Phoenix Children's Hospital Executive Bios
Robert L. Meyer, President and CEO
David Higginson, Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer
Betsy Kuzas, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
Craig McKnight, Executive Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer
Stacy Nicholson, MD, MPH, Physician in Chief
Daniel J. Ostlie, MD, Surgeon in Chief and Chair of Surgery
Steven Spalding, MD, Chief Clinical Integration and Medical Officer
Julie Bowman, MSN, RN, Senior Vice President, Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer
Robert Campbell, Senior Vice President of Business Development & Chief Strategy Officer
John Hamilton, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Phoenix Children's Medical Group
Chad Johnson, Senior Vice President and Executive Director, Phoenix Children's Care Network
Carmen Neuberger, Esq., Senior Vice President, Legal Affairs and General Counsel
Lisa Phelps, Senior Vice President, Human Resources
Vinay Vaidya, MD, Vice President, Chief Medical Information Officer
Jim Champlin, Vice President, Finance
Dave Cottle, Vice President, Planning, Design and Construction
Thomas J. Diederich, Vice President, Compensation and Benefits
Linda Flink, Vice President, Revenue Cycle
Connie Ford, RN, BSN, MHA, NEA-BC, Vice President, Professional Practice
Ethel Hoffman, Vice President, Managed Care and Business Development
Tamara Johnson, Vice President, Quality and Risk Management
Brian Meyer, Vice President, Information Technology
Annie Mooney, Vice President, Public Affairs and Advocacy
Kathleen Moore, RN, MSN, Vice President, Critical Care Services
Barbara Pankratz, RN, MSN, CNOR, Vice President, Perioperative Services
Gerald Roy, Vice President, Office of Business Integrity, Chief Compliance and Privacy Officer
Mark Thomas, Vice President, Employee Relations
Laurie Vasquez, RN, MSN, NE-BC, Vice President, Acute Care Services
Phoenix Children's Hospital Foundation Executives
Steve Schnall, Senior Vice President and Chief Development Officer, Foundation
President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
Robert L. “Bob” Meyer serves as Chief Executive Officer for Phoenix Children’s Hospital, recognized as a leading children’s hospital for its high volume and quality care. Located in Phoenix, AZ, Phoenix Children’s is one of the country’s largest and busiest children’s hospitals, with 433 licensed beds and a medical staff of nearly 1,000 practitioners across 75 pediatric specialties.
Under his leadership, the organization has clarified its vision for quality, growth and integration. With a focus on bringing care closer to home, Phoenix Children’s has grown from a single campus to offer services in a dozen clinical locations statewide and growing.
The entity’s inpatient, outpatient, emergency, trauma and urgent care services have been recognized as a Best Children’s Hospital by U.S. News & World Report, and by The Leapfrog Group, a coalition of employers who use the collective leverage of their large health care purchasing power to structure their insurance contracts to reward the highest performing hospitals. Phoenix Children’s is one of only 13 they named a Top Children’s Hospital.
Through a strategic alliance with Dignity Health Arizona, Phoenix Children’s serves as the pediatric affiliate of Dignity’s four Arizona hospitals. Meyer championed clinical integration and the establishment of Phoenix Children’s Care Network, Arizona’s only physician-led pediatric clinically integrated network. PCCN now features nearly 700 pediatric providers focused on delivering the highest quality care while managing the cost of care.
Meyer’s commitment to pediatric medical research and education is clear. Phoenix Children’s has a growing genomic research emphasis, having recently established the Chan Soon-Shiong Children’s Precision Medicine Institute. The hospital also serves as the Department of Child Health for the University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix. A robust residency program and growing fellowship offerings are equipping the next generation of pediatricians and specialists.
Meyer joined Phoenix Children’s Hospital in 2003, taking over the leadership of current operations and future growth for Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Phoenix Children’s Medical Group and the Phoenix Children’s Hospital Foundation.
Previously, Meyer served as Vice President and National Director for Health Strategy Practice for Cap Gemini Ernst & Young, based in Irvine, Calif. As a consultant, he was tapped by Phoenix Children's to stabilize the organization and cast a vision for future growth following a challenging chapter in the hospital’s history. During a tenure as interim CEO, Meyer is credited for the rapid and significant turnaround of the hospital's finances and operations, and in the permanent role he has been heralded for his strong operational and financial management skills, ability to unify diverse constituencies, and his strategic focus to realize the vision and mission of the hospital and advance pediatric health care in Arizona.
