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Phoenix Children’s Physicians, Researchers Receive Leadership Circle Grants
By Claire Natale - Wednesday Jun 01, 2022
Leadership Circle, a Phoenix Children’s Foundation giving group that invests in innovative, high-impact projects, has awarded three grants to fund the groundbreaking work of Phoenix Children’s physicians and researchers.

At the group’s annual luncheon, held on May 4 and hosted by Robert “Bob” Meyer, president and CEO of Phoenix Children’s, and Rachel McNeill, contributing anchor at 12 News KPNX Phoenix, the 2022 finalists presented their cases for support to Leadership Circle members, who then voted on which projects to fund.

“The presentations gave us a glimpse into the transformative innovation taking place at Phoenix Children’s,” said Dana Jirauch, senior director of philanthropy at Phoenix Children’s Foundation. “The projects proposed by our finalists are proof that Phoenix Children’s truly is shaping the future of pediatric medicine.”

The 2022 grant recipients are:

Project Title: Be Our Guest: Modernizing the Psychology Waitlist Experience
Principal investigator: Carla C. Allan, PhD – Division of Psychology

Project Title: The Role of Detergents n the Pathogenesis of Eosinophilic Esophagitis
Principal investigator: Benjamin Wright, MD – Division of Pulmonology

Project Title: Connect: Helping Leukemia Patients Thrive at Home
Principal investigator: Alexandra Walsh, MD – Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders

Project Title: IGNITE: A Home Monitoring Program for Infants with Cleft Palate
Principal investigator: Thomas Sitzman, MD

The 2022 Phoenix Children’s Leadership Circle directors include chairs Clarissa and Brian Robinson, as well as Corinne and Darryl Berger, Julia and Taylor Burke, Carol and Dr. Charles P. Dries Jr., Brittany and Matt Messmer, DeeDee and Ken Vecchione, and Paula and Bill Wichterman.

To learn more about Leadership Circle and the 2022 grant recipients, visit

About Phoenix Children’s
Phoenix Children’s is one of the nation’s largest pediatric health systems. It comprises Phoenix Children’s Hospital–Main Campus, Phoenix Children’s Hospital–East Valley at Dignity Health Mercy Gilbert Medical Center, four pediatric specialty and urgent care centers, 11 community pediatric practices, 20 outpatient clinics, two ambulatory surgery centers and six community-service-related outpatient clinics throughout the state of Arizona. The system has provided world-class inpatient, outpatient, trauma, emergency and urgent care to children and families for more than 35 years. Phoenix Children’s Care Network includes more than 850 pediatric primary care providers and specialists who deliver care across more than 75 subspecialties. For more information, visit