2011-09-16 / Community

Winthrop Infectious Disease Chief Honored


Burke A. Cunha, MD, AOS, MACP, Chief of the Division of Infectious Disease at Winthrop-University Hospital. Burke A. Cunha, MD, AOS, MACP, Chief of the Division of Infectious Disease at Winthrop-University Hospital. Burke A. Cunha, MD, Chief of the Division of Infectious Disease at Winthrop-University Hospital, was honored recently by the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine in Hershey, Pennsylvania at the special 40th year Alumni weekend celebration. Selected from over 3,500 graduates, Dr. Cunha was one of 40 Penn State College of Medicine graduates honored for their contributions to medicine.

Dr. Cunha graduated from the University of Connecticut majoring in microbiology. Before medical school, he served as a Peace Corps volunteer for three years in the Atacama Desert in Chile. A member of Winthrop-University Hospital since 1979, Dr. Cunha started the first Infectious Disease Fellowship Training Program on Long Island at Winthrop in 1980. Since 1984, Dr. Cunha has directed the Subinternship in Medicine for the State University of New York School of Medicine’s fourth year medical students. He also directs the Department of Medicine’s Mentoring Program for third year Stony Brook medical students.

Dr. Cunha was elected into the American Osler Society (AOS) in 1992 and remains passionate about teaching in the Oslerian tradition. He has received over a dozen awards for outstanding teaching including the prestigious Aesculapius Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1994, the highest teaching award conferred by the SUNY School of Medicine. What’s more, Dr. Cunha was the recipient of Penn State’s College of Medicine Distinguished Alumni Award in 1997.

In 1992, Dr. Cunha began and continues to direct Winthrop- University Hospital’s Arts & Humanities program - the first and only such program in a U.S. teaching hospital. Since 1991, he has been a Professor of Medicine at the State University of New York (SUNY) School of Medicine, Stony Brook, New York. Dr. Cunha has served as Editor of the Winthrop-University Hospital Medical Journal for the past 30 years, and he also serves on several infectious disease journal editorial boards.

During his 32 year career at Winthrop-University Hospital, Dr. Cunha has written or edited many abstracts/articles and book chapters. Dr. Cunha has also written/edited several books including Infectious Disease Educational Review Manual for Infectious Disease Fellows (3rd ed), Pneumonia Essentials (3rd ed), Fever of Unknown Origin, Infectious Diseases in the Critical Care Medicine (3rd ed), Tickborne Infectious Diseases, and Antibiotic Essentials (9th ed).

Dr. Cunha is a fellow of the Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA), American Academy of Microbiology (AAM), American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP), American College of Clinical Pharmacology, the Surgical Infection Society (SIS) and the Society of Hospital Epidemiology of America (SHEA). In 2000, Dr. Cunha was elected to Mastership in the American College of Physicians (MACP) for lifetime achievement as a master clinician and teacher of infectious diseases. He is nationally respected for his expertise in antimicrobial therapy, fevers of unknown origin (FUOs), influenza, hospital-acquired infections, Legionnaires’ disease and meningitis/encephalitis. Since 1990, he has been listed in Castle Connolly’s Best Doctors in the New York Metropolitan Area and since 2006 has been listed in Castle Connolly’s Top Doctors in America.

Dr. and Mrs. Cunha reside in Garden City, NY.

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