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RJCH is grateful to have an outstanding breadth and depth of knowledgeable experts consulting on the overall concept, care model and operations.

Joseph Abraha, BS, MT (ASCP)

Joseph received his bachelor's degree in Biology and Chemistry from Metropolitan College in Denver, Colorado in 1992, and pursued a Medical Technology degree from University of Colorado in 1993. He has worked various positions in the clinical laboratory. Currently, he is working in Histocompatibility and Immunogenetic field as a laboratory supervisor. He has been in the field for more than 17 years and served the needs of organ and bone marrow transplant patients. He belongs to the ASCP (American Society for Clinical Pathology), ASHI (American Society for Histocompatibility and Immunology) and CLMA (Clinical Laboratory Management Association) professional societies. He is a CAP (College of America Pathology) and ASHI (American Society for Histocompatibility and Immunology) inspector and conducts unannounced inspection for both agencies throughout the country. 

Pat Brown, MS, FT

Pat received a B.S. from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, a master's in Family Therapy, from Friends University, Wichita, Kansas, and a Death and Grief Studies Certificate through Colorado State University, after 150 hours of study in Ft. Collins, Colorado. She began her career at Children's Mercy as the Oncology Clinical Services coordinator and later became a family-centered specialist after receiving her master’s degree. During her tenure in the Hematology/Oncology Division she was an active member and past director of the Association of Pediatric Oncology Social Workers. She initiated the Oncology Parent-to-Parent Volunteer Program; the Family Room on the Hematology/Oncology inpatient unit; various inpatient and outpatient groups for newly diagnosed oncology families, siblings and teens; an annual picnic for Hem/On staff and patient families; a bereavement follow-up program with parent volunteers; and an annual bereavement memorial service with the chaplaincy 

service for Hem/Oncology families as well as an ongoing bereavement group. Pat was a founding board member and officer of the Children’s Mercy Cancer Center, and served as a board member for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, The Ronald McDonald House, Friends of Children’s Mercy Hospital, and a consultant for the American Cancer Society.

Jesse Daniels, MBA

Jesse works for the Army Corp of Engineers in Kansas City, Missouri. He is the father of a Stem Cell Transplant recipient, Elijah, who was transplanted for Sickle Cell Disease in 2012.

Nakia D. Daniels-Wilson, LCSW, LSCSW, RPT

Nakia is a licensed social worker and play therapist with the Raytown School District and mother of transplant recipient Elijah. She received her master's in Social Work in 2008 from UMKC. After graduating, she was hired at Operation Breakthrough as a child therapist and pursued her clinical license in Missouri and Kansas. After completing her clinical license and certification as a registered play therapist in 2011, Nakia joined the Raytown School District as a school social worker. She works with children in Special Education, in the self-contained classrooms throughout the district. In the 2014-2015 school year, she began working part-time with parents in the Kansas City Kansas school district as a Truancy Diversion Social Worker to help parents find solutions with getting their children to school and getting them there on time.

She is currently working with Raytown School District’s Parents as Teachers, as a support to subset families in building resilience, coping skills, problem solving and accessing resources.

Nakia has recently taken on another challenge--she has gone back to clinical work with children. She is working as a part-time contract play therapist with Community LINC to help children in her old neighborhood build their resiliency and process their trauma through play, art and writing. She currently works and lives in the Raytown area with her husband, Jesse, their two sons, Isaiah and Elijah, and their Lhasa Apsos, Kandy and Kane.

Regina Higgins

Regina is the mom of Weston Funk, a bone marrow transplant recipient and childhood cancer survivor. She is dedicated to making a difference in the lives of other families who have a child battling cancer. Regina utilizes her education and skills gathered in her profession experience of engineered product design and technical product sales and marketing, as well as her personal experiences gained through Weston’s cancer journey, to make other family’s cancer journey a little easier. 

Regina, who was a single parent at the time of Weston’s diagnosis, fully understands how difficult it is to be there and care for an ill child as well as keep full-time employment to provide for life’s everyday necessities and maintain healthcare

coverage to get medical treatment and medicines needed save a child's life. Regina understands that this is a very tough journey, and having a support network to let families and children know they’re not alone, providing hope and a safe environment for immune-compromised children to recover while the parent(s) work is desperately needed. RJ Children’s Haven will make a world of difference for both the children and parents.

Ann Meeker, PhD

Dr. Meeker is the creator of the SING.PLAY.LOVE.® program. Through her writing, research, product development and workshops, she shares information about the benefits of music and play for supporting early learning and kindergarten readiness, and gives easy and practical strategies for embedding both into the daily lives of young children.

Anne is a nationally board certified music therapist and has created music therapy programs for two large suburban school districts in the Kansas City area. She received the Excellence in Teaching award given by the Learning Exchange, Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, and the Kansas City Star. She was a commission member of the Housewright Symposium on the Future of Music Education sponsored by the Music Educators National Conference. Her research on music to support early language was published in the International Journal for Research in Music Education.

Anne is a prolific songwriter and singer of songs to engage the hearts, minds and “motors” of young children. She creates rich and accessible materials to promote music-based instruction of early learning skills. Her SING.PLAY.LOVE.® songs, books, music videos, and activity guides are utilized by organizations serving young children across the country.

She is the author of the author of the BABY SING & SIGN book series (Perseus Books Press). Her music CDs for children won NAPPA and Parent’s Choice Honors awards.

Anne lives in Leawood, Kansas with her husband. When not on the job, she enjoys kayaking, reading mysteries, and dancing to the song “Uptown Funk” in her kitchen while preparing dinner. She believes the world would be a better place if everyone would just take an afternoon nap.