Speakers

We've assembled some of the industry's leading experts to present the latest trends in pediatric hematology/oncology nursing practice. We are certain you'll gain valuable information and education while improving your professional development. Click on each speaker's name to view their full bio and list of sessions they are presenting.

Stefanie Pieper, MSN RN CCRN--Clinical Nurse Coordinator of PICU Data Collection

Stefanie Pieper, MSN RN CCRNClinical Nurse Coordinator of PICU Data Collection

Stefanie Pieper graduated from the Cizik School of Nursing, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston with a BSN in 2014. After graduation, she started at Texas Children’s Hospital – Main Campus in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. She was a full-time staff nurse for four years before starting data collection for the unit. She is currently the Clinical Nurse Coordinator for all three Texas Children’s campuses PICUs’ data collection.
Maria Cristina Pinero, BSN RN CPHON®--Clinical Nurse IV

Maria Cristina Pinero, BSN RN CPHON®Clinical Nurse IV

Maria Cristina Pinero, BSN, RN, CPHON graduated from Boston College and has been a nurse for almost 25 years. As Clinical Nurse IV her concentration has been in coordination of clinical operations. She has been instrumental in creating our Pediatric Ambulatory Care Center (PACC) outpatient acuity scale and Clinical Resource Nurse role.

Session(s)
Using Your Resources-The Role Of A Clinical Resource Nurse 208-2
Facility
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Location
New York, New York
Kristen Powaski, BSN RN CPHON®--Nurse Manager

Kristen Powaski, BSN RN CPHON®Nurse Manager

Kristen Powaski is the Nurse Manager of the Hematology/Oncology & BMT Department, the pediatric infusion center, and all subspecialty care coordinators at Cleveland Clinic Children’s. Kristen has been a nurse for the last 25 years at Cleveland Clinic Children’s, serving in direct patient care and leadership roles in both the inpatient and outpatient settings. She has maintained CPHON certification since 2003, and has been an APHON Chemotherapy and Biotherapy Instructor since 2012. She obtained her BSN in 1997 from Kent State University and is currently pursuing a MSN in Nursing Leadership at Grand Canyon University with an anticipated graduation in April of 2023.
Session(s)
Improving the Efficiency and Efficacy for Patients in Sickle Cell Crisis in the Outpatient Setting (229-3)
Facility
Cleveland Clinic Foundation
Location
Mentor, Ohio
Kimberly Pyke-Grimm, PhD RN--Nurse Scientist

Kimberly Pyke-Grimm, PhD RNNurse Scientist

Dr. Kimberly Pyke-Grimm is a Nurse Scientist at the Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford Health. She is a long time member of APHON and has presented at previous APHON meetings in the areas of treatment decision making, bioethics, and other areas of pediatric hematology/oncology nursing.
Session(s)

Preschool-Aged Child Self-Reported Cancer Communication Preferences (211-2)

 

Facility
Stanford Children's Hospital
Location
Palo Alto, California
Shannon Raber, RN MS CPNP-AC--Neuro-Oncology Nurse Practioner

Shannon Raber, RN MS CPNP-ACNeuro-Oncology Nurse Practioner

Shannon Raber is an acute care pediatric nurse practitioner in the Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Program at UCSF. She has worked as a pediatric oncology nurse, in both inpatient and outpatient settings, since 2003. For the past ten years, Raber’s primary patient care interests include supportive care and symptom management for children and young adults with CNS tumors. Areas of interest she is pursuing in research include using telehealth to the patient’s home in the pediatric neuro-oncology population and implementing emerging therapies using precision medicine for pediatric brain tumors.
Rima Saad, PhD MSN RN CPHON®--Project Coordinator-Global Nursing

