Meet the Neuro-oncology team
The Jaydie Lynn King Neuro-oncology Program at Phoenix Children's Hospital is the only comprehensive pediatric program of its kind in Arizona, combining the expertise of subspecialists in the Barrow Neurological Institute and the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders (CCBD). We offer family-centered, multidisciplinary, coordinated care to provide hope, healing and the best healthcare for children and their families.
Michael Etzl, MD is Medical Director of the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Phoenix Children’s Hospital and Co-Director of the Jaydie Lynn King Neuro-oncology Program. Dr. Etzl has been a member of the Phoenix Children’s Hospital Hematology/Oncology faculty since 1987.
A native of Philadelphia, Dr. Etzl received his bachelor of arts degree in biology from LaSalle University and his medical degree from Georgetown University School of Medicine. His pediatric residency training was at Emory University/Grady Memorial Hospital, and his pediatric hematology/oncology fellowship training was at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C.
Dr. Etzl is committed to improving the survival and quality of life for Arizona’s children through comprehensive, family-centered care, education, and research. His special interest is in clinical research, specifically in the area of pediatric brain and spinal cord tumors. He is an active participant in POETIC, Children’s Oncology Group, Society of Neuro-oncology, HeadStart Consortium, and Society of Clinical Oncology. He is a member of the American Society of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology, the Greater Phoenix Pediatric Society, and the American Academy of Pediatrics. Dr. Etzl is ABMS board certified in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology and Pediatrics.
Allen Kaplan, MD, Medical Director, Children's Neuroscience Institute and Co-Director, Neuro-Oncology Program. Dr. Kaplan has been an esteemed member of the Phoenix Children’s Neuroscience faculty since 1983.
Originally from Chicago, Dr. Kaplan received his bachelor of science degree from the University of Wisconsin and his medical degree from the Loyola University of Chicago - Stritch School of Medicine. His pediatric residency training was at Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago, IL, and his pediatric neurology fellowship training was at University of California, Los Angeles/Harbor General Hospital in Los Angeles, CA.
As a seasoned clinical lecturer, researcher, writer and academic instructor, Dr. Kaplan has made great strides in advancing medicine in pediatric neurology as well as preparing the minds of future physicians and medical staff. His clinical interests include neuro-oncology, neurofibromatosis, and rehabilitation. He also serves as a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics for the University of Arizona - College of Medicine.
Dr. Kaplan, whose work has been published in countless medical and academic publications, is active in grant-writing and research funding centered around topics such as pediatric epilepsy, brain mapping and positron emission tomography (PET), and pediatric brain tumors to name a few.
He is an active participant in and member of American Epilepsy Society, Child Neurology Society, and the Children's Oncology Group. Dr. Kaplan is board certified in Pediatric Neurology and Pediatrics.
P. David Adelson, MD, FACS, FAAP is the Medical Director of the Barrow Neurological Institute at Phoenix Children’s Hospital and the Division Chief of Neurosurgery. Dr. Adelson, an internationally recognized neurosurgical and neuroscience expert in head injury and epilepsy in children, has been a member of the Phoenix Children’s Hospital faculty since 2009.
While at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, he served as the A. Leland Albright Professor of Neurosurgery/ Pediatric Neurosurgery and Vice Chairman, (Research) at the University of Pittsburgh - School of Medicine. He also served as the Director of Pediatric Neurotrauma, the Surgical Epilepsy Center, Brachial Plexus and Peripheral Nerve Center and Clinic, Center for Injury Research and Control, and Walter Copeland Neurosurgical Laboratory.
Dr. Adelson, whose work has been published in numerous medical and scientific journals, is the principal investigator of a National Institute of Health (NIH) clinical trial to evaluate whether hypothermia can improve the outcome for children following severe traumatic brain injury. His other clinical and research interests include pediatric epilepsy, brachial plexus and peripheral nerve injury, and pediatric brain tumors.
He is an active participant in multiple scientific and professional societies. Dr. Adelson is involved with executive committees and leadership boards such as the Congress of Neurological Surgeons, AANS/ CNS Section on Neurotrauma and Critical Care, the American College of Surgeons, and the American Academy of Pediatrics to name a few. Adelson also has been the recipient of multiple awards, including The Best Doctors in America, Young Investigators Award of the Brain Injury Association, Congress of Neurological Surgeons Clinical Investigation Award and Outstanding Physician Award.
Dr. Adelson received his medical degree from Columbia University. He completed his neurosurgical residency program at the University of California, Los Angeles - School of Medicine as well as a fellowship in pediatric neurosurgery at Children's Hospital of Boston and Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA. He is board certified in Neurological Surgery and Pediatric Neurosurgery.
Amy Rosenfeld, MD, is a neuro-oncologist at the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders and joined Phoenix Children’s Hospital in 2008. She received her medical degree from the Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel and completed her pediatric residency at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, MO. Following residency, Dr. Rosenfeld completed fellowships in pediatric hematology/oncology and pediatric Neuro-oncology at Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago, IL. While there she also received a master of science in clinical investigation from Northwestern University in Chicago, IL.
Dr. Rosenfeld is a member of the Children’s Oncology Group, the American Society for Pediatric Hematology/Oncology and the Society for Neuro-oncology. She is board certified in general pediatrics and pediatric hematology/oncology.
