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Surgical Oncology Team

Breast Cancer Surgeons


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.



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.

Colorectal Cancer Surgeons

 

Jorge E. Marcet, MD
Medical Director, Colorectal Surgery Services, Tampa General Hospital

Jorge Marcet, MD, operates as the Medical Director of Colorectal Surgery Services for Tampa General Hospital. Dr. Marcet is a member of the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons and the American College of Surgeons. He obtained his medical degree from Cornell University and specializes in general surgery and colon & rectal surgery. Dr. Marcet is often recognized for trusting relationships with his patients and the community by providing quality care and educating others.

Carolina Martinez, MD
Colon & Rectal Surgery, General Surgery, Tampa General Hospital

Dr. Carolina Martinez is a fellowship-trained surgeon with expertise in colon and rectal surgery, specializing in management of both benign and malignant colorectal disorders. Dr. Martinez uses advanced endoscopic interventions as well as minimally invasive laparoscopic and robotic techniques to manage patients with colorectal tumors, inflammatory bowel disease and pelvic floor dysfunction. Dr. Martinez is a compassionate physician whose primary goal is to ensure equal access to comprehensive health care.

Gynecologic Cancer Surgeons

 

Thomas J. Rutherford, MD

Medical Director, TGH Cancer Institute
USF Health Director, Division of Gynecology and Oncology

Dr. Thomas J. Rutherford is the medical director of the Tampa General Hospital Cancer Instituteand director of the Division of Gynecology and Oncology at the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine. He approaches patient care as an advocate for total cancer care, recognizing that patient care encompasses a continuum from prevention and high-risk genetic screening to individualized treatment, survivorship and end-of-life care. A nationally recognized surgeon, Dr. Rutherford came to Tampa from Western Connecticut Health Network, where he was the network physician director of cancer services. Before that, he was a professor, division director of gynecologic oncology and director of the gynecologic oncology fellowship at the Yale University School of Medicine. Dr. Rutherford has authored more than 100 scientific journal articles on the prevention, early detection and treatment of gynecological cancers.

 

Dr. Matthew Anderson headshot

Matthew L. Anderson, MD, PhD, PACOG

Gynecologic Oncologist, Tampa General Hospital
Director, USF Morsani College of Medicine Obstetrics & Gynecology

Dr. Matthew L. Anderson specializes in the surgical and medical management of pre-malignant and malignant diseases of the female reproductive tract. He utilizes state-of-the-art approaches, including both minimally invasive and robotic surgery, to achieve the best possible clinical outcomes in a friendly, patient-oriented environment. Dr. Anderson leverages his unique expertise as a nationally recognized translational cancer researcher to help his patients gain a better understanding of their disease and personalize the therapeutic approach. His experience with genetics is particularly helpful for patients seeking options for managing an inherited predisposition to ovarian and/or uterine cancer. In addition, Dr. Anderson’s many years of experience as a surgeon allow him to effectively address complex gynecologic issues, such as large pelvic masses, fistulas and difficult cases of endometriosis and uterine leiomyomas.

Dr. Diana English Headshot

Diana P. English, MD, FACOG

Gynecologic Oncologist, Tampa General Hospital
Director, Oncologic Palliative Care, University of South Florida

Dr. Diana P. English specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of all gynecologic cancers. She has shown herself to be a dedicated researcher and has several original papers related to targeted therapeutic approaches to uterine serous cancer, health disparity research and research on novel treatment approaches to ovarian cancer. She has a strong interest in palliative medicine/supportive care for patients with cancer and has also completed a fellowship in palliative medicine at Stanford University. Currently, she works as an academic gynecologic oncologist and is the director of Oncologic Palliative Care at the University of South Florida. Dr. English has also been involved in international service, particularly medical mission trips to developing countries.

 

Head & Neck Cancer Surgeon


Tapan Padhya, MD

Medical Director, Ear Nose and Throat, Tampa General Hospital

Professor and Chairman
Chief, Division of Head and Neck Oncology
Co-Director, USF ENT Sleep and Snoring Center
Dept. of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery
USF Health Morsani College of Medicine

Dr. Tapan Padhya operates as Tampa General Hospital’s Medical Director for Ear, Nose, and Throat, a professor and Chairman for the Division of Head and Neck Oncology at USF Health Morsani College of Medicine. In addition, Dr. Padhya is the founder and co-director at the USF ENT Sleep and Snoring Center. He received his medical degree from Indiana University School of Medicine and specializes in otolaryngology, head and neck surgery. Dr. Padhya serves the community through his dedication to his patients and drive for research and educating others.

Lung Cancer Surgeons


K. Eric Sommers, MD, FACS

Medical Director, TGH Center for Lung Cancer
Cardiothoracic Surgeon, Tampa General Hospital

Dr. K. Eric Sommers is one of the most experienced thoracic surgeons in Florida, having performed more than 6,300 cardiothoracic surgeries – including over 4,000 for lung cancer – as well as hundreds of robotic assisted procedures using the da Vinci® System.Hisskill and expertise in minimally invasive lung and chest surgery have earned him national recognition. His robotic lobectomy technique for lung cancer is being utilized as a teaching tool for other thoracic surgeons.Dr. Sommers’ surgical skill is matched by his extensive teaching and administrative experience. In addition to spending more than a decade on the medical staff at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center, he was also, the medical Staff Executive Committee President at Moffitt, an associate Professor in the Department of Surgery at USF Health Morsani College of Medicine, a founding surgical director of the Tampa General Hospital lung transplant program, and the director of the Heart Transplant Group at Tampa General Hospital.

Doctor Christopher Bariana Headshot

Christopher Bariana, DO
Thoracic Surgeon, Tampa General Hospital

Dr. Christopher Bariana is a board-certified thoracic surgeon who has a passion for treating patients with lung cancer and lung nodule screening. Prior to joining Tampa General, he served in several roles for Jefferson Health New Jersey/Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, including New Jersey Division chief of thoracic surgery, medical director of esophageal and foregut surgery, medical director of robotic thoracic surgery, co-director of the lung nodule clinic and lung cancer screening along with assistant general surgery program director. Known for his compassionate nature and dedication to comprehensive care, award-winning Dr. Bariana was recognized as a New Jersey Top Doctor from 2018-2021.

Dr. Bariana’s multitude of clinical interests include minimally invasive and robotic surgery, robotic esophageal and upper gastrointestinal surgery for both benign and malignant disease, laparoscopic anti-reflux surgery, lung and tracheal resections, lung cancer screening and nodule programs, bronchoscopy, and research and medical education.

 

Jonathan Daniel, MD
Thoracic Surgeon, Tampa General Hospital

Dr. Jonathan Daniel is a board-certified thoracic surgeon who specializes in cancerous and non-cancerous diseases of the lungs and esophagus. In the 10 years prior to joining Tampa General, he treated patients in the private practice setting in Alaska and Oregon. Equipped with extensive experience in minimally invasive techniques and specialized robotic surgeries, Dr. Daniel is a lecturer and proctor for Intuitive Surgical, the manufacturer of the da Vinci robotic system. He’s also provided instruction as an assistant professor of surgery at the University of Arizona, where he served as Section Chief of Thoracic Surgery and performed lung transplant surgery and general thoracic surgery.