Get to know our executive leadership team at Phoenix Children's.
Phoenix Children's Hospital Executives
- Robert L. Meyer, President and CEO
- David Higginson, Executive Vice President, Chief Innovation Officer
- Kari Cornicelli, Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer
- Carmen Neuberger, JD, Executive Vice President, Legal Affairs and General Counsel
- Daniel J. Ostlie, MD, Surgeon in Chief and Chair of Surgery
- Jared T. Muenzer, MD, MBA, Physician in Chief, Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Chief Operating Officer, Phoenix Children’s Medical Group
- Stewart Goldman, MD, Senior Vice President of Research and Chair of the Department of Child Health
- Michael Ritchey, MD, Chief Medical Officer
- Rhonda Thompson, Senior Vice President, Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer
- Rich Lehmuth, Senior Vice President, Strategic Planning & Chief Strategy Officer
- Brian Meyer, Chief Information Officer, Senior Vice President, Information Technology
- Tamra L. Kaplan, Senior Vice President, Operations
- Russ Korcuska, CPC, Senior Vice President, Construction and Special Projects
- Chad Johnson, Senior Vice President and Executive Director, Phoenix Children's Care Network
Phoenix Children's Hospital Foundation Executives
- Steve Schnall, Senior Vice President and Chief Development Officer, Foundation
- Tim Harrison, Vice President, Corporate Partnerships & Special Events
- Kelly Lane, CFRE, Vice President, Foundation Operations
- Kelley Morris, Vice President, Individual Giving
Robert L. Meyer
President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
Robert “Bob” Meyer is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Phoenix Children’s, one of the nation’s largest pediatric healthcare systems.
Since joining Phoenix Children’s in 2003, Meyer has made numerous contributions to the hospital and the communities it serves. He is credited for the rapid and significant turnaround of the hospital's finances and operations, unifying diverse constituents and unifying the hospital’s vision for quality, growth and integration — bringing pediatric care closer to home for families across Arizona.
Under his leadership, Phoenix Children’s has expanded from a single campus to a growing health system offering services at dozens of clinical sites across the state. Phoenix Children’s is consistently recognized as a top pediatric hospital by U.S. News & World Report and The Leapfrog Group, a coalition of employers focused on healthcare safety and quality.
Meyer led the development of clinical integration at Phoenix Children’s with the establishment of the Phoenix Children’s Care Network, Arizona’s only physician-led pediatric network. Through a strategic alliance with Dignity Health Arizona, Phoenix Children’s now serves as the pediatric affiliate for all four of Dignity’s Arizona hospitals.
Meyer is staunchly committed to pediatric medical research and education. Phoenix Children’s serves as the Department of Child Health for the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix.
Prior to his work with Phoenix Children’s, Meyer served as Vice President and National Director for Health Strategy Practice for Cap Gemini Ernst & Young and Chief Financial Officer for Hamot Medical Center.
Meyer holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Michigan and is a licensed Certified Public Accountant.
Executive Vice President, Chief Innovation Officer
David Higginson has dedicated more than 25 years to children's health care and joined Phoenix Children's in 2011 as the Chief Information Officer (CIO). As CIO, he oversaw all aspects of information technology strategy, project execution, systems design, and technology infrastructure maintenance. Phoenix Children's implemented a fully integrated EMR, Billing, and ancillary clinical systems with a single database and product line integration under his direction. Before transitioning to his current role as Chief Innovation Officer in 2020, David served as Phoenix Children's Chief Operating Officer beginning in 2018, where he was responsible for Nursing, Operations, Information Technology, Supply Chain, Process Optimization and Marketing.
Higginson is an innovator and entrepreneur. He successfully launched and developed his own health care software company, commercialized numerous innovations into patents and successful products and is passionate about operational efficiency and process improvement. He regularly speaks at health care conferences on the evolving role of technology as the efficiency platform underpinning care delivery and the importance of operationalizing the insights provided by data in the EMR. In 2016, Higginson was named "CHIME Innovator of the Year" and was awarded AZ Top Tech's "CIO of the Year" in 2017 and the Phoenix Children's IT department has twice been recognized as the Best Healthcare IT department in the US.
Before taking his position at Phoenix Children's, Higginson was Chief Information Technology Officer at Arkansas Children's Hospital (ACH) in Little Rock. During his 16-year tenure at ACH, he implemented more than 500 systems and was instrumental in building the IT and research departments as the hospital doubled in size.