Meyer earned his Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Michigan, and became a Certified Public Accountant in 1981.
Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer
David Higginson joined Phoenix Children's in 2011 as the Chief Information Officer. As CIO, he oversaw all aspects of information and technology strategy, execution and design of systems implementation and growth and maintenance of the technology infrastructure. As Chief Administrative Officer, David is responsible for Human Resources, Information Technology, Process Optimization, and Materials Management. In addition, he is responsible for executive oversight of the Chan Soon-Shiong Children’s Precision Medicine Institute at Phoenix Children’s.
Higginson is also an innovator and entrepreneur. He successfully launched and developed his own healthcare software company, commercialized numerous innovations into patents and successful products, and is passionate about process improvement and operational efficiency. He speaks regularly at children’s hospital and healthcare IT conferences on the evolving role of technology as the efficiency platform that underpins care delivery, and the importance of the IT team as leaders of operational change.
Prior to taking his position at Phoenix Children’s, Higginson was Chief Information Technology Officer at Arkansas Children’s Hospital (ACH) in Little Rock, Arkansas. During his tenure at ACH, he implemented more than 500 systems and was instrumental in building the IT department as the hospital doubled in size. In 2003, Higginson was named one of the top 40 executives under 40 in Arkansas by the Business Journal.
After obtaining his degree in accounting/finance from University of Liverpool in the United Kingdom, he qualified as a Chartered Management Accountant in 1994 while working as an investment analyst in London. Since the age of ten, he began developing computer systems and combined his keen interest in computing with his financial expertise when he developed systems for Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) and the UK’s Royal Mail.
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
Betsy Kuzas has over 20 years of industry experience with a concentration in consulting. She was a Senior Manager with Capgemini (formerly Ernst & Young) in heath care management consulting. Specific areas of experience and demonstrated results include strategic planning, operational improvement, and enterprise turnaround, ranging from strategic agenda development, program and services planning/growth development, operations assessments and implementation. Betsy was the Project Director for the Capgemini turnaround at Phoenix Children's. Following Capgemini, she was the Senior Vice President, Clinical Services at Beth Israel Medical Center – Continuum Health Partners, Inc.
Currently as Executive Vice President & Chief Operations Officer, her responsibilities include patient care organization, professional services, support services and construction. She is currently responsible for the master facility plan, including the $538 million Expansion Campus project and satellite development. Her accomplishments to date include implementation of the hospital's satellite strategy specifically design, construction, operating budget and go-live, performance turnaround of outsourced Support Services, and assembling the team for the Master Facility Plan by developing an in-house Planning Design and Construction model, and implementation of the Thomas Campus Master Plan.
Betsy earned an MBA at Baldwin Wallace College, MT (ASCP) – University Hospital Heath System of Cleveland, and a BA from Miami University of Ohio.
Executive Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer
With more than 30 years of experience in healthcare financial management, Craig McKnight oversees all aspects of financial operations, government relations, materials management, revenue cycle, treasury, managed care contracting and decision support.
Before joining Phoenix Children's Hospital he had built an extensive career in the healthcare sector. He has served as the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Centura Health System, Colorado; the Hillcrest Healthcare System, Oklahoma; and Magellan Health Care Services. Prior to his direct involvement in health management, he was the Partner-in-Charge of Healthcare for Coopers & Lybrand L.L.P. in Los Angeles and Philadelphia.
McKnight earned his Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Brigham Young University, is a chartered Global Management Accountant, and is an active member of Healthcare Financial Management Association. He was named CFO of the Year in 2012 by Financial Executives International and was awarded a Lifetime Achievement in 2014 by the Phoenix Business Journal.
Physician in Chief
Prior to joining Phoenix Children’s, Dr. Nicholson held faculty positions at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) and Children’s National Medical Center (CNMC). At OHSU, he served in the roles of chair of Pediatrics, division head of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology and founding director of the Pediatric Neuro-oncology Program. He is a pediatric oncologist with expertise in brain tumors, new drug development and cancer survivorship. He is also keenly interested in faculty advancement and improving the health of children and adolescents.
