Dental and Oral Surgery
Developmental Pediatrics
Emergency Medicine
Family Practice
General Pediatrics
Genetics and Dysmorphology
Infectious Disease
Medical Education
Orthopaedic Surgery
Pediatric Surgery
Plastic Surgery
Radiation Oncology
Sports Medicine
Melvin L. Cohen, MD, was one of the first employed physicians of
Phoenix Children’s Hospital. He’s one of the most important figures
in the development of pediatric medicine in our community, and was
awarded the Health Care Heroes Lifetime Achievement Award by The
Phoenix Business Journal in 2007.
“Mel is one of the most outstanding individuals I’ve ever met. He has
made the single most important contribution to patient care in our
community,” says Aubrey Maze, MD, another of the Hospital’s founding
physicians. “He was truly instrumental in having the vision to do what
was right for the pediatric patients in this community. He’s the reason I
came to Phoenix. If there is one person I look up to it’s him.”
There were many people involved in the creation of a dedicated children’s
hospital. In fact, more than 65 physicians became part of the medical
staff in 1983 and will be honored during the Hospital’s 25th anniversary
celebrations. “It goes without saying that you can’t make a Hospital with
a dozen people. We had the support of so many individuals,” adds Dr.
Cohen. Below, he reflects on a handful of his very first colleagues who
helped change the face of pediatric medical care in Arizona.
Paul Baranko, MD
“My longest associate. Without Paul
there wouldn’t be the pediatric Cancer
Center of the Southwest [now called
the Center for Cancer and Blood
John Beck, PhD
“He was with us from the very
beginning at St. Joseph’s and the
pediatric psychologist of the original
Phoenix Children’s group.”
Paul S. Bergeson, MD
“Paul was the residency program
director of Good Samaritan when
I came on board. He’s a very fine
pediatrician and very dedicated and
committed to pediatrics. Paul was one
of the strongest supporters of Phoenix
Children’s in its origins.”
Terry S. Wood, MD
“Terry came with us from St. Joseph’s
and was the first associate of
Baranko’s. Terry is the easiest guy
in the world to get along with…very
capable, unassuming, and a talented
pediatric hematologist.”
Dr. Melvin L. Cohen talks about his fellow physicians
who helped establish Phoenix Children’s.
David Beyda, MD
“David came to Good Samaritan
about six months before we became
a hospital. He was the first intensivist
here and developed the PICU [Pediatric
Intensive Care Unit]. He’s a strength
not only in critical care, but he’s a
strong pediatric medical ethicist. He’s
an extremely dedicated supporter of
underserved nations and travels all over
the world to provide medical care.”
Ronald A. Christensen, MD
“Christensen was with us at St.
Joseph’s and was the only pediatric
endocrinologist in the area. He’s not
only a founding father of Phoenix
Children’s, but a founding father of
pediatric endocrinology in Phoenix.
He’s a great guy, a great resource, and
was a super practitioner.”
Raun D. Melmed, MB, ChB
“Melmed was the first developmental
pediatrician at Phoenix Children’s,
well-trained in Boston. He was always
very thorough in developmental
assessments. Our residents still train
with him.”
H onoring those who worked tirelessly to make
P hoenix Children’s H ospital a reality
Allen Kaplan, MD
“He was the original pediatric
neurologist here. Neurology is such
an important part of pediatrics and
we really needed him. He was an
important part of the original faculty
and a pillar in this field. He was also
an excellent teacher…still is.”
Aubrey Maze, MD
“We needed a pediatric anesthesiologist
and an intensive care specialist,
and Aubrey was both. He started
pediatric intensive care and pediatric
anesthesiology in Phoenix. I remember
vividly that he was staunch supporter
of Phoenix Children’s. He’s a super
guy and is highly regarded in the
medical community.”
Marian Molthan, MD
“Dr. Molthan was the first pediatric
cardiologist in Phoenix. She was an
extremely fine clinician. Before the
days of ultrasounds and angiograms,
she could listen to a heart and tell you
right then and there what the problem
was. She was an important member of
the original group.”
Roxanne M. Hecht, MD
“Hecht was the first gastroenterologist
and a huge supporter of the concept
of a children’s hospital. She was – and
still is – an excellent practitioner. Our
residents are still trained by her. She
was really a pioneer as far as women
practicing pediatrics here.”
Dean Smith, MD and
James Loomis, MD
“Both were part of the founding
members of anesthesia here and
were very instrumental in the early
development of pediatric anesthesia
with Aubrey Maze.”
Dan Cloud, MD
“Dan was a very important figure in the
development of Phoenix Children’s. He
was an extremely successful practicing
pediatric surgeon even before I came here.
He ultimately became president of the
American Medical Association. He was
very prominent nationally and very well
known. We needed a leader and negotiator
and Dan was that person. He came on as
the Hospital’s CEO before we were even
a Hospital. He was very strong-willed and
could argue his point convincingly.”
Barry J. Fisher, MD
“Fisher was a pulmonologist at Good
Samaritan when we became a hospital.
He was very capable and instrumental in
establishing the cystic fibrosis program
with Dr. Hernried and adding strength to
that area. Fisher was an extremely hard
worker. He had physical challenges, but he
never let it hold him back.”
Lucy S. Hernried, MD
“Dr. Hernried was an excellent
pulmonologist and made an important
contribution as the only pediatric
pulmonologist for several years before
being joined by Barry Fisher. She was
extremely capable and well liked by her
colleagues and patients. She’s a super
woman and is still a strong supporter of
the Hospital.”
Herbert J. “Tim” Lewis, MD
“Tim developed the orthopaedics
program at Maricopa Medical Center
and was instrumental in training many
orthopaedic surgeons. He was the chief
orthopaedic surgeon for what was
then called the Crippled Children’s
Services. Even though bidding kept him
from practicing exclusively at Phoenix
Children’s, he always looked at the
overall picture and supported pediatric
orthopaedics and always did what was
best for this community. He’s always been
a huge supporter for Phoenix Children’s
and is still an important contributor to
pediatric care in the Valley.” continued >>
Founding Board
of Directors
“This was a successful group of very
influential people who felt that this
city needed a children’s hospital. They
volunteered a great deal of time and effort
putting everything together. We needed a
strong board to make this hospital happen
– and they did.” - Melvin L. Cohen, M.D.
Allen Rosenberg, President
Virginia Dayton
Ruth Ellbogen
George Lee
Orme Lewis, Jr. (currently on Board)
Jerrry H. Lewkowitz
Ellen Pillsbury
George W. Reeve
Frederic L. Ruskin, MD,
Edwin E. Van Brunt, Jr. (currently on
Edward J. Wren
Advisory board members to
the original Blue
Ribbon Committee
Herb Winograd, MD
Charles Dries, Sr., MD
Richard Reznick, MD
(Each later served as Phoenix
Children’s Medical Staff President)
Members of the Blue
Ribbon Committee who
Investigated the need for a
children’s hospital
Shirley Agnos
Michael B. Bayless
Rod McMullin
Rose Mofford
Carl Schneider
William Shover
Dallas Smith
Jack Williams
P eople making a difference
During the first decade of Phoenix Children’s, volunteers contributed 113,576 hours of service. Today,
volunteers exceed that number annually. They offer
parents coffee as they make their morning rounds;
assist visiting grandparents in finding their way to
a room; play with children and read books to them.
A special team of “cuddlers” holds the Hospital’s
tiniest patients in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit.
Volunteers register guests at events, or host their
own to raise money for the Hospital’s programs
and services. Junior volunteers are former patients
who give children and families tours and explain
what they can expect as they prepare for their own
treatment or surgery.
We appreciate all of our dedicated volunteers. It’s
impossible to mention them all, but here are three
who are helping our children and families in three
very different ways.
In 2007, volunteers provided 117,000 hours of service in 45 different service areas. Nearly
400 volunteers make a difference at Phoenix Children’s each day, interacting directly with
the public or working behind the scenes.
Martyl Reinsdorf
Each child that comes to Phoenix Children’s is given a coloring book that is
designed, printed, and collated by Martyl
Reinsdorf in her own home. She made
her first coloring books for her grandchildren in 1996. Today, “Grandma Martyl”
(her pen name) makes more than 100,000
emergency room coloring books with
crayons, and about 35,000 specialized
coloring books with toys each year.
It’s a team effort. Jerry and Martyl Reinsdorf, are majority owners of the Chicago
White Sox and the Chicago Bulls, and
live in the Valley part time. They distribute the coloring books not only to Phoenix Children’s, but to other hospitals and
organizations in the Valley, the Chicago
area, and even around the world. “Many
people know about the books from their
experiences at Phoenix Children’s,” adds
Martyl. “It’s really a credit to your hospital. A good deal of training seems to have
come from Phoenix Children’s.”
