Local Chapter Committee
The Local Chapter Committee provides a major link between the APHON Board and APHON membership. This committee helps chapters get started and maintain their activities, and is a primary source of communication between APHON members, APHON Local Chapters, and the APHON Board.
The committee is made up of one chair and 8 committee members. These individuals have been active within their own local chapters and understand the concerns, problems, and questions of local chapters. The Chair of the Local Chapter Committee assists chapters which are getting started and chapters in their organizational year, while committee members are the resource for chartered local chapters. Each committee member is assigned to serve as a liaison to several chartered local chapters in order to assist with chapter operations, encourage, communicate information, ensure that reports are completed on time, and celebrate your accomplishments.
Kathleen Perko, MS CPNP CHPPN CPON®
Chapter assignments: Central Ohio Area — Organizational Year and Nashville, TN — Organizational Year
Doernbecher Children's Hospital
Beaverton, OR W: 503.418.5172
Kathy received her BSN from the University of Portland and her MS/PNP from U of California-San Francisco. She worked in pediatric oncology for more than 30 years and recently transitioned into palliative care full time. She developed the Bridges Palliative Care Program at Doernbecher Children's Hospital in 2003 and has been the director since that time.
I participate in APHON for one reason....the people! I love the work that I do and have found equally committed people through my participation APHON. It is wonderful to meet other Nurses/NPs that have your same specific interest and have them as a sounding board and support throughout the year(s) and then be able to connect-in person-at the annual conference.
I was a founding member of the NW APHON (back then, just APON) chapter and although initially very enthusiastic, we went through some rough times and with the commitment of our nurses, made it through. I want to be a part of other local chapters-celebrating their successes and also offering ideas from other chapters on how to get through the rough spots. I also enjoy meeting and getting to know the Chapter Presidents in my group and seeing them at our local chapter president's Thank You lunch at the national APHON meeting.
The strength and growing numbers of our local chapters is one of the reasons I'm proud to be an APHON member with national responsibilities.
I encourage my fellow members to Get Involved! My first national APHON involvement started with an e-mail about getting involved in the national meeting planning committee-almost 15 years ago! The nurses I met through that committee are some of my dearest friends and colleagues today.
Scarlett Czarnecki, BSN RN CPHON®
Chapter assignments: North Carolina, Charlotte, Palmetto, Central Florida, and South Florida
Loma Linda University Children's Hospital Loma Linda, CA
Scarlett Czarnecki has been a pediatric hematology/oncology nurse for 15 years. She has worked at the bedside, as a bone marrow transplant coordinator, and as a research nurse in a Phase 1 clinical trials consortium for neuroblastoma. She currently is working in an outpatient hospital based peds hem onc clinic. Scarlett served as the SCAPHON president for the last 5 years.
Terri Boyce, DNP APRN CPNP-AC CPHON®
Chapter assignments: Northeast Ohio, Southern Ohio, Chicago, Central Illinois, Great Mid South, Mississippi, and San Antonio
Dr. Terri Boyce recently completed her DNP from the University of Portland. She received her MSN from Duke University in 2009 and has spent the past 7 years as an acute care pediatric nurse practitioner with the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, focusing on solid tumors and program development.
Active participation in APHON provides professional development, networking, and continuing education specific to my job and my patients in ways that no other organization can or does.
Having served as a local chapter president for 5 years of a small but successful chapter, I feel I can help guide other chapters with support and encouragement.
Additionally, I have personally participated in all aspects of annual reporting and rewriting of bylaws, so can help navigate new chapter leaders through the hoops.
As an advanced practice provider, I feel it is my obligation to give back to the organization that has helped me along the way. The colleagues I have the privilege to work with on National projects are truly some of the most gifted, hardworking, passionate and compassionate people I know. I am proud of the way APHON nurtures and encourages nurses to become involved and provides opportunities for growth.
