Gynecologic Oncology Care Team

Medical Oncology

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. 

Oncologist

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

Surgical Oncology

Chief of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Rhode Island and The Miriam Hospitals

Christina A. Bandera, MD, is a gynecologic oncologist and director of the Center for Gynecologic Cancers at the Women’s Medicine Collaborative, and chief of obstetrics and gynecology at The Miriam Hospital and Rhode Island Hospital. Dr. Bandera received her undergraduate degree from Harvard University, and her medical degree from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She completed her postgraduate training at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital, and held fellowships at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and the Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix, Arizona.

Dr. Bandera is board certified in obstetrics and gynecology, and gynecologic oncology. She served as director of robotic surgery at Women & Infants Hospital, and is a member of the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists and the American Association for Gynecologic Laparoscopy.

Dr. Bandera’s clinical expertise includes the medical and surgical treatment of gynecologic cancers arising from the uterus, ovary, cervix, vagina and vulva, as well as the treatment of molar pregnancies and conditions resulting in abnormal pap smears. She has a special interest in cancer prevention and minimally invasive cancer surgery, including robotic surgery.

Gynecologic Oncologist

Tarra Evans, MD. is a gynecologic oncologist at The Center for Gynecologic Cancers at the Women’s Medicine Collaborative. Dr. Evans completed her specialty surgical training at Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Dr. Evans is a clinical assistant professor of surgery at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and is a member of the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists.

Dr. Evans has expertise in the surgical and medical treatment of precancers and cancers of the ovary, uterus, cervix, vagina and vulva, with a special interest in surgeries to treat and alleviate cancer-related symptoms. In addition to surgical management of gynecologic cancers, Dr. Evans also has expertise in treating complex cancer-related symptoms and completed the Harvard Interprofessional Palliative Care Fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Chief of Surgical Oncology, Rhode Island Hospital

Thomas Miner, MD, is chief of surgical oncology at Rhode Island Hospital. He is an associate professor of surgery at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and an expert in gastric cancer surgery.

Dr. Miner's research interests include the use of hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) for cancers with diffuse involvement of the abdominal cavity.

Radiation Oncology

Chief of Brachytherapy Services

Yakub Puthawala, MD, is chief of brachytherapy services at Rhode Island Hospital and an associate clinical professor of radiation oncology at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Puthawala is a board-certified radiation oncologist. He received his undergraduate degree in biology from Gujarat College and his medical degree from Municipal Medical College, both in Ahmedabad, India. He completed his fellowship training in radiation oncology at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center in Worcester, Massachusetts, and his residency training in radiation oncology at University Hospital in San Juan, Puerto Rico. His areas of clinical expertise include intraoperative radiation therapy, gynecologic and head and neck oncology, high dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy and intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT). He is an adjunct associate clinical professor at Tufts University School of Medicine.

Pathology

Director of Immunohistochemistry, Lifespan Laboratories

Jesse L. Hart, DO, specializes in pathology at Rhode Island Hospital, and serves as director of immunohistochemistry for Lifespan Laboratories. He has taught as an invited lecturer at The Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University and at the University of Rhode Island. He has given many lectures at the hospital during the microscopic slide conferences, and received the Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching for his dedication and skill in the field.

Dr. Hart is also an author in several original publications and peer-reviewed journals. He is an active member of the Rhode Island Society of Pathologists and the College of American Pathologists.

Patient Navigator

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.