Our Providers – Children’s Specialty Center Reno

Jonathan Bernstein, M.D.

Dr Bernstein is the Founder and Medical Director of the Children’s Specialty Center of Nevada, formerly known as the Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Diseases of Las Vegas.  Dr. Bernstein has worked on many fronts to ensure that all children diagnosed with cancer and other complex medical conditions, get the appropriate treatment regardless if they have adequate medical insurance coverage.
Under Dr. Bernstein’s direction the Cure 4 The Kids Foundation was established to
support clinical research and the application of that research; seeking to control, treat and cure all types of childhood diseases. For his work at the clinic, Dr. Bernstein has been recognized by the Association of Fundraising Professionals as the 2010 Outstanding Philanthropist of the Year.

Dr Bernstein received his M.D. from the University of Rochester School of Medicine; where he also completed a year-long fellowship in Pathology.  He completed his residency in Pediatrics at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and his fellowship in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at James Whitcomb Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis. He is Board Certified in both Pediatrics and Pediatric Hematology/Oncology.

Curriculum Vitae


Caroline Hastings, M.D.

Dr. Hastings is a graduate of the University of California, Davis School of Medicine and subsequently completed her training in Pediatrics and Pediatric Hematology Oncology at the Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland.  Her academic pursuits include:  Director of the fellowship in Pediatric Hematology Oncology (training Pediatricians in this sub-specialty), investigation of new therapies in high risk and relapsed acute lymphoblastic leukemia with the Children’s Oncology Group, and clinical care of patients with brain tumors.  She travels regionally speaking on new treatments of blood diseases in children and is an advocate for childhood cancer research (having recently been anointed a knight by the St. Baldrick’s Foundation).

Dr. Hastings initiated and chairs a college scholarship program for survivors of childhood cancer with the American Cancer Society in the state of California.  Dr. Hastings serves on the Board of Trustees for the American Society of Pediatric Hematology Oncology and has been involved in committee leadership in education, programming, and mentorship of young physicians for 20 years.

In addition to her academic and educational pursuits, she has been traveling to Reno since 1991 to provide care locally to children and adolescents with cancer or blood diseases, having started the first program of its kind in Northern Nevada.  The program has grown to accommodate the growing population and provides increasingly complex treatments close to home.  When not possible to receive a very high level of care locally, Dr. Hastings facilitates the care at Children’s Hospital in Oakland and her team assures continuity with the doctors and nurses.  Her mission is to provide the highest quality of care at all times to her patients, regardless of ability to pay, and develop long lasting, personal relationships with all the families.

When not in Reno or on a Southwest Airline jet, she can be found at home with her 3 daughters and husband (an internist specializing in the care of adults with inherited red blood cell disorders).

Curriculum Vitae


Robert I. Raphael, M.D.

Dr. Robert Raphael graduated from the University of California San Diego School of Medicine, where he went on to complete his residency training in General Pediatrics.  He subsequently completed his fellowship training in pediatric hematology/oncology at Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland.  He is certified in General Pediatrics and Pediatric Hematology/Oncology by the American Board of Pediatrics and licensed in both California and Nevada.

Dr. Raphael is Associate Director of the pediatric hematology/oncology fellowship program at CHRCO, where he serves on the clinical faculty as an Associate Hematologist/Oncologist.  He is also Assistant Clinical Professor at the University of Nevada Reno School of Medicine. Dr. Raphael participates in numerous clinical trials through the Children’s Oncology Group and other clinical research networks. He is a member of the Children’s Oncology Group, the American Society of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, and the American Society of Hematology.

Dr. Raphael has been traveling to Reno since 2007 to provide local care to children and adolescents with all forms of cancer and blood disorders.  The program has grown over time along with the region’s population and now provides increasingly complex treatments close to home.  When any service is not available locally, Dr. Raphael and his team coordinate intergrated care in Oakland, assuring continuity with the doctors and nurses at CHRCO.  His mission is to provide the highest quality of care at all times to his patients, regardless of ability to pay, and to develop long lasting, personal relationships with their families.