“I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something, and because I cannot do everything I will not refuse to do something that I can do” – Helen Keller
Susan Dulczak, MSN RN ANP-C CPON®
Chapter assignments: Austin, Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas Gulf Coast, St. Louis Gateway, Arkansas, Atlanta, Greater Kansas City, and Tidewater Virginia
Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
The Unterberg Children's Hospital
Long Branch, NJ
Susan spent most of her career in Pediatric hematology / Oncology. As a member of APHON for many years, she served as a program chair, Director-at-Large and most recently as an APHON Chapter Representative. Prior, she was the NJ chapter president from 2011-2014. She is CPON certified and a Pediatric Chemotherapy/Biotherapy Instructor. She just renewed my ELNEC training. She has lectured nationally and internationally and enjoy the times she get to interact with those that are passionate about pediatric hematology/ oncology. Currently, Susan works at The Unterberg Children's Hospital as a Clinical Director and PNP.
Erin Friedman, BSN RN CPHON®
Chapter assignments: Arizona, Albuquerque, Bay Area, Northwest, Central Pennsylvania, British Columbia, and Southern California
Clinical Development Specialist
University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital
Being a part of an organization that brings together nurses from around the world with one common focus, pediatric oncology, means so much to me. Knowing that we gather nurses to learn from one another is so inspiring. As I talk to colleagues in other areas of nursing who don’t have the capacity to harness the power that APHON provides, I’m grateful to be part of an organization that allows me to work in partnership with and learn from colleagues around the world. I draw my professional energy from the collaboration and dedication of the nurses that care so passionately for kids with cancer and blood disorders.
I’ve been a part of 3 local chapters as my life and career have moved me around the country. Most recently, I’ve served as chapter president of my local chapter, and learned so much about leadership at the local level. As I’ve moved and grown in my career, my level of commitment to helping my chapters sustain and grow has not wavered. I’m excited for this next step – to help more chapters sustain and grow.
From the day I started my nursing career focused in pediatric hematology/oncology/BMT, I joined APHON. I’ve attended conferences, been an active participant in local chapters, and collaborated with colleagues around the world. I’m proud to step into a role with national responsibility because I’ve looked up to the national leaders before me and now I can hope to be that mentor or person to look up to for young nurses in this subspecialty.
Mary E. Newman, MSN RN NE-BC CPON®
Chapter assignments: National Capitol, Greater Pittsburgh/Three Rivers, Greater Phildelphia, Palm Beach Broward, Indiana, Nashville, Wisconsin
Director of Nursing
Nemours Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders
Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children
Mary received her BSN from Gwynedd-Mercy College, in Pennsylvania, and her MSN in Healthcare Administration from the University of Delaware. Mary has been a Registered Nurse since 1986. Mary began working as a clinical nurse on the BBMT unit at Nemours/AI duPont Hospital for Children in 2001 and that is where her passion for pediatric hematology/oncology nursing was born. As a clinical nurse, Nurse Manager, and now Director of Nursing, APHON has been a motivating force in her personal and professional development.
I have been a member of APHON since 2005. I served as President of our First State Chapter for 7 years and am currently our chapter Treasurer. Over the years I became more active in APHON, achieving certification, becoming an APHON ChemoBio instructor and volunteering where needed. Whether facilitating a town hall, session moderator, serving as a poster judge, or committing to a term on an APHON committee, I have felt connected to our membership and the impact APHON is making. Each of those experiences has taught me so much! I am proud to be a member of an organization that is defining and promoting the highest standards of practice and care. Active participation in my professional organization is important to me. Not only for my own professional growth, but as a leader, I feel strongly we need to walk the walk. Through my own professional contributions and scholarship, I try to role model the importance of engagement in our area of expertise.
I consider it a privilege and honor to serve on the Local Chapter Committee. This is my first year and I am so excited to get to know my chapters! I have gained so much insight about the significance of the many, many contributions local chapters make. The strength in our local chapters is really the force that drives APHON. The heart of APHON is National, and only works with vessels, our Local Chapters, to circulate it. We need the chapters to connect to all our communities and bring the purpose and energy of national APHON to the community of healthcare providers, patients, and families we serve. Being a liaison for the Local Chapter Committee will create the opportunity for our chapters to feel connected and supported, and leverage the knowledge and expertise that each chapter offers.
something that makes you proud to be an APHON member with national responsibilities:
Being an active and engaged member has afforded me so many opportunities to more formally develop as a leader. I served on APHON Nominating Committee 2015-2018, and as Chair the last year of my term. I am currently serving on APHON Local Chapter Committee. Each time I volunteer to serve, I am reminded that it isn’t so important what I am doing, but the fact that I am invited to be a part of this great work. In the short time I have served for APHON on the national level, I recognize how much there is to learn, how much there is to do, and the privilege it is to be a part of it.