After obtaining his degree in accounting/finance from the University of Liverpool in the United Kingdom, he qualified as a Chartered Management Accountant in 1994 while working as an investment analyst in London. At the age of 10, he began developing computer systems. He combined his keen interest in computing with his financial expertise when he developed systems for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the UK's Royal Mail.
Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer
Kari Cornicelli, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Phoenix Children's, brings more than 30 years of experience to the organization, with expertise in healthcare finance and value growth. As Chief Financial Officer, Cornicelli leads broad financial initiatives across the health system in both for-profit and nonprofit environments. She works to grow enterprise value and has significant experience in developing healthcare reform initiatives like population health strategies. Transparent and collaborative, Cornicelli takes great pride in mentoring younger professionals.
Cornicelli joined Phoenix Children’s from San Diego, where she worked as the Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for the Sharp Metropolitan Medical Campus. During her successful 22-year tenure, Cornicelli worked to grow the enterprise into the 1,036-bed, $1.3 billion enterprise it is today.
Active in the Healthcare Financial Management Association, Cornicelli has served as both the San Diego Chapter president and national chair. She has contributed to several national task forces, and she frequently speaks at healthcare finance conferences.
Cornicelli previously served on the California Hospital Association Board of Directors and on the Neighborhood Healthcare Board of Directors. In 2015, she was named to Becker’s Hospital Review’s list of 150 Hospital and Health System CFOs to Know and Becker’s 130 Women Hospital and Health System Leaders to Know in 2017, 2016 and 2015.
Cornicelli earned a degree in accounting from Weber State University. She is a licensed Certified Public Accountant and a Healthcare Financial Management Association Fellow and a graduate of the California Healthcare Leadership Program.
Carmen Neuberger, J.D.
Executive Vice President, Legal Affairs and General Counsel
Carmen Neuberger, J.D., joined Phoenix Children’s Hospital as General Counsel in 2007. As Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Neuberger is responsible for managing the legal environment at Phoenix Children’s. This includes providing legal guidance across the enterprise, developing hospital-wide policies and procedures, counseling the hospital on business transactions and managing complex contractual relationships and affiliations. As General Counsel, Neuberger is responsible for overseeing legal affairs, quality and risk management, compliance/privacy, government relations and security.
Neuberger graduated cum laude with a BS 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 more than 30 years of experience in health care law. She started her legal career with eight years in private practice and joined the Georgetown University Office of University Counsel. Most recently, she served as Senior Corporate Counsel for MedStar Health, a complex tri-state health care system based in the mid-Atlantic region and comprised of nine hospitals and approximately 30,000 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, Neuberger was named the Arizona "Non-Profit Attorney of the Year" by the Association of Corporate Counsel. In 2019, the Phoenix Business Journal recognized Neuberger as the winner of the Health Care Heroes award (non-physician category). In 2019, Neuberger was selected as a finalist by the Phoenix Business Journal for General Counsel of the year. Neuberger currently serves as a member of the National Advisory Child Health & Human Development Council of the National Institutes of Health, a four-year appointment she received from the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services. As a member of the Council, Neuberger is tasked with advising and making recommendations to the U.S. Secretary on research relating to reproductive health and pediatric growth and development.
Daniel J. Ostlie, MD
Surgeon-in-Chief and Chair of Surgery
As Surgeon-in-Chief and Chair of Surgery, Dr. Ostlie is accountable for Phoenix Children's Hospital’s surgical services and leadership within all surgical divisions, including General Surgery, ENT, Dermatology, Urology, Congenital Heart Surgery, Orthopedics, Neurosurgery, Ophthalmology, Plastic Surgery, Trauma, Anesthesiology and Transplant.
Dr. Ostlie also provides administrative and clinical leadership to four clinical program centers that encompass multiple divisions. These include the hospitalists and critical care program, the neurosciences institute, and the heart center. He remains committed to education and research, and has administrative oversight for both the research and educational endeavors at Phoenix Children’s Hospital.
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, during which time he also spent one year as a research fellowship at Cambridge University, Cambridge, UK. After general surgery residency, he completed his pediatric surgery fellowship and surgical critical care fellowship at Children’s Mercy Hospital, Kansas City, MO, where he stayed on, 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 both the Pediatric Surgery Residency and Surgical Critical Care Fellowship. Dr. Ostlie and his wife have immediate family in the Phoenix area and are excited to continue their support of the communities and children of the Valley.