As Physician-in-Chief, Dr. Nicholson is accountable for leadership and direction to the medical specialty divisions. He also provides executive oversight to Phoenix Children’s medical education initiatives and programs.
A native of Georgia, Dr. Nicholson earned his undergraduate degree from Furman University. He received his medical degree from the Medical College of Georgia and completed his master’s in public health at The George Washington University. Dr. Nicholson trained in pediatrics and pediatric hematology/oncology at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC, where he became the founding clinical director of the Pediatric Neuro-oncology Program. Dr. Nicholson also trained in cancer epidemiology at the National Cancer Institute. He has led and published clinical trials in pediatric oncology and studies of late effects and quality of life in cancer survivors. Nationally, Dr. Nicholson serves on the Board of Directors for the American Board of Pediatrics and chairs its pediatric hematology/oncology sub-board.
Surgeon in Chief and Chair of Surgery
As surgeon in chief, Dr. Ostlie is accountable for the Hospital’s surgical services and educational and research programs within the surgical divisions, including General Surgery, ENT, Trauma, Anesthesiology, Transplant, Dermatology, Urology, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Orthopedics, and Neurosurgery.
Prior to joining Phoenix Children’s, Dr. Ostlie served as surgeon in chief at American Family Children’s Hospital in Madison, WI, and held professor of Surgery and professor of Pediatrics positions at University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. Dr. Ostlie completed his residency in general surgery at Mayo Clinic Scottsdale from 1995 to 2000 and still has family in the area. Following fellowships at Cambridge University, Cambridge, UK, and Children’s Mercy Hospital, Kansas City, MO, he stayed on at Children’s Mercy, starting as a staff surgeon. During his 10 years with the institution, he rose through numerous leadership roles including vice chair of the Department of Surgery and program director of the Pediatric Surgery Residency.
Chief Clinical Integration and Medical Officer
As CCIMO, Dr. Spalding provides strategic direction in partnership with the leadership of Phoenix Children’s, the Phoenix Children’s Medical Group and the Phoenix Children’s Care Network in the development and execution of a comprehensive, system-wide strategy to support their enterprise transformation to value-based reimbursement care.
Prior to joining Phoenix Children’s, Dr. Spalding served as medical director of business intelligence for the Cleveland Clinic. He provided leadership and direction to the development of physician alignment strategies, leveraging data and analytical tools to promote quality outcomes, improve patient experience, and enhance operational and clinical efficiencies across the Cleveland Clinic enterprise. Dr. Spalding’s efforts in data and analytics also played a significant role in the creation of collaborations with quality and value between independent providers and the employed Cleveland Clinic physicians.
Dr. Spalding has also served as the director of clinical research for Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital and as the director for the Center of Pediatric Rheumatology.
Senior Vice President, Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer
Prior to joining Phoenix Children’s, Julie Bowman was the Chief Nursing Officer at Havasu Regional Medical Center in Lake Havasu City, AZ. Under Julie’s leadership, Havasu Regional implemented key initiatives that led to many improvements including work design processes that resulted in the accomplishment of Meaningful Use Stage 1 achievement, increased employee satisfaction, top box patient satisfaction scores, a 30% improvement of “on time” starts in the OR, and reductions of HACs and Harms.
Prior to her career at Havasu Regional Medical Center, Julie was the Chief Nursing Officer at Lima Memorial Hospital in Lima, OH where she was responsible for all facets of patient care for a 320 licensed bed acute care hospital. During her 29 year tenure at Lima, she was instrumental for the start-up of the hospital’s open heart program leading the team to the Society of Chest Pain Accreditation status. Julie’s area of leadership and clinical expertise in the critical care field is extensive as evidenced by the experience and knowledge she has gained from her various roles as an ICU staff nurse, Clinical Educator of Critical Care, Director of Critical Care and Administrative Director of Nursing.
Senior Vice President of Business Development & Chief Strategy Officer
Robert Campbell is responsible for Business Development, Strategic Planning, Clinically Integrated Network Development, service line planning and Marketing and Communications.
