Chapter Committee

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 that 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, and communicate information, ensure that reports are completed on time, and celebrate your accomplishments.


Erin Friedman, BSN RN CPHON®

Chapter assignments: Albuquerque, British Colombia, North Dakota, Sacramento, Up State New York, and West Virginia

Liaison Information

Clinical Development Specialist
The University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital
Minneapolis, MN

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. 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 about this next step – to help more chapters sustain and grow.

From the day I started my nursing career focused on 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.

Past Chair

Scarlett Czarnecki, MSN BSN RN CPHON®

Chapter assignments: Boston, Central Ohio, El Paso, Metro New York, Salt Lake City


Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital Loma Linda, CA

Scarlett Czarnecki has been a pediatric hematology/oncology nurse for over 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 5 years.

Committee Members 

Cecelia (Ceci) Gladbach, BSN RN CPON®

Chapter assignments: Arizona, Central Pennsylvania, Long Island, New Jersey, San Francisco/Bay Area, and Southern California

Liaison Information

Manager of Cellular Therapy
Children’s Health, Children’s Medical Center Dallas
Dallas, TX

Ceci has been a pediatric nurse for over 35 years and has worked in hematology/oncology for the past 30 years. During that time, Ceci held many different roles as an inpatient and outpatient nurse, a transplant coordinator, and a manager. She is currently the manager of our cellular therapy program at Children’s Medical Center -Children’s Health. Her role has allowed her to become an advocate and support for her team and the patients in the ever-changing world of healthcare and prior authorizations. She is currently involved in the development of the Gene Therapy Program within the Cellular Immunotherapy Therapeutics Program (CITP). She is also an active member of APHON at both the local and national levels.

APHON provides opportunities for networking, growth, and awareness for Pediatric Hematology and Oncology, and by being involved, I am able to make a difference to grow and learn. Involvement in APHON begins at the Local Chapter Level. The local chapters allow APHON to reach a greater number of Pediatric Hematology Oncology Nurses and associates, expand networking and involvement, and to awareness of the mission of APHON. By being a part of this committee, I am able to support the local chapters outside my area and ensure we continue to grow. 

I am able to make a difference through my involvement at the national level through example, influence, and networking. By being involved at the National Level and in your local chapters, you have many opportunities for growth, education, and networking that will impact your career as a Pediatric Hematology Oncology Nurse. I truly believe APHON will make a difference in your career journey.

Holly R. Kubaney, MSN PPCNP-BC CPHON®

Chapter assignments: Central Florida, Charlotte, North Carolina, Palmetto, and San Antonio

Liaison Information

Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
Dell Children’s Blood and Cancer Center
Austin, TX

My involvement in APHON has allowed me to form relationships with other nurses across the country who truly understand the challenges and joys associated with caring for children and adolescents with cancer and blood disorders. Networking with other APHON members has taught me that no matter how big or small one’s institution is, there are issues and problems at all of them, and there is someone within our membership offering a new approach or a solution. APHON has fostered my professional growth over the years and has helped me build confidence as I have taken on more responsibility.

As a former local chapter co-president, I worked closely with my co-president and our local chapter liaison to divide our very large chapter into two separate chapters. Our liaison was instrumental in navigating that situation and helped us with every step involved in the process. I hope that I can help other chapters improve and succeed.

It has been both an honor and a privilege to serve on the Annual Conference Planning Committee and the Nominating Committee and to hold chair positions on these committees as well. I was especially proud of our ability to pivot from our traditional in-person conference format to a completely virtual format in the face of the pandemic in 2020. Instead of canceling our conference, we found a way to carry on. This would not have been possible without the support of our APHON staff and the willingness of our board, committee members, and our entire membership to think outside the box.

If you are a pediatric hematology/oncology nurse, there is a place for you in APHON! There is no safer space than here with other nurses who really “get” what you do, the challenges you face, and the joy you experience when you make a difference in the lives of your patients and families. APHON can support you in so many ways, and it all starts with your local chapter. 

