Dr. Patrick Borgen to Succeed Dr. Joseph Cunningham as Head of the Region's Most Prestigious Surgery Department
Brooklyn, NY (January 30, 2009) - Maimonides Medical Center recently announced that Dr. Patrick Borgen, Director of the Breast Cancer Disease Management Team and Chief of Breast Surgery, has been appointed Chair of the Department of Surgery. Dr. Borgen succeeds Dr. Joseph Cunningham, the renowned cardiothoracic surgeon who served as Chairman of Surgery for 26 years. Drs. Cunningham and Borgen have been working together over the past few months to ensure a smooth transition in this change of leadership.
Upon arrival at Maimonides, Dr. Borgen's credentials and experience indicated he was a superb surgeon," said Dr. Cunningham. "Since that time, he has made significant contributions to the clinical activities of the Medical Center and demonstrated outstanding leadership skills."
"When Dr. Cunningham decided to retire from his duties as Chair, we both knew there was no need to pursue a formal search for a successor. We asked Dr. Borgen - and he accepted," said Pamela Brier, President and CEO of Maimonides Medical Center.
Recruited from Memorial Sloan-Kettering, Dr. Borgen began practicing at the newly built Maimonides Cancer Center in November, 2006. He is recognized as one of the most skilled, innovative and compassionate breast cancer surgeons in the country. His success has earned him numerous research grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the American Cancer Society, the US Army and the National Cancer Institute.
Dr. Borgen's pursuit of genetic clues to breast cancer, and his dedication to less disfiguring and life-disrupting treatments, has led him to make a number of breakthrough discoveries in the last 18 years, including: the discovery of a gene that indicates higher cancer risk and may be screened for with a simple blood test; the development of Sentinel Node Biopsy, a minimally invasive procedure that is now the standard for diagnosis; and multiple surgical techniques that spare tissue and skin when removing breast cancer.
"Dr. Cunningham is a tough act to follow," said Dr. Borgen. "But I'm looking forward to working with the many talented surgeons at Maimonides, bringing the most advanced treatment options to our patients."
As the new Chair of Surgery at Maimonides, Dr. Borgen will lead a department with a storied history of innovation and accomplishment. That reputation for cutting-edge research is what attracted his predecessor to Brooklyn in 1982. Dr. Joseph N. Cunningham, Jr. came to Maimonides after a decade of outstanding work as a cardiothoracic surgeon and developer of new surgical techniques at New York University Medical Center.
"Since the day he joined Maimonides, Dr. Cunningham has been one of the Medical Center's most significant physician leaders. His contributions over the past 26 years, especially in the training of countless surgical residents, are legion," said Ms. Brier.
The same year that Dr. Cunningham began his tenure at Maimonides, he developed a surgical technique to detect and reduce spinal cord injuries during the repair of aortic aneurysms. The following year, the Medical Center received the prestigious national designation as an "Open Heart Center." In 2002, Dr. Cunningham was selected as co-investigator for the national study on Totally Endoscopic Coronary Artery Bypass (TECAB), a minimally invasive approach to open-heart surgery utilizing a surgical robot.
Dr. Cunningham will devote much of his time to his ongoing responsibilities as Senior Vice President of Strategic Initiatives at Maimonides, and will continue to see patients.