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, Business Manager, Board Secretary
Julia is a career supply chain professional including eighteen years of service with Sysco Corporation and eleven years of service with Saint Luke’s Health System. Her skills include process design and improvement, performance management, leadership development and strategic planning. Julia has a bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Park University and is a Certified Materials and Resource Professional (CMRP) since 2013.
Executive Director, Social Services
Becky graduated with a degree in Child and Family Services from Northwest Missouri State University. She has a true passion and love for helping children in need, which led her to work with children in an early education program and counseling center who have endured trauma. She also has experience serving as an advocate for cancer patients to obtain financial assistance with respect to drugs that are critical to their treatment. Currently, Becky is an office Dental office manager and assists patients in making the best decisions for their oral health, and serves as an advocate with their health insurance to ensure they receive the best benefits available to them. Becky is honored to be involved in RJ Children's Haven to help families and children experience a safe and loving place to share with other families and children with similar health issues.
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, Corporate Giving and Outreach
Kevin is a Kansas City native with roots in the community and a passion for connecting people. He and his wife Anna are raising three sons and a daughter in Bucyrus and enjoy travelling and outdoor adventures. Kevin has been with Lockton for 12 years, and was a high school Spanish teacher for seven years prior to joining Lockton.
In 2016, Kevin had softball-sized tumor removed from his thyroid by the incredible surgeon, Dr. Terance Tsue at University of Kansas Medical Center. It was not malignant, but it triggered Kevin to consider how things could have been. He began looking for a cause that could serve as an outlet for his desire to give back. When Anna and Kevin’s friends Becky and Paul Croker, introduced RJ Children's Haven, it was a fit.
Kevin believes RJCH will offer kids undergoing treatment a place to continue to develop the relationships and skills they need to grow while their bodies heal -- nothing could be more important.
PhD, CPA (NC)
PhD, CPA (NC)
Executive Director, Finance
Bonnie is a Certified Public Accountant and a tenure-track assistant professor at the University of Missouri - Kansas City, specializing in individual and business taxation as well as tax research. Her academic research focuses on identifying and mitigating psychological biases in the judgement and decision making of taxpayers and accounting professionals. Bonnie is an active member in several sections of the American Accounting Association including the American Taxation Association, Accounting Behavior and Organizations and Public Interest. Before joining the faculty at UMKC, Bonnie taught taxation at the University of Central Florida, where she obtained her doctorate degree. Bonnie has been a Certified Public Accountant since 2007. Prior to her career in academia, Bonnie worked as a Tax Supervisor for several years at a public accounting firm, primarily engaged in multi-jurisdictional corporate tax compliance and planning. She is extremely excited about the opportunity to serve the Kansas City community and support RJCH's mission of providing a safe environment for children who are immunocompromised and their families.