UNC-Pembroke Chancellor Robin Cummings Receives the Jim Bernstein Health Career Achievement Award

CARY — The Foundation for Health Leadership & Innovation is pleased to announce that University of North Carolina – Pembroke Chancellor Robin Cummings has been named as the 2019 recipient of the Jim Bernstein Community Health Career Achievement Award. 

“Dr. Cummings exemplifies the values lived by Jim Bernstein and this award that was created in Jim’s honor,” said Anne Thomas, President and CEO of the Foundation for Health Leadership & Innovation. “Through his lifetime efforts to improve health, education and well-being for everyone in his community, Dr. Cummings has made a profound and long-lasting impact on the North Carolinians’ lives he has touched.”

A native of Pembroke and a member of the Lumbee Tribe, Chancellor Cummings earned his undergraduate degree in zoology from UNC at Chapel Hill where he was a James M. Johnston Scholar and founding member of the Carolina Indian Circle. He then attended Duke University Medical School as a UNC Board of Governors Medical Scholar and Henry J. Kaiser Merit Scholar, earning the Sandoz Award for Basic Science Research and the National Library of Science Award. After receiving his medical degree in 1983, he interned in surgery and completed residencies in surgery and cardiac surgery at Duke University Medical Center. During this period, he also earned a National Research Service Award that enabled him to complete a two-year research fellowship in cardiothoracic surgery. 

Dr. Cummings practiced cardiothoracic surgery at the Pinehurst Surgical Clinic and Moore Regional Hospital, where he chaired the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery and Section of Cardiovascular and General Surgery. After retiring from surgery, he remained active in the work of the hospital, serving on the Moore Regional Hospital Board of Trustees and chairing the FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital Foundation. He subsequently served as medical director and executive director of Community Care of the Sandhills, a regional healthcare organization that case-managed 75,000 Medicaid patients across seven counties and coordinated services provided by more than 100 primary-care practices. 

In March 2013, Dr. Cummings joined the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services as Director of the N.C. Office of Rural Health and Community Care. Six months later, he was named Deputy Secretary for Health Services and Acting State Health Director. In February 2014, he was given additional responsibility for the Division of Medical Assistance, overseeing Medicaid delivery for more than 1.8 million low-income parents, children, seniors and people with disabilities who cannot afford health care. 

About the Jim Bernstein Community Health Career Achievement Award

The Jim Bernstein Community Health Career Achievement Award recognizes individuals who have dedicated their careers to improving the health of communities exemplifying the values lived by Jim Bernstein: everyone has a right to care; care should be delivered in a respectful, efficient, and effective manner; and health care belongs to the community it serves. By being named as an award recipient, Chancellor Cummings is being recognized for his impact at the community, state, and federal level. For more information about the Foundation for Health Leadership & Innovation, as well as the Jim Bernstein Fellows Program, please visit www.foundationhli.org


Photos of Chancellor Cummings accepting the award can be found on the FHLI website

For more information, contact:
Marni Schribman, Director of Communications & Public Relations
Foundation for Health Leadership & Innovation