Paula Belson, MSN CRNA--CRNA Manager

Paula Belson, CRNA, MSN is the Nurse Anesthetist Manager at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Paula completed her baccalaureate training at the University of California, Los Angeles and received her master’s degree in nurse anesthesia from the University of Southern California. She teaches SRNAs in both the clinical and didactic setting and is currently a student herself in the PhD program at the UCLA School of Nursing.


Christina Baggott, PhD RN PPCNP-BC CPON®--Clinical Research Nurse Practitioner

Christina Baggott currently works as a Clinical Research Nurse Practitioner at Stanford University in the Pediatric Cancer Cell Therapy Program. Dr. Baggott has been a pediatric oncology nurse for more than 30 years.  She received her BSN degree at the University of Alabama in 1986 followed by a Master of Nursing from Emory University in 1990 and a PhD from the University of California San Francisco in 2009. 


Laura Vasquez,BSN RN CPON®

Laura Vasquez is the autologous transplant coordinator for the BMT program at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and has over 20 years of pediatric oncology nursing experience. She obtained her Nursing degree from Los Angeles County College of Nursing and Allied Health and her BSN from Chamberlain College in Illinois.

Andrea R. Ramirez, MPH MSN CPNP-AC

Andrea is the newest member of the team at United Therapeutics (UT) and longtime member of APHON. Prior to her role as an Oncology Specialist with UT, she spent over a decade in the inpatient pediatric oncology setting as a nurse practitioner and bedside nurse. She obtained her nursing degrees from the University of Michigan and the University of Pennsylvania.

Closing Keynote: Why We Chose Nursing and How Nursing Continues to Choose Us (104)

Nurse Kelley explores the intimate moments we have within our profession that remind us why we chose nursing in the first place and how nursing continues to choose us throughout our career. Through sharing her journey in the Miss America Organization, Kelley explains how her year as Miss Colorado quickly turned into a year of nursing advocacy, thanks to comments about her monologue performance on the Miss America stage and the stethoscope around her neck made by the television show The View. There are two sides to every story, and you are not going to want to miss her.

General Session: Emotional Intelligence: A Daily Practice (103)

Emotional Intelligence (EQ) relates to the capacity of individuals to recognize their own and other people’s emotions, to discriminate between different feelings, and to use emotional information to guide their thinking and behavior. Emotional intelligence is said to account for two-thirds of the abilities deemed necessary for superior performance in leaders and matters twice as much as technical expertise or IQ. Other studies point to emotional intelligence being 4 times more predictive of success than IQ.

General Session: Controversies and Conundrums in the Use of Opioids in AYAs with Cancer (102)

This interactive session will equip pediatric oncology nurses with the skills that are essential in managing cancer pain while preventing abuse and diversion in adolescents and young adults (AYA) with cancer. The first half of the session will include advanced didactic content on the pharmacologic management of pain. Opioids, coanalgesics, equianalgesic conversion, and opioid rotation will be reviewed. The second half will be devoted to complex cases with information about successful models to use when managing patients with or at risk for opioid misuse, abuse, and diversion. Improvs will be used to illustrate difficult conversations with patients who demonstrate aberrant behaviors.

Opening Keynote: The American Nurse: Stories of Life-Changing Impact (101)

Filmmaker, photographer, and author Carolyn Jones has spent the past 8 years interviewing more than 200 nurses from every corner of the United States—creating a book and a film called The American Nurse—in an effort to better understand the role of nurses in this country’s healthcare system. In this presentation, Carolyn will share stories of her experience as a patient—her first and most personal introduction to a nurse’s impact—followed by stories of nurses she interviewed and photographed for The American Nurse Project Defining Hope and, most recently, her in-progress documentary focused on emergency nursing.

Paper Presentation: Education Across the Cancer Care Continuum — Evidence-Based Interprofessional Palliative Care Education: Lessons for Pediatric Oncology Clinicians (204-2)

Clinician education and expertise in palliative care vary widely across pediatric oncology programs, creating disparities in accessing and delivering much-needed services to children and their families. Providing interprofessional, onsite team training, as well as institution-wide support for ongoing palliative care education, is critical to improving quality of life for pediatric oncology care recipients.