Prior to joining Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Campbell served as Chief Strategy Officer for the Arizona Region of Dignity Health (formerly Catholic Healthcare West), where he was the market leader for strategic planning, integrated network development, business planning, IT connectivity strategies and capital projects.
Campbell also played a leadership role in the $192 million development of the Mercy Gilbert Medical Center and the $125 million planned expansion of Chandler Regional Medical Center. Campbell is also not a stranger to Phoenix Children’s. In his capacity at Dignity Health, he was one of the key executives that lead the landmark strategic alliance with St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center and Phoenix Children’s.
Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Phoenix Children's Medical Group
John Hamilton joined Phoenix Children’s Hospital in 2015 and currently serves as Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Phoenix Children’s Medical Group (PCMG). John is responsible for the overall operations of over 300 employed physicians and providers. John spearheads the development, communication and implementation of effective growth strategies and process improvement for the medical group and associated service lines. John will continue to strengthen the operations and performance of PCMG in addition to pursuing new contracting strategies in alignment with the overall strategic plan for Phoenix Children’s Hospital.
Prior to his position at Phoenix Children’s, John was Vice President of Physician Practice Management at Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters Health System in Norfolk, VA. In this role, John was responsible for the overall operations of pediatric primary care and surgical sub-specialty corporations and service lines. John was previously employed at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio where he developed and led one of the largest pediatric accountable care organizations in the country, Partners for Kids. John brings extensive experience in the operations of clinically integrated physician networks, managed care contracting and payor relations.
John earned both his undergraduate degree and a Masters in Health Administration from Ohio University.
Senior Vice President and Executive Director, Phoenix Children's Care Network
Chad Johnson joined Phoenix Children’s as Senior Vice President and Executive Director of Phoenix Children’s Care Network in January 2015. Mr. Johnson formerly served as the Chief Executive Officer at Children’s Health Network in Minneapolis, Minnesota, a role he had held since February 2012. Prior to moving into the CEO role, Mr. Johnson supported Children’s Hospitals and Clinics with their Strategy and Business Development efforts from July 2006 to February 2012. Mr. Johnson has also supported numerous health care organizations through a consulting firm he founded in 1999 specializing in program management and healthcare strategy.
Senior Vice President, Legal Affairs and General Counsel
Carmen Neuberger, Esq., joined Phoenix Children’s as General Counsel in 2007. As Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Neuberger is responsible for managing the legal environment at Phoenix Children’s. This includes providing legal guidance, developing hospital-wide policies and procedures, counseling the Hospital on business transactions, and managing complex contractual relationships. She also is involved in the legal aspects of medical staff privileging and credentialing, risk management, patient-related matters, regulatory compliance and privacy, clinical research and employment law.
Neuberger graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Duke University. She worked as a critical care nurse for five years before earning her law degree at the George Washington University National Law Center in Washington, D.C.
Neuberger comes to Phoenix Children’s with over twenty years of experience in health care law. She started her legal career with eight years in private practice and then joined the Georgetown University Office of University Counsel. She most recently served as Senior Corporate Counsel for MedStar Health, a complex tri-state health care system based in the Mid-Atlantic region and composed of nine hospitals and approximately 26,000 employees. Neuberger has served as an adjunct faculty member for the Georgetown University School of Nursing and Health Studies, is an active member of the American Bar Association and the American Health Lawyers Association and is admitted to practice in Arizona, Virginia and Washington, D.C. In 2015, she was named the Arizona Non-Profit Attorney of the Year by the Association of Corporate Counsel.
As Senior Vice President of Human Resources, Phelps provides strategic leadership that will strengthen the human capital of Phoenix Children’s in support of future growth. She also develops and implements a vision for employee relationships promotes a high level of employee morale and works towards Phoenix Children’s gaining recognition as an employer-of-choice.
Phelps joins Phoenix Children’s from Oklahoma, where she served as Chief Human Resources Officer for Bob Moore Auto Group and Black Oak Partners, one of the top 100 auto groups in the country. Most notably, under her HR leadership at Chesapeake Energy Corporation, the second-largest producer of natural gas in the U.S., the company was named a Fortune Magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work for seven consecutive years. In her tenure as Vice President of Human Resources, Phelps transformed an administrative personnel of 22 supporting 4,500 employees to a leading Human Resources strategic business partner function, and built the Recruiting, HR Compliance and Training & Development departments from scratch. She grew and managed an HR department consisting of 105 employees to support over 12,000 employees in 140 locations in 17 states.