Jared Muenzer, MD, MBA
Physician in Chief, Phoenix Children’s Hospital
Chief Operating Officer, Phoenix Children’s Medical Group
As Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Phoenix Children’s Medical Group (PCMG), Dr. Muenzer is accountable for the overall operations of more than 500 employed physicians and providers. He also spearheads the development, communication and implementation of effective growth strategies and process improvement for the medical group and associated service lines. Dr. Muenzer also provides administrative and clinical leadership to four clinical centers that encompass multiple divisions. These include the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders, Emergency and Urgent Care services, Aerodigestive and Medical Subspecialties. Dr. Muenzer remains committed to Patient, Safety and Quality and has administrative oversight for these programs at Phoenix Children's Hospital.
Prior to this position, Dr. Muenzer served in the division of Emergency Medicine as a physician. He has also served as Medical Director of Phoenix Children's Medical Group, Associate Director of the Emergency Department, Program Director of the Pediatric Emergency Medicine fellowship program and Vice President of the Medical Staff.
Stewart Goldman, MD
Senior Vice President of Research and Chair of the Department of Child Health
Stewart Goldman, MD, is an internationally renowned pediatric oncologist and physician-researcher whose appointment with Phoenix Children’s and the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix brings a new level of rigor, excellence and inquiry to research, education and clinical programs.
As the Senior Vice President of Research, Dr. Goldman is tasked with continuing to grow a robust research and education enterprise in one of the fastest-growing markets in the country and recruiting the nation’s top talent. He oversees a research program that consists of 700 studies, 640 research investigators and 90 research staff members.
In his role leading the Department of Child Health at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix, Dr. Goldman and his team focus on translational research across all aspects of children and family health to innovate clinical care, advance new therapies for common and rare childhood diseases, and to improve the emotional, educational and cognitive well-being of children.
Dr. Goldman joined Phoenix Children’s after an illustrious 23-year tenure at Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago and Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, where he served as the Division Head of Hematology-Oncology, Neuro-Oncology and Stem Cell Transplantation and as a professor of Pediatrics.
An accomplished leader in brain tumor research, Dr. Goldman’s contributions to the medical and scientific communities are significant. He’s published more than 150 articles in peer-reviewed journals, has held numerous leadership positions and has been the recipient of dozens of awards acknowledging his tireless work and research, including most recently Loyola University’s Stritch School of Medicine Alumni of the Year for Excellence in Research and Innovation.
Dr. Goldman earned his medical degree from Loyola University Stitch School of Medicine and completed his internship, residency and fellowship at the University of Chicago Hospitals.
Michael Ritchey, MD
Chief Medical Officer
Michael Ritchey, MD, earned his medical degree from Louisiana State University School of Medicine. Upon graduation, he completed his internship and urology residency at Wilford Hall USAF Medical Center and pediatric urology fellowship at Mayo Clinic. He has held faculty positions in urologic surgery at University of Michigan and University of Texas Health Science Center where he served as Chairman of the Department of Urology.
Dr. Ritchey moved to Phoenix in 2005, where he began his career caring for Arizona children with urological conditions. In addition to being former co-Division Chief of the Division of Urology at Phoenix Children's, he is currently a Professor of Urology at Mayo Clinic Arizona and Creighton University. He is Professor of Child Health at University of Arizona College of Medicine. In the role of Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Ritchey will lead patient safety and quality across Phoenix Children’s Hospital and Phoenix Children’s Medical Group. Dr. Ritchey will also be responsible for supervision of the Medical Staff office and will lead ongoing efforts to provide the best clinical care for patients and families.
Rhonda Thompson, DNP, MBA, RN, NEA-BC
Senior Vice President Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer
Rhonda Thompson is the Senior Vice President of Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer for Phoenix Children’s, one of the nation’s largest pediatric healthcare systems. Thompson brings a wealth of experience in nursing leadership and a passionate focus on quality care and the patient experience.
In her current role, Thompson promotes and develops Phoenix Children’s professional RN practice and collaborates with physician leadership and others to drive continuous improvements in clinical services and patient outcomes. She plays an active role in the organization’s decision-making structure and strategic planning in order to prepare for the health system’s continued growth.