Rima Saad, PhD MSN RN CPHON®Project Coordinator-Global Nursing

Dr Rima Saad is a Project Coordinator-Global Nursing at Saint Jude Children's Research Hospital. She is a Certified Pediatric Hematology Oncology Nurse (CPHON) .with 15 years clinical experience at the Children's Cancer Institute in Lebanon. Her work experience has encompassed several nursing roles the latest being Clinical Nurse Specialist for pediatric oncology.
Session(s)
Primary Caregivers’ Knowledge Attitudes and Beliefs toward Palliative Care for Children with Cancer (235-3)
Facility
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
Location
Memphis Tennessee
Beth Savage, PhD CPNP CPON®--Assistant Professor

Beth Savage, PhD CPNP CPON®Assistant Professor

Dr. Beth Savage is an Assistant Professor with the Rutgers School of Nursing, Division of Nursing Scientist. She holds a dual faculty appointment as a member of the Pediatric Population Science, Outcomes, and Disparities Research program in the Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey. As a nurse scientist, Dr. Savage is committed to building a program of research in which data-driven inquiry is translated into improvements in the delivery of care with the goal of alleviating the impact of curative therapy for all children with cancer. This research is focused on the mitigation of the effect of social determinants of health on outcomes.
Kaye Schmidt, MA RN NEA-BC CPHON®--Senior Director; Center for Cancer & Blood Disorders

Kaye Schmidt, MA RN NEA-BC CPHON®Senior Director; Center for Cancer & Blood Disorders

Kaye Schmidt received her BSN at South Dakota State University in 1983, and her Master's in Nursing from the University of Iowa in 1991. She is currently the Senior Director of the Center for Cancer & Blood Disorders at Children's Health in Dallas. She has spent her entire career in pediatric hematology-oncology, including 35 years in management. She has been in her current position for almost 19 years. As a senior nursing leader in her current position, she has experienced many leadership challenges and the ever-changing expectations of the workforce over time.
Ginny Schulz, PhD RN CPNP-PC--Nurse Scientist

Ginny Schulz, PhD RN CPNP-PCNurse Scientist

Dr. Schulz is a Nurse Scientist and Pediatric Nurse Practitioner who works in the Division of Hematology/Oncology at the Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. Her program of research focuses on treatment decision making in families facing bone marrow translplant and other hematology/oncology disorders.
Session(s)

Preschool-Aged Child Self-Reported Cancer Communication Preferences (211-2)

 

Facility
Washington University in St. Louis, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Hematology/Oncology
Location
St. Louis, Missouri
Rita Secola, PhD RN FAAN--Clinical Services Director

Rita Secola, PhD RN FAANClinical Services Director

Rita Secola is the Clinical Services Director for the Hematology-Oncology Service Line at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA). She has over 30 years of pediatric nursing experience. She obtained her BSN from Carlow College and MSN from the University of Pittsburgh, both in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and her PhD from the School of Nursing at the University of California Los Angeles. She was inducted into the American Academy of Nursing in October 2013.

Kimberly Shepherd, BSN RN CPHON®--Registered Nurse

Kimberly Shepherd, BSN RN CPHON®Registered Nurse

Kimberly Shepherd is a certified pediatric Hematology/Oncology nurse working on the inpatient unit at Boston Children's Hospital. She has worked in this specialty for the past seven years and now serves as a preceptor and resource RN and is pursuing her PNP degree. She was a global health nursing fellow from 2019-2022 where she provided nursing education locally in Boston as well as in Ghana and Myanmar, continuing throughout the pandemic.
Fernanda Silva-Rodrigues, PhD RN--Assistant Professor

Fernanda Silva-Rodrigues, PhD RNAssistant Professor

Fernanda M Silva-Rodrigues, RN, Ph.D. is a pediatric oncology nurse and an assistant professor of pediatric nursing at Santa Casa de Sao Paulo School of Medical Sciences, São Paulo, Brazil. Her research focuses on family-centered care, pediatric chronic conditions, childhood cancer, and symptom management.
Session(s)
Translating Evidence into Practice: A Workshop Providing Mentorship, Collaboration, and Support to Assist in Implementation of EBP/QI Projects (003)
Facility
Santa Casa de Sao Paulo School of Medical Sciences
Location
São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
Micah Skeens, PhD PNP RN --Principle Investigator

