Dr. William Cunningham Honored with MHA Healthcare Leadership Award
Cunningham, who serves as executive vice president of systems development for Metro Health, was one of three healthcare leaders recognized for providing “exceptional leadership to healthcare organizations and to the health and well-being of the community.” Along with executives from Saginaw and L’Anse, Cunningham was recognized at last night’s MHA Foundation Government Leadership Forum.
The osteopathic physician joined Metro Health in 1990 as medical director for employee health services and as an emergency room physician. Six years later, he became the chief medical officer for the growing healthcare provider, which now has more than 500 family practice and specialty physicians.
During his 14-year tenure as CMO, Cunningham:
- Laid the groundwork for Metro’s network of neighborhood outpatient centers, incorporating primary care and common outpatient services into offices located throughout the hospital’s service area.
- Partnered with the organization’s chief information officer to champion Metro’s early adoption of a fully-integrated electronic medical record, making Metro the first hospital in West Michigan – and one of the first in the nation – to offer an EMR.
- Led the formation of a Clinical Research Department that would partner with Van Andel Research Institute, University of Michigan and CLINXUS to advance the organization’s patient care capability in cardiovascular, oncology and orthopedic service areas.
His nomination form read, in part: “Dr. Cunningham’s leadership helped Metro grow and change to not only keep up with healthcare industry advances, but set the pace in many areas. He saw opportunities for growth and championed them; he saw opportunities to collaborate with leaders inside and outside the organization and took them. And, his efforts paid off.”
Under Cunningham’s leadership, Metro Health received numerous awards and recognitions, including recognition as a 100 Top Hospital for three consecutive years. The hospital was also recognized for clinical excellence, patient care, patient safety and for numerous programs and departments.
Cunningham stepped into his new role as executive vice president in January 2011 when he also became associate dean of the Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine. In this role, he works to build upon relationships between Metro Health and its partners in the collaborative Pennant Health Alliance and independent physician practices. Cunningham represents the hospital on external boards and serves on the Metro Health Institutional Review Board, which oversees clinical trials.
Cunningham received the Walter F. Patenge Medal of Public Service from MSU’s College of Osteopathic Medicine, as well as Distinguished Service Awards. His many contributions were also recognized with a Spirit of Humanity award from the American Osteopathic Foundation.
Active professionally, Cunningham is a founding board member to the Michigan Board of Osteopathic Medicine and Surgery and a member of several bureaus of the American Osteopathic Association. In addition to his role as associate dean at MSU, he also is a clinical professor of family and community medicine. He also chairs the boards of Cherry Street Health Service and the Community Care Plan, which is a Medicaid HMO.
Engaged in the West Michigan Community, Cunningham serves on the boards of Martin Luther King Park, West Michigan Sports Commission and as chair of the Floyd Mayweather, Jr. Foundation. He volunteers with his church and as a basketball coach.
About Metro Health
An award-winning leader in community healthcare, Metro Health serves more than 250,000 patients annually from across West Michigan – and beyond. The 208-bed hospital provides a comprehensive suite of inpatient and outpatient healthcare services, including the fastest emergency department in the region, cancer and cardiac care, robotic and traditional surgery, family practice, sports medicine and others. The LEED-certified hospital – one of the first in the nation – sits at the heart of the 170-acre Metro Health Village, a community of support services and retail. The hospital is committed to promoting health and wellness through the work of its foundation, the Metro Health Farm Market, ongoing classes and educational programs. Visit us online at www.metrohealth.net. Follow us on Twitter @MetroHealthGr and like us on Facebook/MetroHealth.