Curriculum Vitae

Joseph C. Torkildson, M.D., MBA

Dr. Joe Torkildson has specialized in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology for 25 years. He received his medical degree from the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee in 1982, and completed a residency in pediatrics at the Naval Medical Center in Oakland, CA in 1985. After completing his residency he served two years in Oakland as a general pediatrician before leaving to complete a fellowship in pediatric hematology/oncology at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles.

Following his fellowship, he was transferred to the Naval Medical Center in Portsmouth VA in 1990 where he served for the next 10 years. During this time he held a variety of positions, including training officer, assistant department head for academic affairs, division head of hematology/oncology, and director of managed care for the pediatric department. He also served on several committees, including cancer committee, intern advisory committee, and transfusion committee. In his role as managed care coordinator, he developed a number of innovative agreements between the Navy hospital and the newly established Managed Care Support Contractor for the region. These agreements resulted in the provision of additional personnel and other resources to the pediatric department that were essential for the provision of an expanded set of services to its beneficiary population. These also served as prototypes for the rest of the hospital to follow when developing their own proposals.

In 2000 he transferred to the Department of Defense Pharmacoeconomic Center at Fort Sam Houston, TX where he served as the Navy Medical Consultant and the Director of Clinical Operations, the first time this position had been held by a physician. In this role he led the transition of the directorate from a primarily academic perspective to a more business-like orientation. The end result was a more integrated approach to clinical analysis, procurement strategy development, contracting, formulary management, and provider education. The goal of this approach was to identify and manage the potential sources of variation in provider behavior that lead to the provision of less than maximally cost-effective care. During this time Dr. Torkildson also received his MBA degree from the University of Texas at San Antonio.

Following his retirement from the Navy in 2003 after a 25 year career, he returned to the Bay Area where he joined the Hematology/Oncology Group (PHO) at Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland (CHRCO) and assumed the position of Director, Neuro-Oncology Program. In that role he developed an integrated model of pediatric neuro-oncology care that has tripled the volume of brain and spinal cord tumor patients being treated at CHRCO. He became a provider in PHO’s outreach program in Reno, NV in 2010 and travels regularly to Reno to provide care to children in that community. He maintains a strong interest in the areas of quality improvement and developing sustainable models of quality sub-specialty care.

“Dr. T”, as he is affectionately known by his patients, enjoys a yearly head shaving at the St. Baldrick’s event to raise funds to support pediatric cancer research and increase awareness of childhood cancer in our communities.  In his spare time he sings and acts with a local children’s theater to promote the arts for children and adolescents who may otherwise not have had such opportunities.

Curriculum Vitae


Connie Goes, RN, PNP

Connie Goes, RN, PNP, graduated from the University of California, San Francisco School of Nursing.  She has a Masters Degree in Nursing and a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner certification and has spent her entire nursing career in Pediatric Oncology.  She has worked at UCSF and now continues in her roles of clinical care and education at Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland.  She is licensed in both California and Nevada.

Connie is a member of the Children’s Oncology Group and the Association of Pediatric Hematology Oncology Nursing.  Her academic interests are in Supportive Care of children with cancer and the use of Central Venous Catheters in pediatric oncology.  She has published on both of these topics.  Additionally, she serves as a clinical mentor for nursing students, gives lectures on the care of children with cancer to Pediatric nurses, and serves as a resource for pediatric oncology nurses.

Connie joined the Reno team with Drs. Hastings, Raphael and Torkildson and has travelled to Reno since 1994.  She case manages the oncology patients from northern Nevada to ensure seamless delivery of patient care between Children’s Hospital in Oakland and the communities of Northern Nevada. Providing high quality of care and developing relationships with her patients and families is her priority.

Connie is an advocate of childhood cancer awareness and participates in many community events to give her expertise and support.  While not at work, she enjoys the company of her friends and dogs, loves cookies and hiking at Lake Tahoe and Yosemite.



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