They couple refuses to take donations,
funding their own “publishing conglomerate” out of their own pocket. She says
that it’s gotten difficult to keep pace with
the interest she now has in the books, but
never sees a place or a hospital where she
would want to cut back. “I love putting
the whole gift together, and I love getting the feedback from the kids. It’s so
heartwarming. We just have boxes of
these letters.”
Max Marangella
Max Marangella spent the first year of
his life at Phoenix Children’s Hospital.
Born with several congenital defects, he’s
undergone more than 30 surgeries and
procedures. As a way to give back to the
Hospital, Max, his mom Patricia, and
dad Michele, started Max’s Market. They
provide the Hospital with every toy and
gift imaginable: dolls, trucks, pajamas,
portable CD players, nail polish, and
more, that are then given to patients.
Jackie Rosenberg
Jackie Rosenberg is the team leader for
the Hospital’s coffee cart. Delivering free
coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and goodies
to the parents and staff each morning is
something that Jackie says puts a smile
on all of their faces. “Some of these
parents only leave their child’s bedside to
use the restroom,” she says. “It’s really a
special thing to do and gives the parents
the TLC they need, and a break during
their stressful time.”
Word of mouth and media coverage
of Max’s Market bring in so many
donations that many of the toys now
have to be stored in the Marangella’s
garage. Patricia admits that she can
often be found at toy stores, browsing
the clearance sale items, and asking
managers for a donation. “I’ll ask anyone
for anything,” she laughs. “It’s gotten
to the point that I have stores calling
me to see if I want to go through their
Jackie is the daughter-in-law of the
Hospital’s founding director and
president, Allen Rosenberg, who passed
away in 2001 at the age of 92. Jackie
says it was her father-in-law’s devotion
to Phoenix Children’s that gave her the
encouragement and motivation to work
with kids and volunteer at the Hospital.
“He was just a wonderful, caring and
thoughtful man,” she adds.
One kid who never needs a toy is 7-yearold Max. When he comes to Phoenix
Children’s and is asked if he wants to
pick one out he proudly declines. “The
toys are for the sick kids,” he says.
Jackie Rosenberg is part of the “Lunch Bunch” a group
of longtime volunteers who meet each Wednesday for
lunch in the Hospital’s cafeteria.
Caring for children
with HIV and AIDS
Bill Holt looks over a “Holtville City Limit” sign during
a cross-country bike trip he took with his friend Phil Darrow, a former Phoenix Children’s Hospital Foundation
board member who initiated funding for the clinic that
bears his childhood friend’s name.
In 1993, more than 40,000 people died
from complications related to AIDS. One
of those people was Bill Holt, who was
an Eagle Scout, humanitarian, and community volunteer. He had been the student
council president of his high school, and
went on to earn an MBA and launch a
successful healthcare consulting practice.
This “quiet” activist passed away five short
years after his diagnosis of AIDS in 1988.
Darrow and his wife, Robin, wanted to
honor their long-time friend and mentor,
and initiated funding for the Bill Holt
HIV Clinic at Phoenix Children’s, which
opened in 1995. Bill’s parents, Elizabeth
and Walter Holt, attended the dedication
ceremony of the clinic and met Onyx, one
of the eight patients already being treated
for HIV at Phoenix Children’s.
As the rest of the world was coming to
grips with the devastating toll of HIV
and AIDS, Onyx was already living it.
He was born in 1990 in Philadelphia, the
But Onyx takes it in stride. “I’m not going
same year Ryan White died from AIDS,
to lie. It can be hard. You can be made
and one year before NBA legend Earvin
“Magic” Johnson announced he was HIV fun of, especially when I was little. But I
was always taught
positive. Six
months after
“I’m not going to lie. It can be to go forth and
do what I have to
Onyx’s birth,
do and be careful
he developed
especially when I was little. with it.”
pneumonia. It
But I was always taught to go According to Jan
was then that
forth and do what I have to do Piatt, MD, mediOnyx’s mother
cal director of the
discovered that
and be careful with it.” clinic, research and
she was HIV
new medication
positive and had
life expecpassed the disease on to her son. She was
tancy. And fewer babies are born with
told by doctors that her son would probthe disease. When HIV positive pregnant
ably die within 24 hours.
women are treated throughout their pregnancy, and their newborn baby is treated
Today, Onyx is still a patient at Phoenix
within hours of birth, only two percent of
Children’s, defying the once dire progmothers will pass the virus to their unborn
nosis given to his mom. The 18-year-old
college student hopes to become a theater child.
or history teacher.
Phil Darrow, a former Phoenix Children’s
Hospital Foundation board member, had
grown up with Bill in Chicago. The two
had planned a trip to the bottom of the
Grand Canyon even as Bill was battling
his disease. “The fact that we never made
that trip no long matters. The very idea of
it, exemplifying Bill’s courage and spirit,
is part of what motivates me every day to
this day,” states Darrow. “I don’t remember ever knowing anyone else like him.”
Onyx at 9-years-old. He was one of eight HIV positive
patients treated by the Hospital in 1995. The patient load
doubled in the first year. Today, the Clinic now treats
nearly 270 children.
HIV positive children and adults are living
longer and healthier lives. But Onyx acknowledges that his life has been far from
normal – and far different from the lives
of his friends. He’s often sick and says
he’s tired much of the time. “I never really
had the opportunity to be a normal child.
I was in and out of the hospital. There are
certain things I can’t do. I have to worry if
I took my meds on time,” he says.
The staff assists patients and families in
coping with the emotional aspects of the
diagnosis. They also work with older
patients like Onyx to make sure they are
complying with their long-term daily
medication schedule, which can include
up to 15 pills each day. “They make sure
I’m taking my meds, and taking them on
time. It’s crucial I take care of myself,”
adds Onyx. “I want to make sure I lead a
full life.”
K eeping pace with technology
Anesthesiologist Aubrey
Maze, MD began practicing in
the Valley in 1979 after arriving from
Stanford University, where Dr. Maze
was on faculty. He’s been with Phoenix
Children’s since the very beginning.
Below he talks about the changes
that innovation has had on pediatric
medicine since the Hospital’s inception
25 years ago.
and we were first to
bring this technology to
the Valley in the 1980s. MRI,
ultrasound, endoscopies that allow us to
non-invasively see more anatomy, and our
ability to treat conditions with minimally
invasive procedures are all ways in
which technology has changed pediatric
medicine. Of course, the individuals here
are also very technically up-to-date.
How rapidly
dly has technology advanced
over the past
ast few years?
y has changed more in the last
10 years than
an in the 50 years before that,
and new advances
dvances are still underway. It’s
touched every
very pediatric specialty and
will continue
nue to impact our diagnosis
and treatment
ment of children going forward.
With regards
ds to anesthesia, there’s
been an exponential
ponential increase in the
available technology,
echnology, equipment and
ogy that continues to improve
anesthesia safety.
What’s more important: technology or
the people who use it?
The people behind the technology are
far more important than gadgets and
techniques. Just because technology
exists doesn’t ensure safe delivery
and improved outcomes. We’re very
committed to continued medical
education which allows physicians
to become competent with new
pharmacology and technology.
Hospitals can have the very
best equipment in the
world, but if the people
don’t know how to use
it, it’s a waste.
How well has Phoenix Children’s kept
pace with medical innovation?
We’ve always
ays been committed to
providing the best equipment and modern
y. In many cases we’re ahead
of the curve.
e. The medical staff applies a
cross specialty
alty approach to keeping up
ation and the Hospital supports
with innovation
advances inn all areas. For instance, we’re
looking at Intraoperative MRI [a portable
MRI that allows physicians to view MRI
ring surgery] which will benefit
images during
ery, orthopedics and cancer
he cost is $7 million, but the
surgery. The
enefit will more than justify
potential benefi
the expense.
Is there a technological advance that
nds out in your mind?
really stands
y has truly touched every
aspect of medical care. There was a time
tain amount of guessing went
when a certain
into care, and technology has changed
that. From an anesthesia perspective,
logies have improved patient
few technologies
safety moree than pulse oximetry,
Has the philosophy of pediatric care
There was a time when adult care
trickled down to pediatrics rather than
pediatrics being looked at as its own
entity. We understand that babies and
children have unique physiology that
requires specific attention and training.
Our ability to touch, listen and care
compassionately for our patients should
never waver. We must never lose sight
of our patients as individuals. Medicine
is still an art…one that is strongly
supported by science and technology.
What about research?
We have a long term
commitment to
clinical research.
These efforts will
require an expanded
focus, funding, and
collaboration. It’s
significant to our future.
