The vision of the Children’s Specialty Center is simple. We want to be the community leader in advancing the treatment and prevention of catastrophic diseases in children. We place a particular emphasis on helping those affected by childhood cancer, childhood rheumatic diseases, rare and ultra rare diseases, genetic conditions and blood disorders.
We have taken great care to create an environment that is family-friendly and kid- sized. We never forget the patient is a child or adolescent, and that treatments differ drastically from the way an adult would be cared for. We’ve selected board-certified physicians with highly specialized and unique skill sets from some of the most recognized academic establishments in the country. In addition, we’ve set up strategic affiliations with centers of excellence around the country to provide what’s needed by Nevada’s children.
It’s scientifically proven that children who take part in clinical trials have a much higher rate of survival. That’s one reason research is so important to us and why we encourage and participate in those trials. However, they are expensive. They also require additional diagnostic work, monitoring and education. Sadly the most vulnerable type of cancer patient, the uninsured, has limited access to these life-saving clinical trials. We believe every child is entitled to the best treatment options that modern science has to offer. This is why we also place a great emphasis on raising money to support access to these trials for all children.
This is a general overview of the services available at the Children’s Specialty Center of Nevada. For specific questions or to request a diagnosis, please call (702) 732-1493 in Las Vegas.
• Pediatric and Young Adult Oncology
• Pediatric and Adult Hematology (Hemophilia Treatment Center of Nevada)
• Pediatric Rheumatology
• Pediatric Neuropsychology
• Pediatric Palliative Care
• Pediatric Sickle Cell Disease and Hemoglobinopathies
• Pediatric Clinical Psychology
• Lysosomal Storage Disease and other Metabolic/Genetic Conditions
• Rare and Ultra Rare Genetic Disease
• Board Certified Pediatric Specialists and Sub-Specialists
• Procedure Rooms licensed by the Health Department as an Ambulatory Facility
• Pharmacy Services-USP 797 Compliant Pharmacy
Specialized Nursing Certifications:
• Chemotherapy and Biotherapy certified through Association of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology (APHON)
• Certified Pediatric Hematology Oncology (CPON)
Alan Ikeda, M.D. - Chief Medical Officer
Dr. Ikeda joined the Children’s Specialty Center of Nevada in 2011. He is a Board Certified Pediatrician and is Board Certified in Pediatric Hematology Oncology. The Children’s Specialty Center worked to recruit Dr. Ikeda in part because of his skills in managing the complexities and needs of bone marrow transplant patients. His research interests include stem cell transplants as well as cell and gene therapies.
Dr. Ikeda received his M.D. from the John A. Burns School of Medicine where he also completed his residency in Pediatrics. He completed his fellowship in Pediatric Hematology Oncology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He served as the Assistant Director of Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant Program at Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA. He is also a member of the Children’s Oncology Group, an international collaboration of children’s cancer research protocols. Dr. Ikeda has received several grants and awards for his research efforts in Sickle Cell Disease and Gene therapy.
Dr. Ikeda was born and raised in Hawaii and has been known to entertain patients by playing the guitar.
More about Dr. Alan: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gd52OD-uzck
Kanyalakshmi Ayyanar, M.D. - Director of Oncology
Dr. Ayyanar joined the Children’s Specialty Center of Nevada, in 2015. Dr. Ayyanar is a fellowship trained Pediatric Neuro-Oncologist with expertise in the management of children and young adults affected by brain and spinal cord tumors. Dr. Ayyanar was most recently Director of Pediatric Neuro-Oncology at the University of Louisville in Kentucky. She will be the only full-time physician based in Nevada who is trained in Pediatric Neuro-Oncology. Her research interests include high-grade brain tumors.
Dr. Ayyanar completed her Pediatric residency at St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital in Paterson, New Jersey. She completed her fellowship inPediatricHematologyOncologyatChildren’s Hospital at Montefiore, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York following which she completed an additional fellowship in Pediatric Neuro-Oncology at Boston Children’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School. Dr. Ayyanar is a member of the Children’s Oncology Group and a member of various professional organizations including American Society of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology and Society of Neuro-oncology.
Dr. Ayyanar was born and raised in India and received her medical degree from the Madurai Medical College, Dr. M.G.R. Medical University.
