Our Cancer Specialists in Arizona
Gordon L. Grado, M.D., FACRO, FACR, Ph.D. (hc)
Founder and Medical Director of the Southwest Oncology Centers
Dr. Gordon Grado is the founder and medical director of the Southwest Oncology Centers and the Grado Radiation Center of Excellence. He was born in Waterloo, Iowa and grew up in the Midwest. He has been married for 40 years to wife, research coordinator, and co-author of numerous articles, Mary Grado. They have three children, Katherine, Gordon Jr., and Michael.
He received his M.D. degree from Southern Illinois University School of Medicine and completed his internship at the University of Chicago followed by a residency to specialize in the treatment of cancer with radiation at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.
Dr. Grado established his brachytherapy program in 1989 while he was the Chairman of the Radiation Oncology Department located at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona. After reviewing various techniques and programs that were available to treat prostate cancer, Dr. Grado and a team of other specialists developed the first interactive program that would utilize both biplane transferal ultrasound and fluoroscopic imaging. To date, Dr. Grado has personally performed over 4,000 brachytherapy procedures.
In June of 2000, Dr. Grado was personally invited by Jane Hull, the Governor of Arizona to be a member of the Prostate Cancer Task Force.
For several years, Dr. Grado has been affiliated with the University of Minnesota Radiation Oncology Staff as an associate professor. It allows Dr. Grado the chance to work with an interdisciplinary team of experts in radiation therapy, urology, and medical oncology to continue his commitment to conducting groundbreaking research and providing exceptional patient care.
Dr. Grado continues to work with radiation facilities around the world to help in the training and the perfection of prostate brachytherapy. Among the international sites Dr. Grado has visited are San Paulo and Porto Alegre (Brazil), Mexico City (Mexico) and Beijing (China). Dr. Marcio Fagundes of the Centro de Oncologia Radioterapica de RGS (COR) invited Dr. Grado to travel to Brazil and teach the seed implant procedure to urologists and radiation oncologist in Porto Alegre.
Siavosh Vakilian, MDCM
Dr. Vakilian obtained his medical degree and completed his residency in Radiation Oncology at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. He is board certified in radiation oncology in Canada (by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada) and in the United States (by the American Board of Radiology). After completing his residency, he served as faculty lecturer and clinical radiation oncologist at the Jewish General Hospital in Montreal, where he treated patients, mentored students and residents, and performed clinical research.
Dr. Vakilian has authored many journal articles and abstracts and presented at several scientific meetings. He has a special clinical interest in genitourinary, breast, lung and gynecological malignancies. He is dedicated to advocating for and healing his patients, as if they were members of his family. Outside of work, he is a dedicated family man, with 3 beautiful young children and a lovely wife, and he enjoys swimming, fishing, martial arts and good food.
Robert O'Laughlin, M.D.
Dr. O’Laughlin works as a board-certified Radiation Oncologist at our Bullhead City facility. He has nearly 30 years of private-practice experience in both hospital-based and freestanding cancer centers. Originally from Cambridge, MA, he grew up in New Jersey and graduated from Rutgers University with honors. After obtaining his MD at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, he completed residency in Radiation Oncology in 1991 at Cooper Hospital/University Medical Center in Camden.
Before arriving in Bullhead City, Dr. O’Laughlin held staff privileges at prestigious medical centers in Delaware, Maui and Las Vegas. He’s been an active participant in clinical research trials at the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) and rhe Gynecology Oncology Group (GOG). And he has also served as a preceptor for Radiation Therapy students in training.
Dr. O’Laughlin has a special interest in treating prostate, head & neck and dermatologic cancers, as well as pain management and hospice care. He has extensive training in accelerated partial breast irradiation, stereotactic body radiotherapy, and brachytherapy techniques. He has also served as an expert witness in malpractice litigation cases.