We’re fortunate in Phoenix
to have many opportunities
for academic partnerships
through the University of
Arizona, Arizona State
University, Mayo Clinic,
TGen and others.
Aubrey Maze, MD
Career paths paved from experience
Molly Abrahams and Katie Bringe are
two Phoenix Children’s nurses who
view patient care from a very different
perspective. Before they became
employees, they were both childhood
patients of the Hospital.
As a child, Molly was treated at Phoenix
Children’s for hydrocephalus, a condition
where excessive fluids build up on the
brain. During her five years as a patient,
Molly endured six surgeries and several
Katie was diagnosed at age 3 with type 1
(or juvenile) diabetes and was treated by
doctors and nurses at Phoenix Children’s
for 15 years. At age 7, she began
attending Camp AZDA, a weeklong
camp for diabetics, and has gone back
every year since. As a teen she became
a diabetes counselor at the camp and has
spent the past four years as a member of
Camp AZDA’s medical staff.
Phoenix Children’s clearly made a strong
impact on both Molly and Katie. Their
Molly Abrahams at age 6 following her first surgery
at Phoenix Children’s.
experiences gave them the passion not
only for a career in medicine, but also
for the Hospital that treated them. Both
Molly and Katie joined the Hospital
staff shortly after completing nursing
school. “I wanted to work at Phoenix
Children’s from the time I was a patient
here, specifically in the Pediatric ICU,”
says Molly. “For a time, I considered
being a doctor, but then decided that I
wanted to be at the bedside and share the
experience with each patient.”
Katie agrees. “I love working with kids
every day and with a staff that is truly
amazing. I honestly look forward to
coming to work every day.” - by Lauren
Katie, a nurse who now works with
diabetic patients, echoes Molly’s passion.
“I love kids. I had such a great experience
as a patient and really loved the staff. A
lot of staff worked here when I was a
patient here, and it’s so great to be able to
work alongside them now.”
Molly and Katie’s unique perspective
allows them to relate to their patients
in a special way. They know firsthand
what their own families went through
when they were hospitalized. Molly
shares her own story when she feels that
her experience can calm the parents
and relieve a patient’s anxiety. “Parents
usually appreciate hearing from someone
who has experienced exactly what their
child is experiencing,” explains Katie.
Katie Bringe at age 4 shortly after her diagnosis of type
1 diabetes.
Both nurses couldn’t be happier with
the career paths they have chosen. “The
best part about my job is that I’m able
to create bonds with the patients and
families that I work with,” Molly states.
“It is so rewarding to help kids become
Molly, now a nurse at Phoenix Children’s, speaks
at a Hospital event.
Katie, now a nurse at Phoenix Children’s, at Camp AZDA,
a week-long camp for kids with diabetes. She’s seen here
with fellow camp counselor Brian Long who was diagnosed at age 3 with type 1 diabetes.
A hospital goes to the dogs
children) from pain or discomfort. The
animals can motivate children to get up
and out of their rooms, eat, take their
medications, or participate in therapy.
Dog Sophie made one of the Hospital’s first “official” pet therapy visits.
“Sometimes patients don’t even want to
get out of bed until they have the chance
to walk one of the dogs up and down the
halls,” adds Jennings.
Animals have always been an important
part of the healing process at Phoenix
Children’s. It all started with three
rabbits: Leslie, Cocoa, and Thumper. “A
veterinarian would bring the rabbits and
we’d tell the kids they were going to get
their exam at the Hospital,” says Teresa
Boeger, director of Emily Center and
Volunteer Services. “One time Thumper
really did need Dr. Lustgarten to give
him an X-ray. The kids got such a kick
out of it.”
It wasn’t until 2003 that animal-assisted
therapy became an official program at
Phoenix Children’s. It started with five
dogs making a visit every three weeks.
Today, 28 dogs are part of the program.
Nearly every day one is making rounds
and giving kids the unconditional love
that only a canine can.
Recreational therapists and child
life assistants set out to convince
administrators of the importance of
a full-fledged pet therapy program at
Phoenix Children’s. It wasn’t an easy task.
Having four-legged caregivers walking
the halls of a hospital was a relatively
new concept. Committees were formed to
Rigorous infection control standards are
still followed. All dogs are trained and
certified. No puppies, reptiles, birds, or
“I’m not sure we’ll ever truly understand
livestock are allowed inside the Hospital.
just how much animals contribute to the
Cats can be certified, but according to
healing process with concrete, scientific
Mary Lou Jennings, coordinator of the
evidence,” says Jennings. “But I see every
program, they aren’t as sociable and don’t
day how valuable it is to our patients.”
travel as easily.
getting the program off the ground as
they continued to eat through a fair share
of telephone lines.
In some instances of extended
hospitalizations or terminal illnesses,
families have been allowed to bring their
own dogs inside the Hospital. If a patient
is ambulatory, families can bring their
own pets to visit with the children outside
on Hospital grounds. When patients are
confined to their rooms, Jennings says
parents will sometimes bring their pets
and hold them up to the windows just so
the children can see them.
“I’m not sure we’ll ever truly understand
just how much animals contribute to the
healing process with concrete, scientific
evidence. But I see every day how
valuable it is to our patients.”
consider the value of pet therapy and how
the Hospital could maintain infection
control standards. “We even had to
calculate how many hairs would be left
on the bed by the dogs,” adds Boeger.
The rabbits weren’t exactly helping in
Physicians at Phoenix
Children’s have long
championed the
program that has both
physical and emotional
benefits. Research has
shown that petting an
animal can lower a
person’s blood pressure, heart rate, and
skin temperature. Other studies have
noted that animals can reduce stress,
increase energy and well-being, and
decrease the need for some medications
by distracting patients (particularly
Three rabbits started it all. Seen here is Leslie on the left
and Thumper on the right accepting his “Special Person
A hospital that doesn’t feel like one
As the Hospital was preparing
to move to its own freestanding
facility, an innovative community
art program was created to provide
the more than 800 pieces of original
artwork (valued at $300,000) for the
new campus. Children created, inspired,
or worked in cooperation with artists
on more than 90 percent of the artwork.
More than 150 professional artists were
involved, working directly with the
children or elaborating upon ideas that
were conceived in classrooms across the
The artwork that now lines the bright
walls of Phoenix Children’s not only
makes the Hospital a more inviting and
Braeden’s Playground
Very few hospitals – even children’s
hospitals – have their own playground.
Braeden’s Playground, complete with a
play structure, putting green, and Phoenix
Suns basketball court, was named
less frightening place,
it helps ease the pain
of illness and disease.
Interactive pieces keep active
children occupied in waiting areas.
Textured art is used as a therapeutic
sensory tool for children who are sightimpaired, and “story-telling” art in
procedural rooms provides a distraction
for kids coping with pain or fear.
But the décor isn’t the only thing that
is aesthetically pleasing. A research
firm was hired to help choose the
color schemes for the Hospital. Using
biofeedback technology, the study
measured the physiological reactions to
different colors by adults and children.
after Braeden, a patient who was born
premature and passed away after nine
days. His parents, former professional
PGA golfer and current Golf Channel
analyst Brandel Chamblee and his wife,
Karen, wanted to create a playground
where children (and their siblings) could
Based on their findings, primary hues
were chosen for the new campus.
The Hospital was also designed with a
child’s height in mind. The water feature
at the front of the Hospital, the square
cutouts by the cafeteria entrance, and
even desks at the nurse’s stations were all
built at elevations where even the smallest
of children would still have a bird’s eye
view. The cafeteria has kid-friendly fare,
and children can also order menu entrees
and have them delivered to their rooms.
run around and forget that they’re in
a Hospital. The Chamblee family and
friends, other PGA golfers, and generous
Valley organizations raised $400,000
in just three short years to fund the
Peace Room
The Hospital’s Peace Room was the
brainchild of former patient Josh Porter,
who wanted a place of solitude where
children could vent their emotions. The
soundproof room includes audiovisual
equipment that patients control. In
moments they’re swept away to a beach,
a forest, or can watch a peaceful sunset.
^ The tic-tac-toe interactive artwork board in the surgery waiting area was created by Remo
Saraceni, an Italian-born artist
who also created the walking
piano seen in the movie Big.
^ The 64 paintings that hang in the admitting waiting area
were drawn by fourth graders at Orangewood Elementary
and painted by an advanced art class at Moon Valley High
School. The phrases are actual quotes made by the younger
Garrett Widner and his big smile at age 2.
“Garrett really did teach our family how
precious life is and how quickly it can turn.
He was a wonderful addition to our family
and taught us to appreciate every day.”
seemed as sick as
he really was.”
