RJCH, a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit, is led by an Executive Board including two nurses, and a healthcare administrator and organizational leadership expert.
Karen Anthony, RN
Karen Anthony, RN
Executive Board, President, CEO
Karen is president and co-founder of RJ Children’s Haven. She began her career as a licensed practical nurse in 1971. Working as a nurse and a mother, Karen returned to school and became a registered nurse in 1995. Karen started in Bone Marrow Transplantation with Heart of American Bone Marrow Donor Registry in January 1989, where she was responsible for coordinating with marrow donors from all over the U.S. While working under the auspices of the National Bone Marrow Donor Program (now called - Be the Match), she set up the Unrelated Bone Marrow Harvesting Center at Research Hospital in Kansas City. A few responsibilities included finding and bringing unrelated donors to Kansas City, preparation and calculation of marrow, and couriering the marrow to a waiting recipient in the US and abroad.
Karen has a true love and passion for children and in 1998 she accepted an offer to work with Children’ Mercy Hospital as the Stem Cell Transplant nurse coordinator for a new and growing segment of the hospital’s practice. She was responsible for matching children with potential donors; setting up stem cell harvesting procedures; and managing the process of a child’s transplantation through admission and infusion of stem cells. While Karen’s contributions to the program were significant, she became more aware of the challenges that the children and families of the children she transplanted faced after discharged.
Karen retired after a 16-year period in the fall of 2014 to focus her efforts on addressing these challenges. "It became evident while watching these children undergoing therapy, and those getting lost in the process, that there was much more that we could do to help enhance their recovery. Along with parents and several medical persons, we started RJ Children’s Haven.”
Wanda Gooch, RN
Wanda Gooch, RN
Executive Board Vice President, Board Treasurer
Wanda Gooch is vice president and co-founder of RJ Children’s Haven. Wanda began her career as an LPN in 1978. Working as a nurse and mom, Wanda returned to school and became an RN. She has worked as a registered nurse for Consultants in Gastroenterology for 34 years as both a physician nurse and ambulatory surgery staff nurse. She has been a volunteer for Boy Scout Troop 383, teaching First Aid and was a camp buddy at Camp Quality of Greater Kansas City. Her hobbies include biking, clogging, traveling and spending time with her family. Her son Jason, who was also a registered nurse, wanted to help children with cancer after also spending a session as a camp buddy at Camp Quality. He is the “J” in RJ Children’s Haven. He saw the struggles they faced with having cancer and wanted to make a difference in their lives. After losing his life in a tragic car accident, Wanda now works to carry on that vision. With the help of other board members, she strives to help these children by creating a safe place to be while they are healing.
Executive Director, Facilities and Construction
Elliott is one of three partners at Axis Construction Group, a commercial construction company. He is an experienced project leader with 16 years in the industry. Elliott got his start as teenager working in the trades as a carpenter, He worked his way to an assistant superintendent position with a commercial restaurant builder. As a partner with Axis Construction Group, his primary roles are the pre-construction phase of operations management and client/project development. Prior to Axis, Elliott was responsible for the development of a new specialized division for his previous employer, Straub Construction. This division focused on office tenant improvement and health care and uniquely phased projects. He also has extensive experience in the construction of child-focused projects.
A native of Liberty, Missouri, Elliott currently lives in Smithville, Missouri with his wife and their two sons.
His other community involvement and volunteer positions include Northland Young Professional Board Member, KC Blues Baseball Academy Board Member/President and a Little League Baseball Coach.
Mohamed A. Radhi, M.D.
Mohamed A. Radhi, M.D.
Executive Director, Medical Director
Dr. Radhi is a pediatric hematologist/ oncologist in Kansas City, and is affiliated with Children's Mercy Kansas City. Board certified in pediatrics and pediatric hematology/ oncology, he has been practicing for 30 years. He graduated from the University of Al-Mustansiriyah, College of Medicine. He completed his residency in pediatrics at Central Iowa Health System and his fellowship in pediatric hematology/ oncology at Emory University School of Medicine. He is a published author in the areas of childhood cancer, pediatric acute myeloid leukemia, stem cell transplants, and umbilical cord blood transplants.
Executive Director, Social Worker
Paige Bartholomew works at Children’s Mercy Hospital. Paige does full time work in the TIES (Team for Infants Exposed to Substances) department and does PRN work in the Emergency Department. Paige has a master’s degree in social work from Aurora University in Chicago. She is licensed in both Kansas and Missouri and is currently working on her Child Parent Psychotherapy certification. Paige volunteers in many programs throughout the hospital including the Council of Violence Prevention and a group against peer bullying.