MORRISTOWN, NJ – The medical director for Atlantic Health System Cancer Care was one of four distinguished honorees at the American Cancer Society Starry Night Gala on May 18.

Eric Whitman, who oversees oncology services for Atlantic Health System Cancer Care, was nominated for his leadership and innovation, professional and personal commitment to the community of patients in cancer treatment and recovery.

“It is a great honor to be selected for this award, as the American Cancer Society does such important work that helps enable people with cancer and their loved ones to have hopes and dreams,” said Dr. Whitman.  “There is still so much to be done before we finally conquer cancer, and I am proud of the work we are doing at Atlantic Health System Cancer Care to help make these hopes and dreams possible.”

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"The American Cancer Society is incredibly excited to have honored Dr. Eric Whitman this year as the Medical Honoree at our 12th annual Starry Night Gala.  Dr. Whitman was selected because of his lifelong dedication and continued commitment to the treatment of his patients and the fight against cancer.  We at the American Cancer Society wanted to ensure Dr. Whitman was recognized for his hard work and involvement towards our common cause," said Austin DeSavino, Sr. Manager, Community Development, American Cancer Society. 

Dr. Whitman is a board-certified general surgeon, fellowship-trained in surgical research and surgical oncology. Dr. Whitman is also trained and credentialed in chemotherapy, immunotherapy, targeted therapy and gene therapy administration, with extensive experience treating patients with metastatic melanoma.  He is a certified physician investigator and is widely published, known internationally for his melanoma clinical and research work.

Whitman also brokered a partnership with Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) to launch the Breakthrough Oncology Accelerator, a pioneering research and clinical collaboration designed to improve patient access to the most innovative and sophisticated therapies for cancer.

Whitman’s team at Atlantic Health System Cancer Care provide a network of resources for more than 6,000 patients each year through its flagship Carol G. Simon Cancer Center at Morristown and Overlook medical centers. Comprehensive oncology programs are also available at Chilton, Hackettstown and Newton medical centers.

Whitman is the founding director of the Atlantic Melanoma Center. The center treats more than 400 new patients with malignant melanoma or other advanced skin cancers each year. As a research facility, the center participates in national and international clinical trials for advanced melanoma and even initiates its own clinical research.

All five hospitals and Atlantic Medical Group are designated Blue Cross Blue Shield ‘Blue Distinction Centers’ and have been recognized nationally for the role in advancing the fight against cancer.

In addition to Dr. Eric Whitman, the other three honorees at this year's Starry Night Gala were Sanjeev Luther, President and CEO, Rafael Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Ron Sharpe, Broadway Performer and Producer, Russell-Sharpe Theatrical Productions, Inc.; and Karen D. Schupak, MD, Former Chief, External Beam Radiotherapy, Central Jersey – Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. 

All proceeds from the Starry Night Gala go to support the American Cancer Society's mission of eliminating cancer as a major health concern.  Over the last 12 years, the event has raised more than $2.6 million for the American Cancer Society’s programs and services.  For more information about the American Cancer Society you can visit cancer.org or call our National Cancer Information Center at 1-800-227-2345.