Koi Pond
The 800,000 gallon fish pond near the
Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU)
was donated to Phoenix Children’s by
the Widner family in honor of their son
and brother Garrett who passed away at
age two. Garrett, who was born with a
congenital heart disease, loved fish. “He
had such a magnetic personality. He was
very funny,” says his dad Ken. “He never
But the family’s
willingness to help
other patients and
parents didn’t end
with the fish pond.
Garrett was also a
fan of stuffed bears. Each year in celebration of their son’s birthday, Ken and his
wife Sharon come to Phoenix Children’s
and hand out bears to all of the patients.
To commemorate his passing, they come
each year on August 15 and hand out gift
cards to the Hospital’s staff. The Widners have also helped out families with
financial needs, paid for the DVD players
used in the cardiac unit of the PICU, and
funded the Hospital’s mascot, Dudley
the Dinosaur. “Garrett really did teach
our family how precious life is and how
quickly it can turn. He was a wonderful
addition to our family and taught us to
appreciate every day,” says Ken.
Child Life specialist, Wendy Pauker, feeds fish in the
Hospital’s koi pond.
The Emily Center
Emily Anderson was one of the first
patients of Phoenix Children’s in 1983.
Her parents, Tom and Kathy, brought her
to the Hospital when she started bruising.
At age 3, she was diagnosed with a rare
form of leukemia. “We wanted to learn as
much as we possibly could,” says Kathy.
“The only way to find information was
at a public library or through medical
journals. It was extremely frustrating
because by the time something was in
print at the library it was
already outdated. And
when reading a medical
journal you had to use
a dictionary just to
understand it. It might as
well have been in a foreign
Kathy says that from the
time Emily was born she
hardly slept, squeezing as
much into every day as she
possibly could. She
loved her family,
her animals,
her friends, as well as
the doctors and
nurses who
cared for her.
Even while
battling her
she was
on the go. But Emily’s symptoms
rapidly and she passed away
before her seventh birthday.
Aft Emily’s passing, the family,
wit the help of individuals and the
founded The Emily Center
t a sits in the very heart of Phoenix
It’s the largest pediatric
library in the Southwest and is
use by nearly 50,000 people each year.
“ n some respects it’s bittersweet,” says
“Our child had to die for this
program to be established.
B t the sweetness outweighs the bitter
b c
we know that it’s being used to
hel other families who are walking the
sam path that we did.”
Emily Anderson in her first grade school photo.
A teenager beats the odds
Ricky with part of his medical team at Phoenix
Children’s. From left to right, Dr. Kim Manwaring,
neurosurgeon, A.J. Pratt, physical therapist, Ricky, and
Lori Schweighardt, a former Phoenix Children’s Child
Life specialist.
Over the past 25 years, perhaps no patient
received more media attention than Ricky
Barker. Dubbed the “miracle boy” by
local, national, and even international
media, the teen wasn’t expected to live,
much less walk again. But after a nearly
three-month stay following a violent
collision, Ricky walked out of Phoenix
Children’s with only the help of a cane.
As Ricky was riding his bike in
Glendale, he was struck by a car that
was estimated at going more than 50
miles per hour. The impact caused
an “internal decapitation” – severing
virtually every bone and ligament that
was holding Ricky’s skull to his spine.
“Basically, the only thing holding his
head on his shoulders was his skin,” said
his mother, Amanda Barker Nielsen.
Within seconds of the accident, an off-duty
paramedic was able to hold Ricky’s head
perfectly still with one hand and intubate
him with the other. Even surviving the
transport to Phoenix Children’s was
considered a spectacular feat.
When Ricky arrived at Phoenix
Children’s, neurosurgeon Kim
Manwaring, MD, had seen a small twitch
in Ricky’s arm, and knew there was a
small connection between the brain and
spinal cord. While Ricky was still deep
in a coma, Dr. Manwaring and a team of
surgeons began reattaching his cranium
to his spine using metal rods, plates,
and screws. He used a micro-needle
dissecting tool, which he had created.
The needle uses electric currents to cut
the skin and the area around nerves. It
stops bleeding without scarring deep
tissue and causing more damage.
Thirty-six hours later, the 13-year-old
who had survived an almost universally
fatal injury, began to move his right
leg. Over the next few weeks, feeling
gradually returned to all his extremities.
An image of the rods, plates and screws holding Ricky’s
cranium to his spine.
by the Children’s Miracle Network.
But having Ricky walk out of Phoenix
Children’s – every step applauded by the
Hospital’s staff – was Dr. Manwaring’s
greatest reward.
Paramedics, the emergency department,
Today, Ricky still needs a ventilator to
neurosurgeons, the Pediatric Intensive
help him breathe, and he still doesn’t
Care Unit, psychiatrists, psychologists,
speech therapists, occupational therapists, have full use of his left arm. But this
“miracle boy” had more than luck and a
and recreational therapists all aided
great team of surgeons on his side. His
in Ricky’s recovery. “This was a very
will to survive and sheer determination
long and complex hospitalization,” Dr.
Manwaring says. “I can’t think of another to recover amazed the staff. “His
kid who benefited more from coordinated coping skills served him well,” adds
Dr. Manwaring. “He could have simply
care in one site.”
withdrawn, which would have made his
recovery so much more difficult. His
Because of his work with Ricky, Dr.
personality really paid off.”
Manwaring was honored with the
Children’s Miracle Achievement Award
An extended family
In 1983, as Arizona celebrated the
Fourteen years later, Jeremy returned to
opening of its first children’s hospital,
the Hospital when a severe deterioration
another longtime partnership took root:
in his heart required open-heart surgery.
The bond between a patient and his nurse. “When I came back, she was my nurse
again,” Jeremy recalls. “As I came
Jeremy Keck was born with only one
out of surgery, there were so many
functioning ventricle in his heart. At four complications, and I nearly lost my life.
months of age, he made his first trip to
Among the doctors and nurses working
through the night
and fighting for my
life, Liv was there
and at the center of
those efforts.”
Phoenix Children’s. It was the first time
his parents met cardiac nurse Liv Lowry,
who had come to work for the new
Hospital. The connection was immediate.
“Liv was by my bedside when I returned
from the operating room,” Jeremy says.
“Over the next three weeks, she spent
much time comforting my parents and
ensuring my quick recovery.”
Liv recently attended the Friends of
Phoenix Children’s Wine Tasting Event,
where Jeremy was honored. “Who knew
that 25 years later the two of us would
be sitting at that table together. From the
bottom of our hearts, we’re both very
grateful to Phoenix Children’s from two
very different perspectives,” she adds.
When Jeremy was
first diagnosed as a
baby, his prognosis
was grim. His
parents, Terri and
Jeff Keck were told
that Jeremy would
probably live to
This year the Hospital celebrates a
age 13 or 14. The
quarter century, Jeremy celebrates his
now 25-year-old has 25th birthday and Liv earns her 25-year
endured three openservice award from Phoenix Children’s –
heart surgeries, two
a remarkable milestone for each.
thoracotomies, and
— by Jessica Catlin
six other procedures.
He’s healthy and
living a normal
life. And his nurse has been there every
step of the way. “I think I’ve been with
Jeremy every surgery he’s had,” she says.
“He’s such a special person. He has that
twinkle in his eye.”
For Jeremy and his family, Liv has often
been their rock. “It was her special
attention and care that made me feel
comfortable and safe. She
would even visit on her days
“From the bottom of our hearts,
off. She went above and
we’re both very grateful to Phoenix
beyond in caring for my
recovery and my pursuit
Children’s from two very different
of life – she’s like a family
member,” says Jeremy.
More than 880 nurses are employed by
Phoenix Children’s. They deliver highly
specialized care based on a child’s
diagnosis. But they’re also the people
who – day in and day out – give children
and families support and comfort when
they need it most. “I think the reason we
have such a special environment is we’re
all here for one goal, and one purpose,
and that’s the greater good of our patients
and their families,” Liv notes.
P rograms aimed at prevention
Phoenix Children’s has a
long history of advocating
for children and creating
and collaborating on
programs that ensure the
overall health and well-being of
Arizona’s kids.
Two years after Phoenix Children’s was
established, the Hospital developed
“Project Prevention” – an innovative live
theater program that helped kids make
important decisions about behavior that
could lead to life-long implications. The
plays dealt with the consequences of drug
and alcohol abuse, teen pregnancy, AIDS,
review process.
The program
also helped focus
attention on the large
number of children who
were not properly immunized.
Today, the Hospital, along with the
Phoenix Fire Department, immunizes
more than 1,800 children each year.
By 1998, the Hospital had created the
Injury Prevention and Research Center.
