Our Multidisciplinary Team Members and Their Roles
In many cases, treatment can mean caring for multiple problems, so we address all aspects of a child’s illness in one place. Our unique multidisciplinary approach has brought together the best individuals and practices throughout the hospital to provide complete care and heal the whole patient.
Our Core Team
Michael M. Etzl Jr., MD is Medical Director of the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Phoenix Children’s Hospital and Co-Director of the Neuro-Oncology Clinical and Research Program. He has been a member of the Phoenix Children’s Hospital Hematology/Oncology faculty since 1987. A native of Philadelphia, Dr. Etzl received his bachelor’s 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 the Children’s Neuro-Oncology Consortium as well as the Children’s Oncology Group and the Society of Neuro-Oncology. He is a member of the American Society of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology, The Phoenix Pediatric Society and the American Academy of Pediatrics. Dr. Etzl is ABMS board certified in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology and Pediatrics.
Amy Rosenfeld, MD, MSCI received her medical degree from the Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel. Dr. Rosenfeld completed her pediatric residency at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri, and two fellowships – one in hematology/oncology and the other in neuro-oncology – at Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago.
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. An internationally recognized neurosurgical and neuroscience expert in head injury and epilepsy in children, Dr. Adelson 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 active in multiple scientific and professional societies, including his participation 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.Dr. 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, and 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. He is board certified in Neurological Surgery and Pediatric Neurosurgery.
Ruth Bristol, MD, is a pediatric neurosurgeon who made the transition to Phoenix Children's Hospital with the other pediatric specialty practitioners, and is proud to remain part of the Barrow Neurological Institute. She remains a member of the Barrow Children's Cleft and Craniofacial Center, which offers a team approach to children with craniosyonostosis and other skull anomalies. Dr. Bristol treats all areas of pediatric neurosurgery, including brain and spine tumorstrauma, and developmental anomalies. Her research interests include brain tumors and craniosynostosis Dr. Bristol believes that a supportive and involved family is very important for healing in children. Many children do not have the ability to understand complex medical problems, so gaining their trust and making them feel safe are essential to providing good care.
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 joined the faculty. Dr. Shafron earned his medical degree at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, before completing an internship in General Surgery and residency in Neurosurgery at University of Florida College of Medicine in Gainesville, Florida. 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. Dr. Shafron 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.
Allen Kaplan, MD is Medical Director of the Hospital’s Neuroscience Institute and Co-Director of Phoenix Children’s Neuro-Oncology Program. He has been an esteemed member of the Phoenix Children’s Neuroscience faculty since 1983. Originally from Chicago, Dr. Kaplan received his bachelor’s 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, and his pediatric neurology fellowship training was at University of California, Los Angeles/Harbor General Hospital in Los Angeles. 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.
Neuro-Oncology Nurse Coordinator:
Annie Gieseking, RN, BSN, CPON is the Neuro-oncology Program Coordinator at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. Gieseking, 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. Gieseking is fluent in Spanish, which is an asset to the team in caring for Spanish-speaking patients and families.
Neuro-Oncology Nurse Coordinator:
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. DeGraw received her bachelor’s degree in social work from the University of Arizona and her master’s in social work from the Graduate School of Social Work, Arizona State University. She 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. DeGraw 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 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 Gina has 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. She 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. DeGraw is currently President-Elect and on the Board of Directors of the Phoenix Sister Cities Commission.
Clinical Research Coordinator:
Alan Holzkopf, M.Ed., CCRC