Phelps earned a bachelor’s degree in human resources at Golden Gate University and a Master’s of Business Administration from Our Lady of the Lake University.
Vice President, Finance
Jim Champlin has served as director of decision support for Phoenix Children’s since 2010.In that role, he was responsible for improving budgeting practices, internal financial and productivity reporting, coordinating Medicaid Electronic Health Care Record (EHR) incentive programs, providing critical strategic and analytical support for intergovernmental transactions and academic affiliations and developing key processes and support for the Executive Capital Committee.
Prior to joining Phoenix Children’s, Champlin worked as Financial Planning manager for BayCare Health System in Clearwater, Florida. He is a veteran of the U.S. Army 82nd Airborne Division. Champlin earned a Bachelor’s degree from the University of New Mexico and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix. He is a Certified Healthcare Financial Professional and a Fellow of the Healthcare Financial Management Association.
As the vice president of finance, Champlin is responsible for oversight of all finance, accounting and reporting activities. He also supports presentations for the finance and audit committees of the Phoenix Children’s Hospital Board of Directors, rating agencies and bond holders while also working closely with the Phoenix Children’s Hospital executive leadership team.
Vice President, Planning, Design and Construction
Before joining the Hospital, Dave Cottle worked for Poudre Valley Health System in Fort Collins, Colorado, where he managed the Medical Center of the Rockies hospital project; a $300 million LEED-certified building effort.With more than 40 years of construction and engineering field experience, including expertise with International Building Code (IBC), construction means and methods, site logics and planning and green-building strategies, Dave Cottle oversees all aspects of construction for the Phoenix Children’s Hospital. Cottle was brought on-board in 2006 to coordinate, plan and implement the Hospital’s five-year strategic plan. This included the development of the Planning, Design and Construction (PDC) department as well as supervising all architects, engineers, and the general contractor teams who recently completed $538 million Hospital expansion that included construction of a new, 11-story Hospital tower, four off-site specialty and urgent care clinics and several major renovations of Phoenix Children’s existing facilities.
Cottle earned his Green/ Built Certification and Construction Management degree from Colorado State University and is an active member of the American Society of Healthcare Engineers (ASHE) and the local chapter of Central Arizona Society of Healthcare Engineers (CASHE ). Cottle has spoken at a variety of ASHE conferences across the country where he’s shared his expertise on sustainable design and large-scale construction management.
Vice President, Compensation and Benefits
Tom Diederich brings more than 30 years of leadership experience in the Human Resources field, with an expertise in employee compensation and benefit programs. Diederich joined Phoenix Children’s Hospital in 2005, and currently serves as the Senior Vice President of Human Resources. Diederich was integral to the leadership team as they underwent a $538 million multi-year expansion of its main campus, which included the construction of an 11-story patient tower; the opening of four specialty and urgent care centers throughout the valley; and a landmark alliance with St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center – a collaboration that united the hospitals’ pediatric medical staff, nurses, allied and other professional service staff. This significant period of growth in Phoenix Children's history brought over 1,000 new jobs through the expansion project, and an additional 2,000 jobs in the new hospital.
Vice President, Revenue Cycle
Linda Flink, Vice President, Hospital Revenue Cycle, is responsible for the oversight of Patient Access, Financial Counseling, Health Information Management, Clinical Documentation Improvement, Billing, Collections and Customer Service. She is focused on transforming the Hospital Revenue Cycle into a leading practice.
She has more than 25 years of experience in business operations and information technology implementations. Flink has directed many successful revenue cycle operations improvement initiatives and has also led health information systems implementations. She has direct managerial experience in both hospitals and physician practices, and she has managed many successful cash acceleration initiatives. She started her health care career at The George Washington University Medical Center in Washington, D.C., and worked as a national healthcare consultant at Siemens, PwC, Ernst & Young and Accenture.
Ms. Flink received her Bachelor of Arts in history from the University of Pennsylvania.