In 2000, the Department of Community
Outreach was started with programs
focused on promoting positive parenting
skills and meeting minority outreach
healthcare issues in
the community.
Today, the center
provides an
extensive outreach
program that
reaches hundreds
of thousands of
Valley families.
Core focus areas
include injury
prevention and
safety, healthy
children and
families, and
outreach. The
goal is to prevent
Susan Bookspan, injury prevention specialist, fits a helmet on a child at the Annual
children from ever
Helmet Your Brain design contest in 2000. In 2007, more than 4000 people were reached
during 20 events where “Helmet Your Brain” information was distributed.
by addressing
issues such as
obesity, water
and sexual abuse. By 1991, the program
safety, bike and helmet safety, child
was reaching more than 350,000 kids
abuse, sexual abuse, car/booster seat
each year.
safety, and more.
The “Children’s Health Initiatives”
advocacy campaign was developed by
Phoenix Children’s physicians and nurses
in 1990, giving public-policy makers
insight into the health problems that were
affecting Arizona children. That year
the campaign helped support successful
measures including expansion of the
“Health Start” prenatal care program and
establishment of a statewide child fatality
2007 Community
Outreach by the
250: Number of Arizona schools that
used the “Water Safety is For You”
80,000: Purple ribbons distributed
throughout the community for
Drowning Impact Awareness Month.
10: Children who drowned in Maricopa
County, down from 20 in 2006.
It was the lowest rate since
recordkeeping began in the late
600: Number of child passenger seats
distributed to parents in targeted
school communities.
50: Community events where “Bike
boxes”- bike safety education
packages were distributed.
20,000: Parents reached with information
regarding Shaken Baby Prevention.
120,000: SAFE (Supporting a FamilyFriendly Environment) child abuse
prevention educational pamphlets
distributed throughout the
800+: individuals who completed SAFE
90,000: Phone calls triaged for valley
pediatricians answering family’s
health concerns.
100: Infants served by the Healthy Steps
NICU project to assist families with
babies born prematurely.
33: Children’s hospitals and pediatric
centers from across the country who
sent instructors to Phoenix Children’s
for medical interpreter training.
210: Bilingual people in our community
who completed the medical
interpreter training program at
Phoenix Children’s.
125: Families completing intensive
parenting education in Glendale,
The first Water Watchers Day held in 2000. In 2007,
more than 2,200 first graders, parents, teachers and
volunteers participated in the annual event.
A committed community
In 1982, $500,000 was donated to
Phoenix Children’s by founding donors
to create a hospital dedicated to the
treatment of children. And so began
philanthropy at Phoenix Children’s
In 1985, the Phoenix Children’s Hospital
Foundation was officially established.
Since then, nearly $180 million has been
raised through contributions made by
dedicated philanthropists, community
members, businesses, foundations, and
organizations committed to making a
tangible and lasting difference in the
health and lives of Arizona’s children.
But community support has been
much more than a financial investment
in Phoenix Children’s. Dedicated
individuals have sat on our committees,
hosted events, and opened doors for us.
Leaders in the community have served on
our capital campaigns. Parents of patients
have become our voice in the community,
and often our greatest fundraising allies.
Guests have attended our events. Elected
officials have supported our programs
and initiatives. Businesses have held their
own promotional events and encouraged
their employees to champion Phoenix
The Foundation thanks all of the
generous people who have donated
their time, their talents, and their
financial resources into making Phoenix
Children’s Hospital what it is today…and
what it will become tomorrow.
In 1994, Phoenix Children’s held its first Home of Miracles, raffling off a
luxurious home at the Pointe Tapatio. When Willard Scott came to Phoenix to
promote the event on The Today Show, nearly 5,000 tickets were sold by the
end of the day from places as far away as Japan, Saudi Arabia, Germany, and
Hong Kong. The event set a record as the largest single fund-raising venture in
Arizona’s history, raising more than $1.4 million.
The Holiday Art Project was established in 1986, with patients
from the Children’s Cancer Center (now called the Center for
Cancer and Blood Disorders) creating their own artwork that was
made into holiday cards and sold at Valley businesses. By 1993, the
Project was raising $286,000 annually.
The Foundation’s longest-running fundraising event is the Emily Center
Fashion Show, benefiting the Hospital’s pediatric resource library.
The first Beach Ball Gala, the Hospital’s largest event
fundraiser, was held in 1994 at the Scottsdale Princess and
raised $140,000. The attire was island wear, formal wear,
or a combination of the two. The dress code hasn’t changed.
The amount raised each year has. In 2008, $1.1 million was
raised during Beach Ball.
In 1990, the Foundation sponsored its annual Heroes Luncheon, a star-spangled event where Arizona Congressional
Medal of Honor recipients honored patients at Phoenix
Children’s who were bravely battling an illness or injury.
That year the event raised $60,000. The keynote speaker
was Bob Keeshan, better known as Captain Kangaroo.
The first Children’s Miracle
Network Telethon raised
$210,000. In 1991, the
Telethon raised more than
$543,000. Today, the Miracle
Marathon is hosted by KMLE
Country 108 and is broadcast
live from Phoenix Children’s,
consistently raising more than
$1 million each year.
In 1999, the Foundation raised more than $5 million.
It was a banner year, aided by the Circus Under
the Stars event hosted by Sen. John McCain and
his wife Cindy. More than 800 people attended the
event that raised $30,000, and featured circus acts
under a big top set up in the McCain’s front yard.
The now presidential hopeful and his wife have been
long time supporters of the Hospital. Two of their
children were cared for at Phoenix Children’s.
Upcoming Signature
Foundation Events
Call (602) 546-4483 (GIVE) for more information
Casino Night
October 4
Sixth Annual Davy Luna/Zach Stalls Memorial Golf Tournament
October 11
10th Annual PCH Golf Tournament
November 21
Russo and Steele Car Auction Gala
January 14, 2009
Friends of Phoenix Children’s Wine Tasting Event
February 8, 2009
16th Annual Beach Ball Gala
February 28, 2009
20th Annual Emily Center Fashion Show and Luncheon
May 9, 2009
Caring for the H ospital’s tiniest patients
Since 1985, Phoenix Children’s has cared
for 80 sets of quadruplets, 10 sets of quintuplets, and two sets of sextuplets – more
multiple births than any other Hospital in
the nation.
The Newborn Intensive Care Unit
(NICU) of Phoenix Children’s consists
of 30 beds at the Hospital’s main campus
and 76 private rooms at the Julie and
Tim Louis NICU that is housed on the
third floor of Banner Good Samaritan.
The unique relationship between the two
hospitals offers the very best in perinatal
and neonatology care available anywhere
in the world.
The Masche sextuplets born in 2007.
Two years after the inception of the Hospital, then CEO, Dan Cloud, MD, petitioned
Good Samaritan to relinquish their 59-bed
pediatric nursery to Phoenix Children’s.
Today, approximately 1,300 babies
throughout Arizona and the Southwest
are admitted to the NICU each year, some
weighing barely one pound. Cutting-edge
technology at Phoenix Children’s has improved survival rates for these babies. The
Hospital’s NICU was the first in the state
to introduce – and is now a regional leader
in – Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) technology that mimics the
functions of the heart and lungs. In 2008,
the Hospital became the first in Arizona
to offer Cool-Cap treatment to critically
ill newborns with brain injuries, which
decreases the risk of disability due to lack
of oxygen to the brain.
The Collins quintuplets born in 1996.
But many of the advancements made in
neonatology over the years have less to
do with technology, and more to do with
providing an environment that helps babies thrive. In 1992, nurses in the NICU
received a grant to study and analyze
the importance of touch and interaction
of parents and caregivers. The two-year
study was the first of its kind and reinforced the importance of those factors
in the care of newborns. And many of
those same nurses are still providing that
same loving attention. Of the 41 Hospital
employees who have worked for Phoenix
Children’s since it opened in 1983, nearly
half of them work in the NICU.
Phoenix Children’s continued this commitment to providing a calm and less
chaotic environment for babies. In 2008,
renovation of the Julie and Tim Louis
NICU was completed, making it not
only the largest NICU in the nation, but
arguably the most state-of-the-art as well.
The new NICU has all private rooms
with individual thermostats to regulate
The hospital we all built
The Lindberg quadruplets admitted to Phoenix
Children’s in 1986
room temperature, adjustable light levels,
sound-dampening doors, floors, and ceilings. Each room incorporates technologies that allow the staff to monitor patients from anywhere in the unit. Nurses
are able to instantly connect with patients,
receive patient alerts directly from the
“We’re now able to
individualize the baby’s
support and environment for
what the baby’s needs are.”
room, and even check if the patient is suffering from an acute or dangerous condition through telemetry.
