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Summit Medical Group Physician Receives Outstanding Performance Award

John David Cunningham, M.D., F.A.C.S., recently received an Outstanding Performance Award from the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer (CoC).

Berkeley Heights (Vocus) January 22, 2010 -- Summit Medical Group's John David Cunningham, M.D., F.A.C.S., a Cancer Liaison Physician (CLP), recently received an Outstanding Performance Award for going above and beyond the scope of the normal duties of serving as a liaison between the cancer program and the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer (CoC). As a Cancer Liaison, Dr. Cunningham is serving a three-year appointment and is among a national network of over 1,600 volunteer physicians who are responsible for providing leadership and direction to establish, maintain, and support their facility’s cancer program. Cancer Liaison Physicians are an integral part of cancer programs accredited by the CoC.

Nationally, thirty-six Cancer Liaison Physician Outstanding Performance Awards were recently given to recognize liaison physicians’ work in developing and/or implementing an idea(s) that improved the quality of care delivered at their facility; directly contributing to the accreditation status of the cancer program; exceeding the expectations set forth for CLPs to strengthen the cancer program; demonstrating leadership and support for cancer control activities in the community and with the ACS; or serving as a role model for other staff and exhibiting characteristics that truly make them a physician champion for the cancer program. The awardees were recognized at the Cancer Liaison Program breakfast, held during the American College of Surgeons Clinical Congress in October 2009.

As a Cancer Liaison Physician, Dr. Cunningham, is responsible for spearheading CoC initiatives within the hospital’s cancer program; collaborating with local agencies, such as the American Cancer Society; and facilitating quality improvement initiatives utilizing data submitted to the CoC's National Cancer Database (NCDB). The NCDB currently contains patient demographics, tumor characteristics, treatment, and outcomes information for over 25 million malignant cancers diagnosed and treated at hospital cancer programs in the United States. The CoC collects data from its approved cancer programs and provides tools these facilities can use to facilitate the analysis of patterns of diagnosis and treatment.

Dr. Cunningham received his B.S. in molecular biology from the University of Wisconsin and earned his M.D. at University of Wisconsin Medical School, both in Madison, Wis. He completed his residency and was Outstanding Chief Resident, at Temple University Hospital, Philadelphia, Pa. Dr. Cunningham completed a fellowship with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Cornell University Medical College and the American Cancer Society, all located in New York, N.Y. He is board certified in surgery.

In addition to his position at Summit Medical Group, Dr. Cunningham is Attending Surgeon for Overlook Hospital in Summit, N.J., and Assistant Clinical Professor of Surgery at Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York, N.Y. He was previously Assistant Professor of Surgery for Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, N.Y.

A gifted speaker, Dr. Cunningham has delivered local, regional, and national invited presentations concerning a wide range of topics in surgical oncology. He is the author or coauthor of articles and abstracts, which are published in prestigious peer-reviewed scientific journals such as Surgical Oncology, Annals of Surgical Oncology, and American Journal of Surgery. He is a member of the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project as well as the Overlook Hospital Breast Cancer Steering Committee, Cancer Committee, Cancer Executive Committee, and Surgical Care Review Committee. A fellow of the American College of Surgeons and diplomat of the American Board of Surgery, he is a member of the Society of Surgical Oncology, American Society of Breast Surgeons, and Union County Medical Society.

About the CoC
Established in 1922 by the American College of Surgeons, the Commission on Cancer is a consortium of professional organizations dedicated to improving survival and quality of life for cancer patients through standard-setting, prevention, research, education, and the monitoring of comprehensive quality care. Its membership includes Fellows of the American College of Surgeons and representatives of 46 national organizations that reflect the full spectrum of cancer care. The CoC’s core functions include setting standards for quality, multidisciplinary cancer patient care; surveying facilities to evaluate compliance with the CoC standards; collecting standardized, high-quality data from accredited facilities; and using the data to develop effective educational interventions to improve cancer care outcomes at the national, state, and local level. There are currently more than 1,400 CoC-accredited cancer programs in the US and Puerto Rico.    For more information about the Commission on Cancer, visit

About Summit Medical Group
Summit Medical Group is the largest privately held multi-specialty medical practice in New Jersey. Summit Medical Group pioneered information technology advances in healthcare with its early adoption of electronic health records and e-prescribing. With more than 150 highly qualified physicians, it is one of the most unique healthcare models in the state. The Group has been named as one of the "Fifty Fastest Growing Companies" in the state by NJBiz Magazine and has a national award-winning customer service program. SMG treats over 55,000 patients per month at its main campus in Berkeley Heights, and area satellites in Berkeley Heights, Morristown, Millburn, Shorts Hills, Summit, Warren, and Westfield. Summit Medical Group plays a major role in the American Medical Group Association (AMGA) along with the Mayo Clinic, the Lahey Clinic and the Geisinger Clinic. As one of the premier multi-specialty groups on the East Coast, Summit Medical Group has provided exceptional primary and specialty care since 1929. For more information, visit

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