Previously, Thompson served as Chief Nursing Officer for The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio where she was also the William H. Parry, M.D. Endowed Chair of Pediatric Nursing. She also served in nursing leadership roles at Memorial Hermann in Houston, including Director of Pediatric Special Care Services, and at Texas Children’s Hospital.
Thompson earned a doctorate in nursing from Rush University, plus a master’s degree in nursing and a Master of Business Administration from University of Phoenix.
Senior Vice President, Strategic Planning & Chief Strategy Officer
As Chief Strategy Officer, Richard “Rich” Lehmuth plays a key role in defining and executing Phoenix Children’s Strategic Plan. Lehmuth brings over twenty years’ experience in strategic and financial planning and deployment. For the past decade, Lehmuth served as System Vice President of Strategy and Business Development at OhioHealth, which is the largest healthcare delivery network in central and southeastern Ohio with over 29,000 associates and 3,000 beds. Significant accomplishments include the development and implementation planning on the system’s Neuroscience Institute, the cultivation of a multifaceted relationship with MD Anderson, the development of a system-wide primary care strategy, the business case and pilot of a network of freestanding emergency departments, and the development of strategy and implementation planning for three ambulatory facilities.
Lehmuth earned his Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Master of Health Administration from St. Louis University. In Ohio, Lehmuth served on the Mid Ohio Regional Planning Commission, which focuses on the environment and economic development, and the AIDS Resource Center Ohio, as well as, volunteered in meal preparation for the Columbus Homeless Shelter Board.
Chief Information Officer, Senior Vice President, Information Technology
Brian Meyer is the Chief Information Officer (CIO) and Senior Vice President of Information Technology at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. In this role, he oversees all aspects of information technology, information security, data and analytics, systems implementation, and the growth and maintenance of the technology infrastructure for Arizona’s largest children’s hospital.
Meyer joined Phoenix Children’s in 2010. Prior to his role as CIO, Meyer served as Vice President of Information Technology where he managed the computing application systems supporting Phoenix Children’s Revenue Cycle, Finance, Human Resources, and Supply Chain, as well as led and developed the company’s project management office and IT governance process. Meyer also oversaw the company’s Marketing and Communications organization where he was responsible for managing and developing marketing, communications, and public relations across the enterprise.
Meyer is an experienced leader in the healthcare information technology community with more than 20 years of experience in business process improvement, information technology strategy, governance, and implementations. Before joining Phoenix Children’s, 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.
Tamra L. Kaplan
Senior Vice President, Operations
Tamra Kaplan joined Phoenix Children’s in 2019 as Senior Vice President, Operations, as an accomplished health care executive with broad, in-depth knowledge of hospital operations and a successful track record of leading operational excellence within an integrated health care delivery system. She is known for her collaborative leadership and patient centeredness in achieving service excellence, exceptional care delivery and positive patient outcomes.
Kaplan began her career at MemorialCare Health System in Southern California, spending ten years as senior vice president and chief operating officer for Long Beach Medical Center and Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital. Most recently, she led the pediatric and women’s services initiatives including a newly formed collaboration with UCLA Mattel for regional pediatric services. Previously, she held leadership positions in lean management, ancillary and support services as well as ambulatory pharmacy services.
Throughout her career, Kaplan has mentored and coached many individuals and guided countless teams in rapidly changing environments. She also volunteers her time through the UC Irvine BioSci undergraduate mentor program as well as serves on the Boards for Women in Healthcare Administration and the Concordia University Irvine MHA Program.
Kaplan received her Bachelor of Science in biology from the University of California, Irvine, and her PharmD from the Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy & Health Sciences at the University of the Pacific. She is a certified lean leader and lean fellow as well as an active member in the American College of Healthcare Executives.
Russ Korcuska, CPC
Senior Vice President, Construction and Special Projects
Russ Korcuska is Senior Vice President of Construction and Special Projects at Phoenix Children’s. An innovative and results-driven healthcare leader, Korcuska focuses on achieving strategic and tactical objectives across complex structures within the healthcare system. With more than 30 years of experience in building design, construction and development, he is committed to driving value, optimizing processes, reducing costs, and building relationships.
As the SVP of Construction and Special Projects, Korcuska is responsible for facility planning, design, construction, activation, medical equipment planning, real estate and facility maintenance/operations.
