Our Breast Cancer Care Team

Medical Oncology

Clinical Director, Breast Medical Oncology at Rhode Island Hospital

Mary Ann Fenton, MD, FACP is an oncologist at the Lifespan Cancer Institute and a clinical associate professor at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Her specialty area is the prevention and treatment of breast cancer.

Director of Women's Cancers, Lifespan Cancer Institute, Clinical Director, Gynecologic Medical Oncology and Director of Medical Oncology, Rhode Island Hospital

Don S. Dizon, MD, FACP, FASCO, is an oncologist who specializes in women's cancers. He is the director of women's cancers at Lifespan Cancer Institute and director of medical oncology at Rhode Island Hospital. He is also a professor of medicine at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. His research interests are in novel treatments of women’s cancers and issues related to survivorship, particularly as they relate to sexual health after cancer for both men and women.

He is a prolific researcher and writer, and he has authored hundreds of publications, including peer-reviewed articles, books and book chapters. He is an active member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, SWOG cancer research network, and the National Consortium of Breast Cancers, of which he has served as both vice president and president. 

Program Director, Young Women with Cancer Program

Mary L. Lopresti, DO, is an oncologist who specializes in breast and gynecological cancers at Rhode Island Hospital and Lifespan Cancer Institute. She serves as assistant professor of hematology oncology at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, and is also an assistant program director of the Brown University hematology oncology fellowship program.

Dr. Lopresti is currently involved in breast cancer research studies at Brown University and Rhode Island and The Miriam hospitals. Her  work has been published in several peer-reviewed journals, books and book chapters. She is a member of the American Society of Hematology and the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Clinical Director, Women’s Medical Oncology at The Miriam Hospital

Radiation Oncology

Director of Stereotactic Radiosurgery

Jaroslaw T. Hepel, MD, serves as director of stereotactic radiosurgery at Rhode Island Hospital and as an assistant professor at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. He also serves as associate director of the Tufts-Affiliated Hospitals Residency Training Program in Radiation Oncology. He is board certified in radiation oncology by the American Board of Radiology. Hepel received his undergraduate degree at Cornell University and earned his medical degree at the University of Rochester. He completed internal medicine residency at the University of California Irvine Medical Center, and then went on to complete residency in the specialty of radiation oncology at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, MA. 

Hepel has broad experience and knowledge, and is active in caring for patients with a wide range of malignant diseases. However, he holds a particular interest and clinical expertise in the treatment of breast cancer and in stereotactic radiosurgery/radiotherapy for diseases involving the lung, brain, spine, liver and other sites. He is not only very active in the clinic but also has a keen academic interest in these areas. He has published several book chapters and multiple scientific papers, and has regularly presented his work at national meetings. Through his academic work, he strives to improve treatment outcomes for patients not only in regard to achieving higher cure rates but also to minimizing treatment side effects.

Radiation Oncologist

Kara Leonard, MD, is a radiation oncologist at Rhode Island Hospital and an assistant professor of radiation oncology at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Leonard received her undergraduate degree in neuroscience from Columbia University in New York, her master of science from Villanova University in Villanova, Pennsylvania, and her medical degree from Albany Medical College in Albany, New York. She completed an internship in internal medicine at Albany Medical Center, followed by a residency in radiation oncology at Tufts Medical Center in Boston. She specializes in treating breast, gastrointestinal, and head and neck cancers. She is a member of several national honor societies, including Alpha Omega Alpha and Psi Chi.

Oncologist-in-Chief, Radiation Oncology

David Wazer, MD, is director of the Lifespan Cancer Institute of Rhode Island, The Miriam and Newport hospitals as well as radiation oncologist-in-chief at Rhode Island Hospital. He is professor and chairman of the departments of radiation oncology at both The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and Tufts University School of Medicine.

Dr. Wazer is an internationally recognized expert in the application of new technology in the field of radiation oncology. He has published more than 200 scientific articles, written several books, and is also editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Clinical Oncology. Wazer earned his medical degree (with honors) from the New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY, and also completed a research fellowship in neurochemistry at New York University. Dr. Wazer obtained his clinical training in internal medicine at Brown University and in radiation oncology at Tufts University. His clinical research interests include the study of the efficacy, toxicity, and cost/utility analysis of image-guided radiation therapy, partial breast irradiation, electronic brachytherapy and hyperthermia. He is actively involved in the development of clinical trials for cancers of the breast, skin, gastrointestinal tract and lung.