Micah Skeens, PhD PNP RN Principle Investigator

Dr. Skeens has been a pediatric oncology nurse for over 20 years, much of that career has been spent caring for children and families undergoing bone marrow transplant. She is currently a Principal Investigator and Nurse Scientist at the Abigail Wexner Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. She continues to practice clinically as a nurse practitioner with the Embryonal Tumor Team. Dr. Skeens completed her master’s degree and advanced practice degree from Wright State University in 2003 and her PhD from Vanderbilt University in 2018. She completed a post-doctoral fellowship at NCH in the Center of Biobehavioral Health.
Kristin Stegenga, PhD RN CPON®--Nurse Researcher, Editor of JOPHON

Kristin Stegenga, PhD RN CPON®Nurse Researcher, Editor of JOPHON

Kristin Stegenga is a nurse researcher at Children's Mercy in Kansas City. She is also the editor of APHON's journal, the Journal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Nursing.
Ann Marie Sterk

Anne Marie Sterk, RN MSN CPON®Unit Based Educational Coordinator

Anne Marie Sterk has enjoyed nursing as a second career for almost 15 years. After initially entering the workforce as a healthcare administrator, she decided to pursue her true passion of nursing and went back to school at the Borough of Manhattan Community College. Anne Marie has focused on pediatric hematology/oncology for most of her nursing career. Through precepting, she found her passion for teaching and eventually pursued her master’s degree in nursing education from Mercy College. Five years ago, she was lucky enough to transition to a pediatric hem/onc unit educator position, which enabled her to continue working with her current unit and colleagues. Anne Marie loves what she does and the great things that can be accomplished.

Session(s)

Pediatric Chemotherapy and Biotherapy Instructor Course (002)

Chemo/Bio Instructors Townhall (TH1)

Facility
Montefiore Medical Center
Location
Bronx, New York
Sarah Tarquini, PhD--Senior Psychologist

Sarah Tarquini, PhDSenior Psychologist

Sarah Tarquini, PhD, is currently the Clinical Director of Psychosocial Services for the Pediatric Stem Cell Transplant Program at Dana-Farber Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center and an Instructor of Psychology at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Tarquini completed her clinical psychology graduate studies at the University of South Florida and subsequently completed a specialized internship and post-doctoral fellowship in pediatric psychology at the Yale Child Study Center.

Session(s)
HSCT for MPS disorders (Hunters and Hurlers) (217-2)
Facility
Dana-Farber Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center
Location
Boston, Massachusetts
Jennifer Tiller, MSN APRN CPNP-PC CPHON®--Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

Jennifer Tiller, MSN APRN CPNP-PC CPHON®Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

Jen Tiller is a pediatric nurse practitioner with the Children's Blood and Cancer Center at Ascension Dell Children's Medical Center in Austin, TX. She has practiced in both oncology and hematology with her current practice based in outpatient ambulatory as well as inpatient hematology. She is an active member of COG Nursing and is a member of the EBP Team creating educational recommendations for ALK/MEK Inhibitors.

Laurie Toepfer MSN APRN FNP-C--Nurse Practitioner

Laurie Toepfer MSN APRN FNP-CNurse Practitioner

Laurie completed her BSN at the University of Texas at Houston and began her career as a bedside nurse working in pediatric oncology at the MD Anderson Children's Cancer Hospital. After 5 years, she went on to earn her MSN and now is practicing as a nurse practitioner in the pediatric leukemia/lymphoma section at MD Anderson. She has been with the institution for twelve years and has been able to be a part of making cancer history where they continue to offer new emerging therapies and hope for children with cancer.
Session(s)
Renewed Hope for the Future: Menin Inhibitors for Relapsed/Refractory Leukemia (233)
Facility
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Location
Houston, Texas
Joanne Torok-Castanza, MSN RN CPNP-PC FNP-PC BMTCN®--Nurse Practitioner