“We’re now able to individualize the
baby’s support and environment for what
the baby’s needs are,” explains Laurie
Vasquez, director of the NICU. “Babies do
better when we can manage the environment like this. They have a shorter length
of stay and achieve milestones more
quickly. Parents also feel more welcomed
in this environment and spend more time
here with their babies.”
In 2002, after occupying two floors at the Good Samaritan Campus for
nearly 20 years, the patients of Phoenix Children’s were loaded into “kidbulances” and taken to their new home on 20th Street and Thomas Road.
Even when talk of a children’s hospital first began, the need for a freestanding facility was always understood. By 1999, the move was inevitable. The Hospital had outgrown its space on the Good Samaritan
campus and there were not enough beds for children requiring care. The
Valley was in the midst of a population explosion. Nearly 2,000 kids in
both 1999 and 2000 were waitlisted for care. By 2001 that number had
grown to nearly 4,000. In addition, services for pediatric care had become
fragmented, inconvenient, and confusing for families.
“Phoenix Children’s did well at Good Samaritan, but we were boxed in
and couldn’t expand our programs physically or with regards to staff,”
explains Melvin L. Cohen, MD.
Paul Roshka, the Foundation’s board chairman at the time, agrees.
“Kids wanted to get in but couldn’t. Some were forced to leave the state
for treatment. We had a wonderful relationship with Good Samaritan,
continued >>
were created for the
neonatal, critical care,
and general pediatric
units to finalize decisions regarding space
configurations, equipment, and furnishings.
Robosaurus, a 40-foot-tall electrohydromechanical dinosaur helped with the
Hospital’s 2000 “Ground Shaking” event. The metal-eating, fire-blowing robot
demolished an old sign, kicking off the official start of construction of the state’s
first freestanding children’s hospital.
but they had their own needs and we
couldn’t count on having our own space
when we needed it.”
The Board considered purchasing real
estate and building from the ground
up - an option that would have taken at
least three years longer at a significantly
higher cost. In 1999, Phoenix Children’s
chose to purchase the 22-acre site that
was originally occupied by the Phoenix Regional Medical Center. Paul S.
Bergeson, MD, one of the Hospital’s
founding physicians, called the move a
leap of faith saying, “We had to move
forward, not backward.”
Roshka says the focus was on developing
a hospital that would not only save the
lives of children each day, but also be a
place where children and parents would
feel welcome. With 230 beds, it would
make Phoenix Children’s one of the 10
largest children’s hospitals in the nation
and increase capacity by 30 percent.
Construction and renovation began in
2000. Project blueprints were said to
weigh more than a Chevrolet Metro
Coupe car. The new campus included
6,439 individual pieces of equipment;
500,000 pieces of furniture and accessories; 22 miles of new data cable; 64 miles
of communication cable; and 5,000 light
fixtures. All new technologies and systems were integrated at once – an incredible undertaking. Mock up patient rooms
In May, 2002, Arizona’s only freestanding children’s hospital
opened its doors. To
celebrate the grand
opening, several community events were
held. An open house
was attended by more
than 10,000 people
who lined up to take a
tour of the new facility.
But just a few months after the staff and
patients settled in, something very out of
the ordinary in Phoenix happened – rain.
A microburst hit right above the Hospital
blowing out a pipe in the ceiling. Leigh
McGill, MD, was in the middle of surgery when it happened and water began
to flood the operating room. “I finished
as quickly as I could, and we waded out
in six inches of water.”
Almost the entire ground floor of the
Hospital had some form of damage. It
was a huge setback for the Hospital.
Other Valley medical facilities, including Good Samaritan and St. Joseph’s, offered to provide space for surgeries until
the Hospital
could recover.
tient accounting – stretched the Hospital’s
resources. “It was evident that the issues
could be fixed,” says Bob Meyer, current
Phoenix Children’s president and CEO
who joined the Hospital shortly after the
move. “We were a fundamentally sound
hospital with tremendous physician and
community support.” Hospital administrators responded quickly. Under the
direction of Meyer and his senior leadership team, in just one year’s time Phoenix
Children’s went from a $48 million loss
in 2002 to a $3 million profit in 2003.
The new freestanding facility would
change pediatric care in Phoenix with a
critical mass of physicians, all under one
roof, all dedicated to the care of children.
A larger facility would accommodate the
growing number of kids in the community. A singular place dedicated to
pediatrics would allow for the growth of
programs and services. More visibility
brought even more families to the hospital where the sole focus was on children.
But what did the Hospital’s toughest and
most important critics think? Kelsey
Gillis, a former patient who received her
treatment at the old location said, “This
Hospital is a lot nicer. It’s more colorful
with more things to do. The food tastes
better and it even smells better here.”
Mission accomplished.
In addition to the
flood, the construction phase
of the Hospital
was more expensive than originally thought.
And creating
numerous departments from
scratch – from
operating rooms
and radiology, to
information technology and paThe first patient to be transported to the new Phoenix Children’s Hospital location.
A “Darn Cool School”
When children come to the hospital,
they need more than just great medical
care. They also need to keep up with
their schoolwork. That premise lead to
the Phoenix Children’s “Genius Club,”
founded in 1987, which became the
Hospital’s first in-house classroom. At
the time of the opening, the “Genius
Club” represented one of the first hospital
schools in the nation.
Billy Truman was one of the first patients
to use the Hospital’s Genius Club. Born
with gastroschisis, Billy spent the first
full year of his life at the Hospital. Now
at age 21, Billy remembers the school
and his first teacher, Charlie Schneider.
“I remember that he was very kind and
loved to get kids to learn.”
the one thing parents
and kids can agree
on is the need to feel
normal. School is the
structure all kids know
as normal. It helps kids
look beyond their illnesses
and helps them feel just like
any other kid.”
The program has been especially
important to middle and high school
students who can continue earning credits
towards graduation - a long term goal that
no patient should have to give up.
Phoenix Children’s is still one of the
few hospitals in the nation to employ
its own teaching staff, with four fulltime accredited teachers, all Master’s
The school grew over the years and
level prepared in Special Education,
reopened in 1999 as “1 Darn Cool School.” a classroom assistant, and a team of
Through the evolution, one very important
volunteers with backgrounds in education.
Teachers work with
“When a child is in the hospital and all of children year-round
and also offer special
life is out of whack, the one thing parents programs, including
and kids can agree on is the need to feel a “Summer Camp”
and theme-based
normal. School is the structure all kids enrichment programs
know as normal. It helps kids look beyond for patients and their
Each spring
their illnesses and helps them feel just like siblings.
they have a prom,
any other kid.” and each fall a backto-school dance. For
aspect remained the same: The school
children who can’t make it to the classroom,
allows kids to maintain a sense of normalcy the teachers provide bedside instruction.
in a situation that is anything but normal for
a child. It also provides a distraction, giving The school’s staff also
kids something to think about other than
works with a patient’s
why they’re in the Hospital.
home school to determine
the individual educational
Today, 1 Darn Cool School is a certified
needs of each child. And
K-12 program that helps patients keep up
once a child leaves the
with their class work – something that is
Hospital, a re-entry
critical for kids. Many of them can spend
program assists the children
months – or even years – at the Hospital.
in transitioning back to
According to Billy’s mom, Carla, her
their regular schools, a
son spent four to five years of his life
program first implemented
at Phoenix Children’s. “The programs
by the Hospital’s Cancer
offered by the Hospital help the parents
(now the Center for Cancer and
because they don’t have to negotiate so
Blood Disorders) in 1985.
much,” she says. “When a child is in the
— by Lauren Hitchcock
hospital and all of life is out of whack,
Patients cut a rug at the annual back-to-school dance.
Billy Truman, seen here as a patient at the old
Hospital’s location with Teresa Boeger, director
of The Emily Center and Volunteer Services, and
graduating from Moon Valley High School.
Training the next generation of pediatricians
there was
Hospital, there
was pediatric
residency training
in Phoenix. To put
things in perspective,
pediatric residency
training in the Valley began
the same year the Salk Vaccine was
developed against polio – in 1954.
At that time, individual programs were instituted at various
hospitals around the Valley. In 1974 the programs were
combined and called the Phoenix Hospitals Affiliated
Program. Once Phoenix Children’s was established, the
pediatric residency program moved to the Hospital and
integrated with Maricopa Medical Center, and affiliated with
the University of Arizona College of Medicine. The program
began providing core pediatric training for one-third of
Arizona’s medical students. By 1991, 20 new residents were
joining the program each year.