While I have been a nurse for more than 3 decades, my greatest professional growth has been over the past 15 years, and I attribute much of that development to what I have gained and learned through my membership in APHON and the opportunities to serve. I have developed lifelong personal and professional friendships through APHON. I now have a network of professional colleagues whom I have reached out to more times than I can count. Get involved, volunteer to serve! APHON is a visionary organization filled with a membership who take great pride in our profession. APHON promotes continuous professional development by creating life-ling learning opportunities and provides opportunities to apply all that we learn. I truly believe that being actively involved in APHON creates an opportunity for me to give back to APHON all that I have gained, and to promote the professional engagement and development of other pediatric hematology oncology nurses.
Colleen Nixon, MSN RN CPHON®
Chapter assignments: Boston, Louisville, Lexington, Metro New York, New Jersey, Long Island, Western New York, and Rocky Mountain
Boston Children's Hospital/Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Pediatric Oncology/HSCT RN since 1987. Presently clinical educator, responsible for overseeing patient education on the inpatient oncology unit at Boston Children's Hospital and outpatient at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, the Jimmy Fund Clinic. CPON certified from 2000-present; CPHON certified 2013-present. APHON Pediatric Chemotherapy & Biotherapy Instructor, since 2004. CPHON nurse of the year, 2012 and APHON Chemotherapy/Biotherapy instructor of the year, 2014.
I have always felt that as a pediatric oncology nurse it is my responsibility to be a part of my professional organization. I am not always able to read and learn all that I want to about pedi heme/onc, but by being an APHON member I have access to the most up to date information via journals and all of the local and national members I now know and have worked with over the years.
I have always had a leadership role in the local chapter, but when Janice asked me to be a part of this committee, I felt honored that she had sought me out. I love working with other chapters and have learned so much from each of the chapters that I am the liaison for. Last year I had the privilege of editing five sections of the upcoming 4th edition of the Fundamentals Book and was able to reach out to the chapter presidents (that I am the liaison for ) and offer then the chance to write one of the sections…it was a great opportunity for all who were involved.
I love volunteering for causes I believe in and being an APHON member with national responsibilities allows me to work with and meet so many other amazing pediatric heme/onc nurses.
I encourage my fellow members to find something to enjoy and get involved!
Kari Wheeler, BSN RN CPN BMTCN® CPHON®
Chapter assignments: Connecticut, First State, Vermont, Nebraska, Central Virginia, Southwest Florida and Minnesota
Kari received a BSN from DeSales University in Pennsylvania, and is currently pursuing a DNP in Acute Care Pediatrics from the University of Maryland in Baltimore. Kari has had the pleasure of being a pediatric nurse for over six years. Her previous experience includes spending time at both the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and the Clinical Center at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). For the last four years Kari has worked in hematology and oncology and specialized in areas such as leukemia and lymphoma, experimental transplants, immunotherapy, and clinical research. Currently, Kari works as an outpatient pediatric hematology and oncology nurse for Inova Schar Cancer Institute. Additionally, Kari spends time teaching and mentoring undergraduate nursing students at the University of Maryland's School of Nursing.
I participate in APHON for the professional experience and the connections with pediatric hematology and oncology nurses from all over the world. Pediatric hematology and oncology is a challenging field to work in, and having connections with nurses who are committed and love the job as much as I do is essential! It has been wonderful making relationships with fellow nurses and discussing the latest EBP or quality improvement projects to advance our field. Participation within APHON has provided educational and professional development to help keep me at the top of my field and encourages me to achieve more as nurse.
Early in my experience with APHON at the local level, I had the pleasure of serving as the local chapter president for the National Capital Chapter. Running a successful chapter encompassing members from multiple institutions and three different states was a wonderful learning experience and it taught me how to be an influential leader. After spending three years as their president, I developed a strong passion for working to celebrate the successes of local chapters. I am hoping I can guide other local chapters to help achieve their goals, grow, and make the local experience one that APHON members love and enjoy as much as I do!
Janice Nuuhiwa, MSN RN CPON®
Staff Development Specialist
Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago
Senior Operations Manager