Prior to joining Phoenix Children’s, Korcuska served as Vice President, Capital Construction and Engineering and as Interim Vice President, Supply Chain with Memorial Hermann Health System in Houston, Texas. There, he led system design and construction, facility engineering, security, environmental services, food/nutrition services, purchasing, material management and clinical engineering/asset management, for 14 acute care campuses and over 200 leased ambulatory locations. He also served as Vice President, National Projects Group for Kitchell Contractors where he was responsible for leading and delivering projects from Washington State to Indiana focused on healthcare, Native American and higher education markets. At Kitchell, he served as project executive during the construction of Phoenix Children’s main hospital campus and emergency department expansion.
Korcuska earned a bachelor’s in construction engineering from Arizona State University. He is an American Society of Healthcare Engineering Certified Healthcare Constructor and certified professional constructor (CPC), the highest level of certification offered by the American Institute of Constructors.
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, MN, a role he had held since February 2012. Prior to moving into the CEO role, Chad supported Children’s Hospitals and Clinics with their Strategy and Business Development efforts from July 2006 to February 2012. He has also supported numerous healthcare organizations through a consulting firm he founded in 1999 specializing in program management and healthcare strategy.
Phoenix Children's Hospital Foundation Executives
Senior Vice President and Chief Development Officer, Foundation
Steven Schnall has served Phoenix Children's Hospital since 1983. In his current role as Senior Vice President and Chief Development Officer of Phoenix Children's Hospital Foundation, Steve provides strategic leadership for all aspects of philanthropy for the Hospital. Under his direction, the Foundation has led numerous successful campaigns that supported development of Phoenix Children's. A 5-year, $250M funding initiative has been focused on building a world-class children's hospital.
Steve's prior roles at Phoenix Children's included Vice President, Business Development and Outreach where his responsibilities included strategic planning, marketing and public relations, community relations, physician relations and grants. He has also served as Vice President, Ambulatory Services and additional administrative posts for the hospital.
Steve is a graduate of Arizona State University where he received a BA in Psychology. He received his MA in Organizational Management from University of Phoenix.
Vice President, Corporate Partnerships and Special Events, Foundation
Tim Harrison is the Vice President, Corporate Partnerships and Special Events for Phoenix Children’s Hospital Foundation, providing senior-level strategic planning and leadership around Corporate Development, Account Management and the Special Events departments.
Prior to joining Phoenix Children’s as the Director of Cause Related marketing, Tim held leadership roles in media sales and the restaurant industry in both the US and Europe. Additional non-profit experience includes serving as a Director for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.
Tim is a native of England and graduated from the University of Brighton with a BA in International Hospitality Management.
Kelly Lane, CFRE
Vice President, Foundation Operations, Foundation
Kelly Lane began her career at the Phoenix Children’s Hospital Foundation in 1999, as one of the first members of the management team established to lead strategic efforts to build Arizona’s first free-standing children’s hospital. Since that time, she’s had an illustrious career serving in multiple leadership roles specializing in program development and business management. Today, Kelly is still devoted as the Vice President of Foundation Operations at the Phoenix Children's Hospital Foundation.
In this role, she leads the Foundation's communications, donor relations, research and development services functions, and is a member of the hospital’s senior leadership team. Kelly brings more than 25 years' experience in executive leadership, strategic development and marketing communications. Prior to joining the Foundation, her career was focused in the financial services industry, where she led the operations division for Wells Fargo Bank Arizona. Kelly has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management and Organizational Development from Western International University, where she graduated magna cum laude. She is a Certified Fundraising Executive and speaks nationally on topics pertaining to non-profit business development.
Vice President, Individual Giving
Kelley Morris joined Phoenix Children’s Hospital Foundation in 2019. In her role as Vice President of Individual Giving, Kelley provides leadership and strategic oversight of a team responsible for Major and Principal Gifts, Annual Giving, Planned and Legacy Giving and Foundations. She also serves as a member of the hospital’s senior leadership team.
Kelley brings more than 20 years of experience in healthcare philanthropy. Prior to joining Phoenix Children’s, Kelley held senior fundraising positions at City of Hope Medical Center, University of Southern California-Doheny Eye Institute, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and Baylor College of Medicine.
Kelley has a Master’s Degree in Health Care Administration from Texas Woman’s University, and a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Texas Medical Branch.