New surgeon realizes dream to return home

by Rhett Sifford
Dr. Mario La Giglia’s 22-year desire to return to San Juan County is officially reality, as he becomes the newest surgeon in the area. He will serve as a surgeon at San Juan Hospital in Monticello and Blue Mountain Hospital in Blanding.
Dr. La Giglia grew up in San Juan County and graduated from Monticello High School in 1996.
It has been a long and challenging journey, but La Giglia is ecstatic to return home. He considers it a “distinct honor to... serve the communities that helped raise me and make me who I am.”
Before he was hired in this new role, Dr. La Giglia expressed to administrators at both hospitals his desire to help meet the surgical needs of San Juan County.  They agreed, and his addition to the team will continue an era of cooperation between the two organizations.
La Giglia recently completed a 23-year Army career that provided extensive training and experience many surgeons don’t obtain, even at Level-1 trauma centers.
He plans to start a bariatric surgery program in addition to his duties as a general surgeon. Dr. La Giglia says obesity is an epidemic, and he wants to help San Juan County residents become healthier.
La Giglia began his career in the Army at age 17 before he graduated from Monticello High School.  He served five years as a mechanic before joining the Green to Gold program, which allowed him to earn a degree from Utah Valley University and secure an Infantry officer’s commission.
Dr. La Giglia completed Airborne School, Ranger School, and Special Forces Qualification. He was deployed to Baghdad in 2003 with the Utah National Guard.
Following a decade in the National Guard, La Giglia attended Des Moines University School of Osteopathic Medicine, graduating in 2009.  He attended General Surgery Residency at William Beaumont Army Medical Center in El Paso, TX, which included work at a Level-1 trauma center in Denver.
For the last four years, Dr. La Giglia served on an elite special operations surgical team that provided care to injured soldiers on the battlefield.
La Giglia, his wife Bridget, and their three sons, Collin, Rigley, and Drake will make their home in Blanding. 
Bridget is the daughter of Marcia and the late Bruce Johnson of Blanding. She graduated from San Juan High in 1996.
La Giglia says, “I cannot think of a better place to raise my family and call home.”

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