Nik Abdul-Rashid, M.D. - Director of Sickle Cell Disease Program
Dr. Rashid joined the Children’s Specialty Center in 2014. She completed her fellowship in Pediatric Hematology Oncology at the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore, Albert Einstein College of Medicine In New York, and pediatric residency training at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center, Weill Medical College of Cornell University in New York City. Prior to moving to NY, she worked at Birmingham Children’s Hospital NHS Trust in the United Kingdom after receiving her Medical Degree (Bachelor of Surgery, Bachelor of Medicine; BSBM) from the University of Nottingham Medical School, United Kingdom. Dr. Rashid is a strong advocate for ensuring children with cancer and chronic diseases receive the help they need to succeed in school. She volunteers with Nevada Childhood Cancer Foundation, as an educational facilitator in providing lectures and workshops to the community.
Dr. Rashid is active in clinical research and teaching. She is a member of the Nevada CCOP and is a co-investigator for clinical trials available through the Children’s Oncology Group. She is also a member of the Cancer Committee at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center. She is an adjunct Faculty member of Touro University Nevada College of Osteopathic Medicine and University of Nevada School of Medicine. She is currently a member of several professional associations and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Dr. Rashid is originally from Malaysia. She is married and has two children. In her spare time, she loves to hike, travel and eat great food.
Waseem Alhushki, M.D. - Long-Term Follow-Up Clinic Lead Physician
Dr. Alhushki joined Children’s Specialty Center in 2013.
He developed a passion for Pediatric Hematology Oncology while working at King Hussein Cancer Center. He is Board Certified in Pediatrics and inPediatricHematologyOncology.
In 2006, Dr. Alhushki volunteered in three local missions as part of the medical team of “Operation Smile”, an organization that aims at reaching children all over the world with cleft lip/palate deformities. He also participated in designing and conducting workshops on healthy lifestyles, conflict resolution and team work in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
In 2007 he joined the Children’s Hospital of Michigan Pediatrics residency program at Wayne State University and graduated in 2010. He was also honored with the General Pediatric Clinic Outstanding Continuity Clinic ResidentAward,Academicyear2009-2010.
In 2010 he joined the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles’ Pediatric Hematology Oncology program. His fellowship research project focused on the role of weight loss in improving outcome for obese children with acutelyphoblasticLeukemia.
In addition to English, Dr. Alhushki speaks Arabic fluently, is Board Eligible in 2014, enjoys reading, playing guitar and skateboarding.
Joseph L. Lasky III, M.D.
Dr. Lasky joined the Children’s Specialty Center of Nevada in 2017. He attended medical school at the University of Illinois at Chicago and did his pediatric residency at the University of Chicago. He completed his Pediatric Hematology Oncology fellowship at UCLA in 2006, and was director of the Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Program at UCLA until 2009 when he moved to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, CA, and was named Chief of the Division of Pediatric Hematology Oncology. While there, Dr. Lasky became involved with a number of clinical trials for patients with bleeding disorders (including hemophilia and von Willebrand disease) as well as sickle cell anemia. While continuing to have research interests in pediatric brain tumors and immunology, he also is interested in running and developing clinical trials for patients with bleeding disorders and sickle cell anemia. Dr. Lasky is a member of several professional societies including Children’s Oncology Group, Society for Neuro-Oncology, American Society of Hematology, and the American Academy of Pediatrics. He enjoys watching sports, reading, music, and outdoor activities with his family.
Jennifer Buitrago, APRN
Jennifer is a Nationally Certified Nurse Practitioner. She is a California native and attended the University of Southern California where she obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing. She completed a Master’s Degree and received her Advanced Practice Degree in Nursing at the University of California, Los Angeles. Jennifer has been a Pediatric Hematology/Oncology/BMT Nurse for 20years. She has worked at Rady’s Children’s Hospital, Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital, Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada, Children’s Specialty Center of Nevada, Hemophilia Treatment Center of Nevada, and most recently Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Jennifer is one of the original members of CSCNV and was a founding Board Member for Cure 4 the Kids Foundation.
Jennifer is a member of various professional organizations including Association of Pediatric Hematology Oncology Nurses, and American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation. Jennifer has been an instructor for the APHON Chemotherapy/Biotherapy Provider course for over 10years. She holds two prestigious certifications: Certified Pediatric Oncology Nurse (CPON) and Bone Marrow Transplant Certified Nurse (BMTCN).
Jennifer is also a wife and mother and enjoys spending time with her two beautiful daughters and family.