Vice President, Professional Practice
As Vice President of Professional Practice, Connie Ford’s area of responsibility encompasses education as well as clinical and professional practice of nursing outcomes and research. She leads initiatives in both strategic and tactical levels around onboarding of new staff, provides continuing education programs and systems, and advances nursing outcomes through the management of nurse-sensitive quality indicators and evidence-based practice. Ford also collaborates with nursing leaders to develop and sustain an environment that promotes excellence in nursing practice.
Prior to taking her position at Phoenix Children’s, Ford spent her career at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital – a 271-bed free standing children’s hospital in Nashville, Tenn. Her clinical background is in pediatric Hematology/Oncology. Ford started as a staff nurse in both inpatient and clinic setting for pediatric oncology patients, managed the Hematology/Oncology clinic, directed the Pediatric Hematology/Oncology service line and ultimately served as Administrative Director of Inpatient Nursing Services as Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital.
Ford completed her BSN in 2001 from Excelsior College in Albany, N.Y. She completed her MHA from the University of Phoenix in 2005. Ford recently completed a Project Management training course and plans to become certified this year. Additionally, Ford received her Nurse Executive Advanced Board Certification through the American Nurses Credentialing Center in 2011.
Vice President, Managed Care and Business Development
Ethel Hoffman, Vice President, Managed Care and Business Development, oversees the contractual relationships between the Phoenix Children’s enterprise and third party payers in both the commercial and governmental business sectors. She is also responsible for aligning the managed care strategies with the development and growth of Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Phoenix Children’s Medical Group (PCMG), Centers of Excellence and Phoenix Children’s Care Network (PCCN).
Hoffman joined the Hospital in March 2004 as Director of Managed Care and has been an integral part of the Hospital’s growth and transformation. Before joining Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Hoffman held numerous leadership positions in health care institutions. Most recently, she served as Director, Provider Relations and Payer Contracting for the Cleveland Clinic where she played an integral part in creating the Cleveland Clinic Health System Physician Organization.
Hoffman earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Lake Erie College and a Masters of Business Administration degree with concentrations in health care administration, finance, and marketing from Cleveland State University. She is a Certified Healthcare Financial Professional (CHEP) and has achieved fellowship status (FHFMA) with Healthcare Financial Management Association. She currently serves on the National Advisory Council, Board of Examiners and Peer Review Panel for the Healthcare Financial Management Association.
Vice President, Quality and Risk Management
Tamara Johnson is responsible for overseeing and providing direction to both the quality and risk management departments and implementing organization-wide quality improvement and patient safety initiatives.
Her primary focus is in the area of risk reduction and loss prevention. This includes assessing and strengthening our risk identification program (through occurrence reports, root cause analysis, risk assessments, patient safety data, etc.), designing and developing policies and procedures and educational programs to foster continued awareness and understanding of risk and quality-related issues and initiatives, establishing and prioritizing process improvement initiatives, and developing successful strategies for managing serious safety events. Tamara will also play an integral role in implementing the Hospital's patient safety program and will work very closely with our clinical and medical staff, as well as senior leadership.
Tamara comes to Phoenix Children's with over twenty years of experience and leadership in the fields of risk management, patient safety, quality and process improvement. For the last eight years, Tamara served as the Director and then Senior Director of Risk Management and Patient Safety at Minnesota Children’s Hospitals and Clinics. While at Minnesota Children’s, Tamara was responsible for leading the successful integration of both the quality and risk management functions as part of the hospital’s overall patient safety program. Tamara was responsible for implementing performance improvement and service excellence, co-leading just culture implementation, and sponsoring Lean efforts to reduce medication errors. Tamara also oversaw the Minnesota Children’s application for Leapfrog recognition and helped the organization achieve Leapfrog designation status as a top ten hospital.
Tamara started her career as a registered nurse and is a certified professional in healthcare risk management (CPHRM).
Vice President, Information Technology
Brian Meyer serves as Vice President of Information Technology for Phoenix Children’s Hospital where he is responsible for all business operations systems including Administrative and Revenue Cycle as well as IT Customer Service including Project Management, Help Desk, Integration and Development.