Joanne Torok-Castanza, MSN RN CPNP-PC FNP-PC BMTCN®Nurse Practitioner

Joanne Torok-Castanza has been a pediatric nurse practitioner at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center with the pediatric transplant and cell therapy team for the past 25 years. She has cared for a growing group of patients with non malignancies pursuing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Joanne received her MSN in pediatric primary care from Columbia University and her family health certificate of advance practice as a family health NP.
Session(s)
Toward a Cure for Sickle Cell Disease: Exploring Gene Therapy (210)
Facility
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Location
Manhattan, New York
Lisa Triche, DNP APRN CPNP CHPON®--Nurse Practitioner

Lisa Triche, DNP APRN CPNP CHPON®Nurse Practitioner

Lisa Triche is a pediatric nurse practitioner with more than 18 years of experience in pediatric oncology. Lisa works at the Children's Cancer Hospital at MD Anderson and cares for patients with a variety of oncologic diagnoses. Her background includes pediatric leukemia and lymphoma, pediatric onco-nephrology, and she recently transitioned to a leadership role. Lisa completed her DNP in 2019 and is focused on quality improvement and evidence-based care.
Session(s)
Bench to Bedside: DNP and Nurse Researcher Collaboration (206)
Facility
MD Anderson Cancer Center
Location
Houston, Texas
Simone Weinmann MS, LGC, CGC--Pediatric Hematology Oncology Genetic Counselor

Simone Weinmann MS, LGC, CGCPediatric Hematology Oncology Genetic Counselor

As a new genetic counselor, Simone Weinmann feels very lucky to have the opportunity to work with patients in pediatric Hematology, Oncology, BMT. Genetic testing can be a complex choice for families. Many of the concepts we discuss in our sessions are novel to the families and patients we serve. For some, the choice to proceed with genetic testing is clear, but for others, the path forward is not as obvious. Simone feels privileged to assist these families and my patients in navigating which options will serve them best, and why. Simone is also passionate about education, and has found great joy in providing direct education to our sickle cell patients and their families. Simone believes that self-advocacy is one of the greatest skills we can impart on our patients, and that a strong knowledge base can be instrumental in building those skills. Simone looks forward to a future where genetics is accessible to anyone who can benefit from it.
Session(s)
Sickle Cell Disease and Increased Hemolysis. When to Consider Evaluating for A Concurrent Hereditary Hemolytic Condition (213-2)
Facility
Nationwide Children's Hospital
Location
Columbus, Ohio
Kari Wheeler, BSN RN BMTCN  CPN CPHON®--Clinical Nurse

Kari Wheeler, BSN RN BMTCN CPN CPHON®Clinical Nurse

Kari Wheeler, BSN, RN, BMTCN®, CPHON®, CPN, is a clinical nurse in the Pediatric Infusion Clinic at the Inova Schar Cancer Institute in Falls Church, Virginia. She received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from DeSales University.

Session(s)
Local Chapters Strategies Session
Facility
Inova Schar Cancer Institute Pediatric Infusion Center
Location
Gaithersburg, Maryland
Meagan Whisenant, PhD APRN--Assistant Professor

Meagan Whisenant, PhD APRNAssistant Professor

Dr. Whisenant is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Research at the Cizik School of Nursing The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston and an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Nursing at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Dr. Whisenant completed a NINR T32 funded Postdoctoral Fellowship in Interdisciplinary Research in Cancer, Aging, and End of Life Care at the University of Utah, College of Nursing and a Hawn Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Department of Symptom Research.

Session(s)
Examining Existential Distress in Adolescents with Advanced Cancer (205-3)
Facility
UTHealth Cizik School of Nursing
Location
Houston, Texas