The graduating class of 2007. “Phoenix Children’s has long been a place where
women were pioneers in medicine,” says Melvin L. Cohen, MD. That holds true with
his residents. Of the Hospital’s 21 newest residents, 16 are female.
residents who join community practices,” says Grace Caputo,
The Hospital also provides GAPP, a 14-week curriculum for
newly graduated nurses; Grand Rounds, ongoing medical
education for physicians; monthly conferences related to the
healthcare of children; and Basic/Advanced Life Support
Today, 57 pediatric residents, seven chief residents, and 29
combined internal medicine/pediatric residents are currently
enrolled in the Hospital’s residency program. Residents
complete three years of training
in general pediatrics. The Hospital
also provides three-year fellowships
in endocrinology, emergency
medicine, and dermatology, with
more fellowships planned for the
future. Another 220 residents from
across the state and country receive
some part of their education at
Phoenix Children’s – including
residents from Maricopa Medical
Center’s four year program who are
specializing in adult medicine, but
do a rotation in pediatrics at Phoenix
“Residency training has a
tremendous impact on our
community. Many children receive
care from current and former
Attendings and residents of the Good Samaritan residency program in 1970, including founding physicians and important
figures in the development of Phoenix Children’s and pediatric medicine in the Valley. Ken Tollackson, MD (top row, second
from left); Herm Lipow, MD (middle row, center); Marian Molthan, MD (bottom row, third from left); Lucy Hernried, MD
(bottom row, fourth from left); Paul S. Bergeson, MD, (bottom row, far left); Clarence Laing, MD, (middle row, far left)
Michael Arias in 1998 following his bone marrow
transplant. The “Every Kid Counts” water bottle
program is named in Michael’s honor, who served
as their spokesperson. Proceeds benefit the Center
for Cancer and Blood Disorders.
F amily-centered care
For all of the families who have found
themselves at Phoenix Children’s over
the past 25 years, it’s safe to say that not
one of them imagined they’d be here.
When a child’s illness or injury is lifethreatening it’s confusing and frightening
for kids. For parents, it’s surreal and
heartbreaking. Overnight, a future full of
promise can turn to uncertainty.
When worlds are turned upside down, it’s
the time when the family-centered care at
Phoenix Children’s is most important.
In 1997, Carla and Joseph Arias brought
their son Michael to Phoenix Children’s
thinking he had an obstructed bowel.
Within hours doctors had removed a
mass the size of a grapefruit. A biopsy
revealed that their 3-year-old son had
neuroblastoma, a solid tumor cancer
that was spreading quickly. “I can’t even
describe the emotions we were feeling,”
says Carla.
Michael’s body succumbed to the cancer
shortly before his sixth birthday. As
he courageously battled his disease,
the Hospital became a second home
to Michael, his parents, his siblings
Stephen and Gabrielle, and his Grandma
Mary who moved from Texas to support
the family. “We lived our lives in the
Hospital and the infusion center,” adds
Carla. “But he smiled through everything.
He was such a special, amazing kid.”
The Hospital staff understands that when
a child is diagnosed with a disease, the
entire family is affected. Child Life
specialists ensure the patient understands
and feels comfortable with their Hospital
experience. Recognizing that families
need the same care, the Hospital provides
social services to help them deal with
family stress, behavioral health issues,
basic needs like transportation and
housing, as well as community resources
and referrals that may aid the family. The
Hospital also provides round-the-clock
pastoral services.
Week-long camps for kids with chronic
illnesses like cancer, hemophilia,
diabetes, and kidney disease are hosted
by the Hospital. The camps give
children an opportunity to spend time
outside of the hospital setting where they
can kayak, swim, and rock climb with
kids who are just like them.
Michael (right) with his brother Stephen in 1999, less
than one month before his body succumbed to cancer. He
also left behind sisters Caroline and Gabrielle.
he created with the help of former Child
Life specialist Renee Hunte, and school
teacher Carla Woyak. It was a place he
could go where there were no pokes, no
sticks, and no chemotherapy. “Bumble
Bee Planet was essential to Michael and
his ability to cope with the horrific things
he was going through,” says his mom.
Terry Wood, MD, his team of nurses, the
Child Life staff and teachers at 1 Darn
Cool School helped provide a feeling of
normalcy to Michael. They explained
his disease and treatment in ways that
both he and his family would understand.
Michael jokingly referred to Dr. Michael
Sapozink in Radiation Oncology as “Dr.
Zapperzink” because he was “zapping”
him with radiation.
The staff helps all children understand their
diagnosis and treatment in age-appropriate
ways. For children diagnosed with cancer or
other life threatening illnesses, it’s critical
that the staff work with the children and
families in coping emotionally with what
they’re going through.
They also helped Michael develop coping
mechanisms to deal with his treatment.
Michael liked to imagine he was on
“Bumble Bee” planet, an imaginary place
“Kids can often think they’re here
because they did something wrong,” says
Kari Brackin, a Child Life specialist who
works with kids diagnosed with cancer.
continued >>
continued >>
The first Camp Rainbow (seen here) was held in 1985, just two years after the
establishment of Phoenix Children’s. That year 27 children diagnosed with
cancer journeyed to Prescott for a week of summer fun with the Hospital’s
medical staff. By 1993, more than 145 kids were attending the camp. The Hospital also hosts annual camps for kids diagnosed with diabetes, hemophilia,
and kidney failure.
“Adolescents and teenagers understand more,
but they’re also struggling with loss of control
and independence. But I always find it amazing
though how resilient they all are. It’s such a
difficult situation, but most cope extremely
Despite the interruption in everyone’s life,
Carla says she’s grateful that the family was
able to share so much quality time together
at the Hospital. Stephen, Michael’s brother
and best friend, was a constant at Michael’s
“The people at Phoenix Children’s
really go above and beyond. One of
the many things that we learned was
to expect the unexpected.”
side. He would spend the nights with Michael,
sharing his bed and the toy cars Michael would
receive after his treatments. “It’s still hard for
Stephen to talk about it, but even now he really
relishes how close they were. There were so
many things that Michael was able to do at
the Hospital,” says Carla. “There was so much
familial bonding considering how much time
Michael was away from the house.”
Even today, the Arias Family is grateful for not
only the medical care they received at Phoenix
Children’s, but the emotional support given
to them by the staff. “The people at Phoenix
Children’s really go above and beyond. One of
the many things that we learned was to expect
the unexpected.”
Celebrity sightings at
P hoenix Children’s
Nothing gets the Hospital buzzing more than a visit from
someone famous. Patients and families are always surprised
– and sometimes a little star struck – by gracious stars who
have stopped by to give patients an unexpected pick-me-up.
Beauty queens, television stars, famous politicians,
superheroes, and iconic sports figures have all come through
our doors, with many of the visits fascinating the parents
more than the kids. When word got out that boxing legend
Muhammad Ali was on the premises, hundreds of adults
had gathered in the lobby of the old Hospital hoping to get
a glimpse. “Most of the kids didn’t know who Muhammad
Ali was. But the adults went crazy. We couldn’t even get him
off the elevator,” says Teresa Boeger, director of The Emily
Center and Volunteer Services.
Team members from the Phoenix Suns, Arizona
Diamondbacks, Arizona Cardinals, and Phoenix Coyotes
are regular visitors and always patient favorites. “Charles
Barkley always made it clear that he was here for the kids,”
adds Boeger. “We’d typically tell visitors that we’d help them
move along quickly. We never had to do that with Charles.
He made his own way.”
One of the most memorable visits was Sylvester the Cat. The
person inside the suit was overheated in the costume and
fainted in front of the kids. “We didn’t want to take off the
head of the mascot in front of the kids so we drug him into
the bathroom and called for a doctor. Kids were standing
outside the bathroom and knocking on the door to see if
Sylvester was okay,” laughs Boeger.
Tony Hawk
Mr. T
Jonathon Taylor Thomas
The Backstreet Boys
The Stanley Cup
Brett Favre
Willard Scott
The Rockettes
Sen. John McCain
Star Wars cast
Phil Simms
Muhammad Ali
Sen. Joe Lieberman
Harlem Globetrotters
Charles Barkley
Patch Adams
Annette Funicello, Mickey
Mouse, and Rose Mofford
M obile medical units take
to Valley streets
In 2001, shortly after the 9/11 attacks in New York and Washington
D.C., the Crews’n Healthmobile
caused a small uproar in downtown Phoenix when it ran out of gas in front of the
Naturalization and Immigration Building.
Local police and FBI agents surrounded
the van, demanding to know who was
inside and why they had stopped.
“It literally came to a dead stop on Central Avenue right in front of the building.
The gas gauge didn’t work so we never
really knew how much gas we had,”
laughs Jan Putnam, a nurse practitioner
and part of the Crews’n staff. “I thought
they were going to arrest me. Then one of
the officers asked if I could push it off to
the side of the road. We’re talking about a
35-foot van!”