Meyer is an experienced leader in the health care information technology community with more than 15 years of experience in business process improvement, information technology strategy, governance, and implementations. He joined Phoenix Children’s Hospital in 2010 as the Director of Business Information Systems. Previously, Meyer was Director of Practice Operations for an Oracle business partner in Cincinnati, OH.
Meyer received his Bachelor of Business Administration in Information Systems at the University of Cincinnati.
Vice President, Public Affairs and Advocacy
With more than 20 years of experience in health care and government relations, Annie Mooney leads the Phoenix Children’s focus on state and federal legislation, appropriations and relationship management including the development of strategic policy initiatives; promoting constituent and employee advocacy for children and pediatric health care, maintaining strong relationships and effective communications; and advancing the organization’s financial stability. She is a respected leader in her field, earning the trust and support of some of the most influential political, corporate, and industry decision makers in Arizona and in Congress.
Prior to joining Phoenix Children’s, Mooney led the integrated departments of government, community, and public relations for CIGNA HealthCare and served as business and product development leader for Schaller Anderson. She served in Arizona Governor Fife Symington’s administration, and has been integrally involved in public policy and political campaigns ranging from gubernatorial to congressional, as well as state-wide initiatives and legislative races. In 2007, Mooney joined Phoenix Children’s Hospital as a consultant, creating the government relations department. A year later, she became an employee of the Hospital overseeing all aspects of state and federal legislation, appropriations, electioneering, and relationship management.
A native of California, Mooney attended Pepperdine University majoring in Business Administration. Board and community affiliations include: Arizona Chamber of Commerce, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association, National Association of Children’s Hospitals, and is a Life Member of the Fiesta Bowl.
Vice President, Critical Care Services
As Vice President of Critical Care Services, Kathleen Moore is responsible for the largest pediatric critical care program in the Southwest. This includes the Emergency Department, Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, the Phoenix Children’s Heart Center’s Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit, a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and encompasses more than 100 beds where Phoenix Children’s cares for the most critically ill children in the region. She also oversees the Phoenix Children’s Respiratory Care team, Critical Care educators and the Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation program (ECMO), an integrated team that provides heart-lung bypass support. It is the only Arizona program nationally certified as a center of excellence by ELSO.
Kathleen first joined Phoenix Children’s in September, 2013 as Director of Emergency Services and has been instrumental in managing patient care and the volumes and workflow in our Emergency Department. Prior to Phoenix Children’s, Kathleen spent the majority of her 23 year nursing career at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minnesota, where she held positions in Critical Care and leadership. Most recently she was responsible for their Level 1 trauma ED with 90,000+ annual visits, Urgent Care and SANE program.
Kathleen has a BSN and MSN in Leadership and Management from Metropolitan State University.
Vice President, Perioperative Services
Barbara Pankratz joined Phoenix Children’s Hospital in September, 2013, as Vice President of Perioperative Services. In this role she is responsible for operative and post-operative care. Before joining Phoenix Children’s, she served for 25 years in perioperative services at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics in Madison, Wisconsin. As the Director of Surgical Services, Barbara led the department’s expansion, growing from 14 to 44 operating rooms including an angiosuite, intraoperative MRI and the Children’s Hospital Surgical Suite at American Family Children’s Hospital. She was the first to be awarded the Nurse Excellence and the UWHC Presidential Leadership Awards.
Previously, Barbara also served as the Vice-Chair and Chair of the University Health System Consortium Perioperative Council, a member of the Novation Perioperative and a member of the OR Manager Advisory Board. She received her BSN and MSN from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Vice President, Office of Business Integrity, Chief Compliance and Privacy Officer
As the Chief Compliance and Privacy Officer, Gerry is responsible for leading the PCH compliance and privacy program. Gerry’s chief areas of focus are to ensure ongoing program effectiveness, monitor the day-to-day compliance activities of our hospital enterprise, and develop, implement and oversee a comprehensive compliance work plan.