Danielle T. Bello, Ph.D. - Director of Neuropsychology and Long-Term Follow-Up Clinic
Dr. Bello joined the Children’s Specialty Center of Nevada in 2015. She is a licensed clinical psychologist and neuropsychologist. Dr. Bello is originally from New York and completed her bachelor’s degree at Binghamton University with a focus on business management. She obtained a master’s degree in psychology at New York University and completed her doctoral degree in clinical psychology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Dr. Bello attended the neuropsychology internship at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. She also completed two years of postdoctoral residency in neuropsychology. Dr. Bello found her interest in psychology and helping children while volunteering for nonprofit organizations in New York. She returned to school switching careers from business to psychology. She has interests in examining the cognitive and psychological impacts of various brain insults.
Dr. Bello has served as a practicum training supervisor for doctoral students and has taught both graduate and undergraduate courses in psychology. She is a member of various professional organizations including the National Academy of Neuropsychology and the American Psychological Association. Dr. Bello enjoys spending her free time with her husband and two children.
Angela Berg, DNP, APRN, CPNP - Director of Specialty Services, Pediatric Palliative Care Director
Angela Berg DNP, APRN, CPNP achieved her Doctorate in Nursing Practice (DNP) from the University of Utah following a seasoned career as an RN in a variety of pediatric settings. Her background has given Angela the passion for providing top quality care to children, supporting cost-effective care options, and developing care models to provide for functional care for children. Angela began the first clinic based outpatient pediatric palliative care program for Nevada right here at Children’s Specialty Center of Nevada in early 2016. Angela serves as the Director of Specialty Services Clinic, Pediatric Palliative Program Director, and nurse practitioner for the palliative and rheumatology patients. She is also a founding board member and current Secretary for the Board of Directors for Cure 4 the Kids Foundation.
Diane E. Brown, M.D., PhD.
Dr. Diane Brown is one of our visiting physicians at the Children’s Specialty Center of Nevada. She is a Board Certified Pediatric Rheumatologist, one of only 150 such physicians practicing in the United States. She travels to our clinic once a month specifically to see patients with rheumatological diseases such as: juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, scleroderma, and juvenile dermatomyositis. Dr. Brown provides the kind of specialized treatment to children that is not otherwise available in Nevada as there are no Board Certified Pediatric Rheumatologists in the state.
Dr. Brown isa AssociateClinical Professor of Pediatrics, Division of Rheumatology and Rehabilitation, Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles and University of Southern California School of Medicine.
She received her M.D. and PhD. degrees from the University of California at San Francisco. She completed her residency in Pediatrics at the St. Louis Children’s Hospital, Washington University School of Medicine and her fellowship in Pediatric Immunology/Rheumatology at Washington University School of Medicine.
While in Nevada Dr. Brown has spent time exploring and photographing many of our outdoor recreation areas including the Red Rock Canyon National Recreation Area.
Nicola Longo, M.D., Ph.D.
Dr. Longo has been a member of our Visiting Physician Program since 2009. Currently, he is the Chief of the Division of Medical Genetics at the University of Utah. His past professional experience includes Director of Clinical Biochemical Genetics Fellowships Program, as well as Professor (Tenured) in Medical Genetics/Pediatrics and Professor (Adjunct) in Pathology at the University of Utah. He also served on numerous scientific review committees for the National Institutes of Health.
Dr. Longo sees patients in Las Vegas on a regular basis. He also oversees the state of Nevada’s Newborn Screening Program which tests all newborns for genetic disorders so that early treatment can be offered, if needed. Dr. Longo is increasing the amount of time he spends in Nevada to expand treatment for those patients with Lysosomal Storage Disorders (LSD). Bringing Dr. Longo’s unique and specialized expertise to Nevada allows patients to access a level of care not currently available at any practice in Nevada.
Katherine Marzan, M.D.
Dr. Marzan is also one of our visiting physicians from Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Division of Rheumatology. She is a Board Certified Pediatric Rheumatologist who is helping to set the standard, nationally, in the diagnosis and care of children with rheumatic diseases.
She travels to the Children’s Specialty Center of Nevada once a month, separate from Dr. Brown, to see patients with rheumatological diseases. As one of a small number (150) of practicing Board Certified Pediatric Rheumatologists in the country, Dr. Marzan assists the Children’s Specialty Center of Nevada to provide unparalleled access to experts for those affected by rheumatological diseases.
Dr. Marzan is Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics USC-Keck School of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
She received her M.D. from the University of the Philippines College of Medicine. She completed her residency in Pediatrics at Penn State Hershey Medical Center and her fellowship in Pediatric Rheumatology at Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Children’s Hospital.
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