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Breast Cancer Center: Our Physicians

             

Charles E. Cox, MD
Endowed Chair, Surgery, USF Health Morsani College of Medicine

Dr. Charles Cox is on the medical staff at Tampa General Hospital and is a professor of surgery at the University of South Florida (USF) Health Morsani College of Medicine. He is committed to his patients’ total well-being, including their medical, emotional, and psychological health as they battle malignancies and other breast conditions. Dr. Cox holds several leadership roles in multiple surgical societies and associations. His numerous awards include the Award of Excellence in Teaching & Compassion from Duke University School of Medicine, he has been named as one of the Best Doctors in America, and he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Tampa Bay Business Journal in 2011. He is particularly interested in lymphatic mapping, sentinel node biopsy, and breast conserving therapies. His hundreds of books, journals, articles, abstracts and presentations focus on some of the most cutting-edge detection techniques and treatment options available for breast cancer patients.


Jason M. Hechtman, MD
FACS Assistant Professor, Dept. of Surgery, USF Health Morsani College of Medicine

Dr. Jason Hechtman is on the medical staff at Tampa General Hospital and is an assistant professor of breast surgery at USF Health Morsani College of Medicine. He specializes in the treatment of breast cancer and breast diseases, blending cutting edge treatment options with advanced surgical interventions to ensure patients not only receive the best medical care possible, but also feel beautiful and confident. With more than 16 years of experience, Dr. Hechtman is an expert in breast ultrasound, ultrasound-guided breast biopsy and localization procedures, breast brachytherapy catheter placement and treatment, breast oncoplastic interventions, hidden scar breast surgical interventions and other minimally invasive breast interventions that maximize aesthetic outcomes.

      

Abigail S. Beard, MD
Assistant Professor, Breast Surgery, USF Health Morsani College of Medicine

Dr. Abigail Beard is on the medical staff at Tampa General Hospital and an assistant professor of breast surgery at the University of South Florida School of Medicine. Her areas of interest include benign and malignant disorders of the breast, high risk breast cancer screening, and breast conservation and oncoplastic surgery, about which Dr. Beard has given several presentations and published studies. She is the vice chair of the Committee on Cancer and has served on the Radiation Oncology Chair Search Committee, both at Tampa General Hospital. Dr. Beard’s awards and honors include clerkships in pediatrics, family medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, and psychiatry, and letters of commendation in surgery, internal medicine, and neurology. She was also named to the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and the Golden Key Honor Society in the National Scholastic Honor Society.

 

Peggy Duggan, MD, FACS
Chief Medical Officer, Tampa General Hospital
Breast Surgeon, TGH Cancer Institute


Renowned breast cancer surgeon Peggy Duggan, MD, FACS, is the executive vice president and chief medical officer (CMO) at Tampa General Hospital. In her role, she oversees the functions related to physicians and patient care, including medical staff services, patient satisfaction and quality of care measures. Prior to joining Tampa General in January 2021, Dr. Duggan spent more than 15 years in the Mass General Brigham Health System (formerly Partners Healthcare). During that time, she served as a breast surgeon and medical director of the breast center, and ultimately became the CMO for Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital (BWFH) in Boston, Mass. She held several leadership positions throughout her tenure with BWFH, including medical director of credentialing and president of the medical staff.



Meira M. Pernicone, MD, FACS

FACS Assistant Professor, Surgery, USF Health Morsani College of Medicine

Dr. Meira Pernicone is on the medical staff at Tampa General Hospital and is an assistant professor of surgery at the University of South Florida (USF) Morsani College of Medicine’s Breast Health Program. As a general surgery resident and chief resident in surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., she taught students in the Mayo Medical School and Mayo Graduate School of Medicine, then, as a practicing surgeon, Dr. Pernicone taught and spoke at various conferences, workshops, and courses. Her international conference presentations, lectures, and publications have included a variety of breast related topics, including male breast cancer, image-guided intervention and biopsies, and breast ultrasound. Dr. Pernicone has particular interest in using acupuncture and Eastern Medicine as complements to her surgical oncology practice, which often help to further relieve patients’ suffering. She is certified in the NADA Protocol for Auriculotherapy, which uses ear acupuncture for treating addictions, PTSD, and other conditions. Dr. Pernicone also is certified in Battlefield Acupuncture for managing acute pain conditions.

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Jamie E. McKenzie, MD
Hematologist-Oncologist

Dr. Jamie McKenzie is a hematologist-oncologist at Tampa General Hospital who specializes in breast cancer. She is a compassionate physician who utilizes a multidisciplinary approach to providing patients with comprehensive care and rehabilitation before and throughout the treatment process. In addition to practicing medicine, Dr. McKenzie has followed her passion for educating patients and instructing future professionals around the world throughout her medical career.

 Dr. Victoria Rizk Headshot

Victoria Rizk, MD
Medical Oncologist

Dr. Victoria Rizk is a board-certified medical oncologist who specializes in the care and treatment of patients with breast cancer. Prior to joining Tampa General, Dr. Rizk worked as a medical oncologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, where she provided comprehensive care, support and education for patients with breast cancer. Additionally, she was as an instructor in medicine at Weill Medical College of Cornell University, where she taught and mentored medical students. Aspiring to become an oncologist from a young age, Dr. Rizk graduated from an accelerated, six-year B.A./M.D. program at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine. She then completed Internal Medicine Residency at the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine and Hematology/Oncology Fellowship at the University of South Florida/Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa.

 

 
Talya Schwarzberg

Talya Schwarzberg, MD
Medical Oncologist

Talya Schwarzberg, MD, is a former clinical instructor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and staff physician at Massachusetts General Hospital’s department of medical oncology. She received her medical oncology and hematology training at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and her internal medicine training at Brigham & Women’s Hospital, both in Boston.

Dr. Schwarzberg is currently seeing patients with different types of cancers, with a focus on breast and gynecologic cancers. She is a member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Kelly Foster MD 

Kelly Foster, MD
Medical Oncologist

Kelly Foster, MD, is a former medical oncologist at Northwestern Medicine in Chicago, where she provided quality care to patients with all types of cancer. Dr. Foster completed her internal medicine residency and her medical oncology and palliative medicine fellowship training all at Northwestern University. She received her undergraduate degree at UCLA and completed medical school at Loyola University Chicago.

Dr. Foster is board certified in medical oncology, internal medicine and palliative medicine. She is currently seeing patients with all types of cancer, with a focus on breast and gastrointestinal cancers (gastric, esophageal, pancreatic, hepatobiliary, colon, anal). She is a member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.