Gerry recently retired from a career spanning 26 years with the federal government, primarily with the Office of Inspector General for Health and Human Services (OIG) where he focused on health care law enforcement and the oversight of public entitlement programs, including Medicare, Medicaid and HHS grant programs. During his tenure with the OIG, Gerry was selected to assume various senior management and senior executive positions, including serving as the Special Agent in Charge for the Kansas City Regional Office, as well as the Deputy Inspector General for Investigations in Washington, D.C. Gerry has worked extensively with the OIG Office of Counsel on compliance issues and strategy. He also has been actively involved with the Health Care Compliance Association and instrumental in forming an executive compliance dashboard for healthcare organizations.
Gerry is a graduate of the University of California at San Diego and holds a Master’s Degree in Criminology, Law and Society from the University of California at Irvine.
Vice President, Employee Relations
Mark Thomas serves as Vice President of Employee Relations where he is responsible for all aspects of employee relations and leadership development, with a focus on enhancing employee relations culture and communications. Thomas is a senior human resources executive with extensive healthcare experience and an outstanding record of strategically linking HR and organizational strategy.
Prior to joining Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Thomas served as Vice President of Human Resources for Reading Health System in Pennsylvania. He also held positions as Vice President of Human Resources and Organizational Development at Greater Baltimore Medical Center, along with senior leadership positions with Regional West Health Services, Alegent Health, Franciscan Health System and Tulsa Regional Medical Center.
Thomas earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial relations from Rockhurst University and a master’s degree in industrial and organizational psychology from the University of Tulsa.
Vice President, Acute Care Services
As Vice President of Acute Care Services, Laurie Vasquez is responsible for a majority of inpatient units on the main campus as well as Phoenix Children’s Hospital at Mercy Gilbert Medical Center. This ranges from inpatient psychiatry units to hematology/oncology, cardiac telemetry, neurology, orthopedics and others. She also oversees clinical operations for the hospital’s observation and rehabilitation units.
Laurie joined Phoenix Children's as a NICU nurse in 1983, when Phoenix Children’s was first established. Over the years, she has taken on increasing responsibility, and was named Director of the NICU in 1992. In this role, she oversaw significant expansion to the unit as well as implementation of ECMO, high frequency ventilation and development care programs.
In 2011, Laurie was named Vice President of Acute Care Services. In this role, she led the transition of pediatric services and staff from St Joseph's Medical Center as a part of our alliance with Dignity Health. She continues to support the Phoenix Children’s nursing staff in this changing health care environment as they learn new technologies, expand treatment options and deliver family centered care.
Laurie earned her BSN from the University of Iowa and MSN from Grand Canyon University. She is a long-time board member for the Arizona Perinatal Trust.
Vice President, Chief Medical Information Officer
Vinay Vaidya, MD, is the chief medical information officer at Phoenix Children's Hospital. He brings to the position more than 20 years of clinical experience, including six as a general pediatrician and 14 as a pediatric intensive care physician. In addition, Dr. Vaidya has more than 11 years of experience in the development, implementation, dissemination, and support of innovative information technology solutions aimed at improving the safety, quality, and efficiency of medical care at the local and national levels.
In his role, Vaidya serves as a liaison between the Information Technology Department and the clinical staff, providing reviews of medical informatics experiences and approaches, while also developing technical and application implementation strategies. Additionally, he manages the implementation of advanced clinical information systems and works closely with Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, David Higginson in the development of strategic plans for clinical information systems. In a unique arrangement allowing him to work in clinic, Vaidya also spends up to 20 percent of his time serving as a critical care physician in Phoenix Children's Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.
Phoenix Children's Hospital Foundation Executives
Senior Vice President and Chief Development Officer, Foundation
Steven Schnall has served Phoenix Children's since 1983. As Senior Vice President and Chief Development Officer, Phoenix Children's Hospital Foundation, Schnall provides leadership for all aspects of philanthropy for the Hospital, including principle gifts, events and planned giving. Under his direction the Foundation has led successful campaigns that supported development of the freestanding Phoenix Children's, as well as the Julie and Tim Louis Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
Schnall's prior roles at Phoenix Children's included Vice President, Business Development and Outreach where his responsibilities included strategic planning, community relations, physician relations and grants. Schnall has also served as Vice President, Ambulatory Services and additional administrative posts for the Hospital.
Schnall is a graduate of Arizona State University where he received a Bachelor of Arts, Psychology. He received a Master of Arts in Organizational Management from University of Phoenix.