Putnam recalls another time when she
was driving the Crews’n Healthmobile
through a narrow alley and nearly ripped
off the wheelchair lift. Another of the
mobile health units was renamed the
“Mobile Sweatbox” because the staff
never knew if the air conditioning was
going to work.
So maybe providing healthcare from a 12ton RV hasn’t always been pretty. But no
one can argue that it hasn’t been effective.
Since 2000, the Crews’n Healthmobile
has been providing medical care to homeless and at-risk children and young adults
across the Valley. The program was
formed through an innovative partnership with Children’s Health Fund and
HomeBase Youth Services. In 2007, the
Crews’n staff
provided examinations, immunizations, medications, and health
education to more
than 2,275 kids
and teens.
On any given day it is estimated that 5,000 Arizona youth are homeless, with the vast
majority located in Maricopa County. The mobile medical unit offers clinic visits on-site
at centers, shelters, schools, and the streets of Tempe where this population congregates.
Partners of Crews’n Healthmobile include Children’s Health Fund, Homebase Youth
Services, UMOM Family Shelter, Tumbleweeds and Health Care for the Homeless. A
grant that originated with American Idol and Idol Gives Back enabled the Children’s
Health Fund to provide a second Crews’n Healthmobile to Phoenix Children’s in 2007.
The current unit is the most sophisticated yet with a state-of-the-art tracking
dish that makes the van wireless capable
anywhere in the world – a necessity when
the van is used as a response vehicle for
national disasters. In 2005, the Crews’n
Healthmobile staff assisted with Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.
“It’s been quite a journey. Although we’ve
seen thousands of kids, we long for the
day when we no longer need a mobile
unit out there providing healthcare to
homeless children and adolescents,” says
Randy Christensen, MD, medical director
of the Crews’n Healthmobile. “Until that
day comes we’ll be out there with our
team and partners.”
The Crews’n Healthmobile isn’t the
Hospital’s only mobile medical unit
that takes to Valley streets. The Breathmobile travels to inner-city schools in
Phoenix, providing asthma care, treatment, and follow-up for up to 70 patients
each week. There is no fee or need for
referral. Once diagnosed, children receive an asthma action plan that includes
education for asthma self-management,
follow-up appointments, and evaluations,
as well as a 24-hour phone number in
case questions arise.
“The Breathmobile has had a huge impact,” says Judy Harris, director of Breathmobile. “A large percentage of the population we’ve treated didn’t even know they
had asthma. Many others who did were
very limited with their activities. Now they
can run, play and lead a normal life.”
More than 140 children with asthma attended the
inauguration of the Breathmobile (seen here) in
2000. Among patients treated by the Breathmobile,
there has been a greater than 40 percent drop in
missed school days due to asthma related problems,
greater than a 73 percent drop in emergency room
visits due to asthma, and a greater than 70 percent
drop in hospital stays due to asthma. Partners of the
Breathmobile include Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck Pharmaceuticals, and the Arizona
Department of Health Services.
Marshall Lustgarten, MD, was the Hospital’s first pediatric radiologist when he began practicing at Good Samaritan Hospital in
1971. He came on board with Phoenix Children’s in 1983 where he has served as both medical staff president and division chief of
radiology. Below, he talks about the ever-changing field of radiology and how it has transformed patient care.
You began your career as a pediatric
radiologist at an adult hospital. What
is the difference in care?
At Banner Good Samaritan Hospital the
radiology group was strongly oriented
towards adult radiology and they provided excellent care with state-of-the-art
equipment. The major deficiency in this
relationship was our inability to provide
family-centered care to our children in an
adult setting.
How much has the field changed since
you started practicing medicine?
When I began my radiology practice 38
years ago, modalities like CT and MRI
were nonexistent. In fact, a person probably wouldn’t recognize the equipment
– or for that matter – the images we had
back then. The potential usefulness of ultrasound, nuclear medicine and interventional radiology were just being realized.
Technology changes so quickly in this
field that five years from now much of
what we’re using will be outdated. That
also means that a large portion of any
Hospital’s capital budget goes towards
radiology. But it’s really a pivotal department and such an important aspect of
overall patient care.
How has technology changed patient
care since the Hospital opened 25
years ago?
All modalities were available and moderately sophisticated 25 years ago. Now
the extraordinary technological advancements in our specialty allows for diagnostic sensitivity and specificity, greatly
impacting patient care. Now we’re able
to be far more specific and can detect
even the most subtle changes. Twenty-five
years ago a trauma patient would need a
number of diagnostic tests that could take
a day or two. Now we have that information in a matter of minutes with far more
diagnostic information. It’s almost frightening to see what we can do now, and
look back at what we couldn’t do then.
More importantly, radiation exposure to
our patients has been markedly reduced.
How has interventional radiology improved care?
It’s allowed us to treat children in a nonsurgical way with better outcomes and
faster recovery times. The interventional
radiology section is under the direction
of our new department chairman Dr.
Richard Towbin. Interventional radiology
is complementary to the other sections
of our department, including CT, MRI,
ultrasound, and nuclear medicine. The
advancement in all of these areas has
improved patient care and outcomes
applicable to all care areas at Phoenix
How has technology helped you share
information with other doctors?
Computerization of our department
permits us to share images with our colleagues immediately. Voice recognition
technology allows us to dictate, edit, and
send reports within minutes to our referring physicians.
A place to stay
There’s no
place like home.
For out-of-town
patients with extended stays
at Phoenix Children’s, the next best
thing is the new $3.2 million Ronald
McDonald House located within mere
steps of the Hospital. The 18 apartmentstyle homes were decorated, painted
and furnished by an army of volunteers
from area businesses and organizations,
as well as families with ties to Phoenix
Children’s. Each room has a full service
kitchen, television, and DVD player.
Families also have access to a reception
entry, social dining area, activity room,
laundry facilities, and full-service
business offices with computers.
There are no “visiting hours” for family
here. It’s understood that an important
part of a child’s healing process is being
among family and friends. Families are
invited – and even encouraged – to stay
with their children in their rooms.
The Family Center provides families with
additional sleeping quarters, a full-size
kitchen, showers, washers and dryers, and
a family room complete with a big-screen
television. It gives families a place to
relax and get some reprieve.
Even for families not staying at the
Ronald McDonald house, Phoenix
Children’s offers an environment that
makes parents and siblings feel welcome.
Phoenix Children’s is also bringing specialized pediatric care closer to home. The Specialty and Urgent
Care Center – East Valley, opened in 2007. Offering comprehensive specialty care by the Hospital’s staff on
weekdays, as well as urgent care in the evenings and weekends, the Center will serve as a prototype for similar
centers that will be developed in other high-growth areas of the Phoenix metropolitan area.
Rendering of the new Phoenix Children’s Hospital patient tower that will be completed in 2012.
D ear F riends:
Mark Twain once said, “The past does
not repeat itself, but it rhymes.” As we
celebrate the faces and places that have
transformed pediatric medical care
in Arizona over the past 25 years, we
are also preparing for the future of our
Hospital, and the future of the children
and families of our state.
A multi-year phased expansion of
Phoenix Children’s is underway that will
allow the Hospital to meet the needs of
a burgeoning pediatric population, offer
our patients and families an even wider
range of services and specialists, amplify
the Hospital’s research efforts, and allow
Phoenix Children’s to evolve with the
ever-changing face of pediatric medicine.
Although so much has changed at
Phoenix Children’s over the past quarter
of a century, our singular focus has
remained the same: to provide hope,
Bob Meyer, President and
CEO of Phoenix Children’s
unveils plans for the
Hospital’s expansion during
the “Most Important Day”
community luncheon event.
healing, and the very best healthcare
available to children and their families.
Please join Phoenix Children’s as we
embark on our journey into the next 25
Robert L. Meyer
President and CEO
Phoenix Children’s Hospital
- more information on the Hospital’s expansion in the next issue of Hopes and Dreams 39
As our Hospital celebrates
elebrates 25 years, we
invite you to explore
ore the many ways you
can touch the life of a child by giving to
Phoenix Children’s
’s Hospital.
1919 East Thomas Road
Phoenix, AZ 85016
(602) 546-1000
(888) 908-5437 (KIDS)
West Valley: (602) 863-0864
Scottsdale: (480) 314-1144
Emergency Department: (602) 546-1900
Specialty and Urgent Care Center
East Valley: (480) 833-5437
Foundation: (602) 546-GIVE (4483)
Michael Joseph Arias (story on page 33)
2929 East Camelback Road, Suite 122 | Phoenix, Arizona 85016
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