Oncology Staff

Radiation Oncology Staff


Vernon King, MDVernon King, MD
Dr. King came to Grand Junction in 2001 after practicing radiation oncology in New York for 10 years. A native of Salt Lake City, he graduated magna cum laude from the University of Utah with a major in chemistry and minor in Spanish. He then attended the University of Utah Medical School where he chose to become a radiation oncologist because of the compassion he observed of the physicians for their patients, as well as the highly technical aspects of the field.  After completing residency at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, New York, he became chief of a radiation oncology department in Albany, New York, and gained the rank of associate professor at Albany Medical Center, where he was nationally and internationally recognized for his work with tumors of the head, neck, and brain. As part of St. Mary's Regional Cancer Center team, Dr. King now treats all types of cancer. He has a special interest in the multidisciplinary head and neck cancer clinic, treats thyroid cancer with radioactive iodine, and is participating in further development of St. Mary's brain tumor treatment program.


Gayle Miller, MD

Dr. Miller did her undergraduate studies at Purdue University, receiving her bachelor of science degree with highest distinction in biology. She was elected into several honor societies including Phi Beta Kappa. She attended medical school at the University of Kansas, receiving her medical degree in 1980. She was elected into Alpha Omega Alpha national medical honor society and graduated in the top 10 percent of her medical school class. She completed her internship in pediatrics at Oregon University before pursuing radiation oncology at Kansas University Medical Center, where she was an American Cancer Society Junior Clinical Fellow. Dr. Miller has been medical director of St. Mary's radiation oncology department since 1993. She has special interest in breast cancer and combined modality therapy.  


Douglas Rock, MDDouglas Rock, MD
Dr. Rock joined St. Mary's radiation oncology staff in 1997. He graduated from the University of Utah School of Medicine. He completed his internship and residency at the Medical College of Wisconsin, and then served as staff radiation oncologist at Wilford Hall Medical Center at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. He practices full service radiation oncology, including brachytherapy, conventional external beam radiation, three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy, and intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT). He has a special interest in prostate cancer and prostate brachytherapy. Dr. Rock is St. Mary's chief investigator for the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group.

 

Medical Oncology Staff

R. Kim Gibson, MDDr. Gibson
Dr. Gibson graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a degree in biochemistry from the University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas. He earned his medical degree from the University of Kansas Medical School, Kansas City. Dr. Gibson completed an internship in internal medicine at the University of Kansas Health Sciences Center and a residency in internal medicine at the University of Kansas Medical Center, Lexington, Kentucky. He completed a fellowship in hematology and oncology at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver where he received a two-year Hematology Research Award from the National Institute of Health. After practicing in Denver and Lakewood, Colorado, he moved to Grand Junction and joined St. Mary's Regional Cancer Center in 1990. Dr. Gibson is board certified in internal medicine, medical oncology, and hematology.

Mark Hancock, MDDr. Gibson
Dr. Hancock joined St. Mary's as medical director of the Regional Cancer Center in 2008. He previously practiced medical oncology in Denver and Englewood, Colorado, and in Missoula, Montana. He earned his undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University and his medical degree from Southwestern Medical School in Dallas. He completed an internal medicine internship at the Medical College of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia, and residency in internal medicine at Parkland Hospital Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, where he also completed a fellowship in hematology and oncology. Dr. Hancock is board certified in internal medicine and medical oncology, and he has a special interest in head and neck cancer. He also earned an Executive MBA from the University of Denver Daniels College of Business.

Virginia Tjan-Wettstein, MD
Dr. Tjan-Wettstein attended Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Pittsburg, and Ross University School of Medicine in the Commonwealth of Dominica. She completed internal medicine internship and residency programs at Danbury Hospital, Danbury, Connecticut, and a fellowship in hematology and oncology at the University of Connecticut Health Center in Farmington, Connecticut. She provided medical oncology and hematology care in Bristol and Hartford, Connecticut, for 10 years before joining St. MaryÕs Regional Cancer Center in 2009. Dr. Tjan-Wettstein is board certified in internal medicine, medical oncology, and hematology, and has a special interest in leukemia and lymphoma.


JoAnne Virgilio, DOJoAnne Virgilio, DO
Dr. Virgilio earned her undergraduate degree at New York University. She went on to medical school at Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine and a fellowship in hematology and oncology at the University of Cincinnati. She attended the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute for additional training in bone marrow transplant. She is board certified in internal medicine, medical oncology, and hematology. Dr. Virgilio's practice encompasses all of general oncology and hematology. She has special interest in breast cancer, lymphoma, leukemia, gastrointestinal, lung, and ovarian malignancies. Dr. Virgilio came to Grand Junction in 1992.

 

Gynecologic Oncology Staff

Ruth E. Higdon, MD
Dr. Higdon earned her medical degree at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri, and completed her residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Louisiana State University in New Orleans. She then completed a fellowship in gynecologic oncology at the University of Miami in Florida. Dr. Higdon is the only gynecologic oncologist in western Colorado. A surgeon, she also assists on complicated benign gynecologic procedures. Dr. Higdon is board certified in obstetrics and gynecology and in gynecologic oncology. She is a member of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists. Dr. Higdon joined St. Mary's Regional Cancer Center in 2011 after practicing in Alaska for 10 years.