Dr. Rosenfeld’s primary research interest is in the development of therapies for patients with pediatric brain tumors, particularly for Phase I clinical trials. She is currently conducting a Phase I clinic trial for patients with recurrent or progressive brain tumors and recently received a grant to fund this project. More recently, Dr. Rosenfeld has become interested in the follow-up of brain tumor patients, in particular in the area of neurocognition.
David Shafron, MD, a pediatric neurosurgeon and fellow of American Association of Neurological Surgeons and Congress of Neurological Surgeons, has been published extensively, including authoring book chapters on gene therapy for cerebrovascular disease, approaches to the thoracic spine, and pediatric neurosurgery. He arrived at Phoenix Children’s in 2000, initially to receive additional training, and later, to join the faculty.
Dr. Shafron earned his medical degree at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio, before completing an internship in General Surgery and residency in Neurosurgery at University of Florida College of Medicine in Gainesville, FL. Shafron finished his training with fellowships in Pediatric Neurosurgery at University of Pittsburgh and the University of Arizona School of Medicine. He is board certified in Neurological Surgery and Pediatric Neurosurgery.
He has a special interest in the care of patients with cerebral palsy and other complex movement disorders, utilizing medication, Botox, intrathecal baclofen therapy, and more invasive techniques. His other areas of interest include minimally invasive correction of craniosynostosis, neuroendoscopy, and the management of hydrocephalus.
Kendra Richards, PA-C, MPAS, is a Physician Assistant for the Neurosurgery staff at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. Richards received her bachelor of science from the University of Brigham Young and her masters of science in physician assistant studies from the University of Utah.
She is a certified physician assistant and a member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA), the Utah Academy of Physician Assistants (UAPA), and Association of Neurosurgical Physician Assistants (ANSPA) for many years.
Collaboratively with patients, families, physicians, and other health care providers, she coordinates the multidisciplinary care of children and their families. Ms. Richards works across the health care continuum and facilitates transitions between inpatient, outpatient, and community-based care.
Britt Olson, RN, MSN, CPNP, is a certified pediatric nurse practitioner who joined the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Phoenix Children’s Hospital in 2002. Her special interest is in the late effects of cancer and treatment.
Britt received her first bachelor’s degree in biology from Kansas State University. She went on to pursue a second bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Kansas. In 1999, she obtained her master’s in nursing from the University of Missouri. Britt’s nursing experience has been diverse. She has served as a staff nurse in general pediatrics, hematology/oncology, bone marrow transplant (BMT) and the emergency department. As a nurse practitioner, Britt worked in plastic and craniofacial surgery at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City and was a clinical nursing instructor in pediatrics at the University of Kansas Medical Center. Britt earned her Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner designation from the National Certification Board of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP).
Britt is an integral asset to the Center’s outpatient clinic as well as founder and Co-Director of the Long Term Follow-up Clinic. Britt is a guest lecturer to nurse practitioner students at Arizona State University, is a past President of the local Association of Pediatric Oncology Nurses, and is a local and national member of NAPNAP. She is a member of the Children’s Oncology Group and the member of the Association of Pediatric Hematology Oncology Nurses (APHON).
Annie Gieseking, RN, BSN, CPON, is the Neuro-oncology Program Coordinator at Phoenix Children’s Hospital.
Annie, a native of Arizona, graduated from the University of Arizona in 1983 and has worked almost exclusively at Phoenix Children’s Hospital since then. She is a certified pediatric oncology nurse and a member of the Association of Pediatric Hematology Oncology Nurses (APHON) both locally and nationally. She has been the treasurer of the local chapter for many years.
Collaboratively with patients, families, physicians, and other health care providers she coordinates the multidisciplinary care of children and adolescents with primary CNS tumors. She works across the health care continuum and facilitates transitions between inpatient, outpatient, and community based care. In addition Annie is fluent in Spanish, which is an asset to the team in caring for Spanish-speaking patients and families.
Gina Anne DeGraw, MSW, ACSW, LCSW, is a Certified Clinical Social Worker who has been with the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Phoenix Children’s Hospital since 2007. Her special interests include the Survivorship Clinic, dealing with late effects of cancer survivors, and family issues surrounding children’s cancer and blood disorders.
Gina received her bachelors in social work from the University of Arizona and her masters in social work from the Graduate School of Social Work, Arizona State University. Gina received her Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) designation and was accepted into the Academy of Certified Social Workers (ACSW) in 1991. She has maintained these high level designations for nearly two decades.
Gina first joined Phoenix Children’s Hospital for three years from 1983 to 1986 as a pediatric social worker soon after receiving her MSW. Prior to receiving her Master’s degree, Gina had spent 13 years in adoptions with the Maricopa Juvenile Court Center, as a Caseworker with Big Sisters of Arizona and as a Pediatric Social Worker with the Maricopa Medical Center specializing in child sexual abuse and services to terminally ill children.
Since receiving her Master’s Degree, Gina worked as a Clinical Social Worker with the Newborn Intensive Care program, as a School Social Worker and Assistant to the Principal at the Maie Bartlett Heard Elementary School in the Phoenix Elementary District and, for the past four years, with the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders.
Gina is actively engaged in her community having served on the City of Phoenix Municipal Court Judicial Selection Advisory Committee, the YWCA Board of Directors, as a Big Sister Mentor and with the Phoenix Midtown Optimist Club. She currently is President-Elect and on the Board of Directors of the Phoenix Sister Cities Commission.