Dr. O’Laughlin is very active in community outreach, with roles at local health fairs, charity events, and prostate and breast screening clinics. As a compassionate, energetic and highly motivated specialist in cancer care, he routinely earns the highest doctor reviews from his patients.
Valerie P. Israel, D.O.
Valerie Israel, DO is a Medical Oncologist at our Bullhead City facility. Dr. Israel’s expertise includes general medical oncology and hematologic malignancies, as well as benign hematologic diseases; she is board certified in Medical Oncology.
Dr. Israel received her medical degree from the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific in Pomona, California. She completed her internship and residency training in Internal Medicine in 1992 at Los Angeles County Medical Center/University of Southern California, where in 1995 she completed fellowships in Medical Oncology and in Hematology. She then remained on staff as full-time faculty and assistant professor at USC/LACMC and Kenneth Norris Cancer Center.
After working in private practice in Los Angeles from 2001 to 2013, she left the chaotic life of southern California to move to Arizona. Following time at the University of Arizona/St. Joseph’s Cancer Center in Phoenix, she joined Southwest Oncology Centers to practice rural medicine, where she believes she can do the most good.
As a two-time cancer survivor herself, Dr. Valerie Israel feels deeply connected to her patients. Outside of work, Dr. Israel’s compassion is directed to her rescue sanctuary for abandoned animals. Since 2015, she has lived on her 40-acre ranch in the Peacock Mountains in Kingman, with her many horses, goats, dogs, cats, chickens, and even tortoises. In her sparse spare time, she does oil, acrylic and watercolor painting.
Agnes L. Charles Torres, M.D.
Dr. Agnes L. Charles Torres was born and raised in Puerto Rico. She attended the University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine, and later completed her residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Puerto Rico University Hospital (1987). She then continued her fellowship in Hematology and Medical Oncology in the same hospital.
After completing her fellowship, Dr. Charles joined the faculty of the University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine. Later, she started a limited private practice.
Dr Charles is proud to be the mother of 4 children. She profoundly enjoyed being deeply involved in their upbringing and their extracurricular activities.
Now, Dr Charles continues to practice Hematology-Medical Oncology, one of her greatest passions in life. She has been deeply involved in patient and public community education and is an active participant in conferences. She was also the host of a radio program with Oncology and Internal Medicine themes. She also enjoys reading and traveling.
Dr. Agnes Charles came to Yuma with great enthusiasm to join the Southwest Oncology Group.
Richard P. Levy, M.D, Ph.D.
Dr. Richard Levy was born and raised in New York City and received his MD from Boston University School of Medicine. He completed residency programs in Internal Medicine at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco and in Radiation Oncology at Loma Linda University Medical Center in Southern California, and he became board certified in both specialties. Dr. Levy earned his PhD in Biophysics from University of California at Berkeley, where he was presented the Einstein fellowship award as the Outstanding Graduate Student in Neuroscience Research.
Since 1983, Dr. Levy has done pioneering work in stereotactic radiosurgery (neurosurgery-like treatment with radiation beams), and precision correlation of MRI and CT scans to target brain lesions. And he was an early physician advocate for synchro-cyclotron accelerator treatment with proton beams and heavier charged particles. He has published numerous articles and book chapters in the medical-science domain.
Dr. Levy’s significant academic titles have included appointments as: Medical Scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; Assistant Adjunct Professor of Diagnostic Radiology at UC-San Francisco; Associate Clinical Professor of Neurosurgery at Stanford University Medical Center; and Full Professor of Radiation Medicine (Oncology) at Loma Linda University Medical Center.
Dr. Levy has traveled to all 50 states and every continent except Antarctica, as a backpacker and physician-scientist. He continues to be an organizer and director of international conferences on the medical applications of accelerator technology. As a life-long athlete, Dr. Levy continues to enjoy skiing vacations around North America. He and his beautiful wife Donna have been married for 40 years. They have three wonderful children and (thus far) two energetic granddaughters.
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