Dr. Wazer is a fellow of the American Society for Radiation Oncology and the American College of Radiation Oncology and a member of the Radiation Research Society, American Society of Clinical Oncology, the American College of Radiology, the American Radium Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Brachytherapy Society.

Surgical Oncology

Surgical Oncologist

Christine Emmick, MD is a board-certified general surgeon who cares for a wide array of surgical diseases. She received her medical degree from the Albany Medical College and completed her surgical residency at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and Rhode Island Hospital.

Dr. Emmick has a special interest in the treatment of both benign and malignant breast disease and is a member of the Lifespan Cancer Institute's multidisciplinary breast clinic team at The Miriam Hospital. She is an assistant clinical professor of surgery at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and a member of the American College of Surgeons.

More about the Lifespan Cancer Institute »

General Surgeon

Bradford Gray, MD, FACS, is a board-certified general surgeon affiliated with Newport Hospital. Dr. Gray received his medical degree from Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and completed his resident training at Abington Memorial Hospital in Abington, Pennsylvania. He is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons. Dr. Gray has interest and expertise across a broad range of surgical services, including management of benign and malignant breast conditions; thyroid surgery; endoscopic procedures; management of malignant skin conditions, including melanoma; and advanced laparoscopic surgery, including hernia repair, colon surgery and foregut surgery.

Director, Breast Cancer Center of the Lifespan Cancer Institute
Surgical Oncologist

Charu Taneja, MD, is an affiliated surgical oncologist in the High-Risk Breast Program at the Women's Medicine Collaborative. She is a clinical assistant professor of surgery at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. She received her medical degree from Maulana Azad Medical College, University of Delhi in New Delhi, India. Taneja completed a residency in surgery at the University of Medicine and Dentistry at New Jersey Medical School in Newark, New Jersey. She is a graduate of the surgical oncology fellowship at Boston University.

Taneja is board certified in surgery. She has published many original research articles in the field of oncology and breast surgery.

Associate Director, Breast Cancer Multidisciplinary Clinic at Newport Hospital

Julia Tassinari, MD, is a board-certified general surgeon and the associate director of the Lifespan Cancer Institute Breast Cancer Multidisciplinary Clinic at Newport Hospital.  Dr. Tassinari received her medical degree from Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and completed her internship and residency at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts. Among her interests and expertise are minimally invasive surgery, including hernia repair, colon and foregut surgery; breast surgery; and skin and soft tissue surgery.

Director, Cancer Survivorship Program

Doreen Wiggins, MD, MHL, FACOG, FACS, is an affiliated physician at the Women's Medicine Collaborative. She is director of the Cancer Survivorship Medicine program and is an assistant clinical professor at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Rhode Island and her medical degree from The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. She pursued further medical training at Women & Infants Hospital and completed a Society for Surgical Oncology Breast Disease fellowship, and an intensive course in cancer risk assessment at the City of Hope in Los Angeles, California. Wiggins earned a master’s degree in healthcare leadership from The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

Wiggins is a fellow of both the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the American College of Surgeons. She is the founder of Center for Obstetrics & Gynecology in Providence. Her areas of expertise are breast cancer surgery, gynecologic surgery, female cancer genetics, female sexuality and cancer survivorship.

Patient Navigators

Idalina Colburn, BSN, RN, OCN
Patient Navigator

Idalina Colburn, BSN, RN, OCN, is a certified oncology nurse and a patient navigator. She is a graduate of the Community College of Rhode Island in Warwick; Rhode Island College in Providence; and Kaplan University in Davenport, IA, and holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing and social work. She serves as president of the local chapter of the Oncology Nursing Society. She works closely with the Lifespan Cancer Institute breast cancer and gynecological cancer teams. Her role involves meeting the individual needs of the breast and gynecological cancer patient by helping patients and their families navigate the continuum of cancer care.

Esther Llanos
Patient Navigator

Esther Llanos is a bilingual, certified patient navigator. She brings many years of experience to her role. Understanding a patient's individual cultural and socioeconomic needs allows her to personalize the guidance she provides. She works with the breast cancer and melanoma teams.

Margot Murphy, RN
Patient Navigator

Margot Murphy, RN, is a certified patient navigator and a graduate of Concord Hospital School of Nursing in Concord, NH. She works closely with the Lifespan Cancer Institute breast cancer team, hematology team, and Fellows Clinic. Her role involves assisting patients and their families to guide them through the medical process and provide comfort and knowledge.