Mary E. Newman, MSN RN NE-BC CPON®

Chapter assignments: Greater Philadelphia, Greater Pittsburgh/Three Rivers, Indiana, Lexington, Nashville Music City, National Capital, Palm Beach-Broward, St. Louis Gateway, Texas Gulf Coast, and Wisconsin

Liaison Information

Director of Nursing
Nemours Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders
Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children
Wilmington, DE

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, being a 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 into 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 takes great pride in our profession.  APHON promotes continuous professional development by creating life-long 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.

Abby Slaven, BSN CPHON®

Chapter assignments: Atlanta, Austin, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Greater Kansas Cit, Little Rock, and Rocky Mountain

Liaison Information

Assistant Nurse Manager
Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York
Queens, NY

I particiapte in APHON to stay current in my practice and connect with nurses who are like minded. I have worked in a variety of setting and places in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology and the one thing that is consistent are the kinds of people who you find in this field. The most wonderful patients, families and staff can be found in Peds Hem/Onc and I enjoy complimenting my care in all ways possible.

I am a mmember of the Local Chapter Committee because I have learned a lot being active in my local chapter and would like to resource others so they can build their confidence and local chapters.

Being able to serve members who take care of patients all over the nation is a privelage.

There is always a helping hand whenever your situation seems tough. Caregivers need caring too and I am glad to be able to help.


Chapter assignments: Central Virginia, Connecticut, First State, Louisville, Metro Minnesota, Nebraska, Southwest Florida, Vermont, and Western New York

Liaison Information


Clinical Nurse — Pediatric Infusion Department
Inova Schar Cancer Institute
Fairfax, VA

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 professional experience and 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 a 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!


Chapter assignments: Central Illinois, Chicago, Greater Mid-South, Las Vegas, Mississippi, Northeast Ohio, Northwest, and Southern Ohio

Liaison Information


Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, Blood & Marrow Transplant
UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland
Oakland, CA

I obtained a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Kansas School of Nursing in 1998, and a Master of Science from the University of California – San Francisco Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner program in 2010. I have worked in pediatric oncology for over 14 years as an RN, and for five years as a Pediatric Oncology Nurse Practitioner in both academic and tertiary care centers. Since 2017, I have worked as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner in the Department of Blood & Marrow Transplantation at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland. I also served as the Membership Chair on the San Francisco Bay Area chapter of APHON (BAPHON) from 2014 to 2020.

Being a part of the APHON community has given me many opportunities over the years to expand my own professional growth and development, and has helped to strengthen my passion for and commitment to my chosen profession. I love attending the annual APHON conference and connecting with nursing colleagues from around the country and increasing from around the world. I value APHON’s commitment to expanding and promoting the pediatric hematology/oncology nursing profession, as well as the ever-expanding resources that have been developed for nurses, patients, and families.

I have been very lucky to be a local chapter board member with a group of enthusiastic nurses who are incredibly dedicated to expanding and strengthening our local APHON chapter. We have had many successes over the past six years in developing and expanding our local chapter, including developing an annual educational symposium, now in its 5th year. As a Local Chapter Committee Liaison, I hope to become a useful resource for other local chapters in promoting and advancing their outreach and educational efforts, as well as fostering their ongoing successes and achievements.

I am excited to take on the role of Local Chapter Committee Liaison and to be a part of the national APHON community with a new set of responsibilities. I have long been inspired by the many amazing nursing leaders that have been so influential in fostering APHON’s amazing achievements over the years, and I feel fortunate to now be a part of this extraordinary organization.

Local chapters are always looking for dedicated pediatric hematology/oncology nurses who are passionate about their patients, families, and profession to volunteer. I encourage all nurses who are interested in connecting with their colleagues to consider volunteering for your local chapter. You will not regret it!

Board Liaison

Kaye Schmidt, MA RN NEA-BC CPHON®
Senior Director

Children’s Health
Dallas, TX