College Friend’s Experience Inspired Career
COOPERSTOWN – A resident at Bassett Hospital 20 years ago, Alfred Tinger, MD, has returned as Bassett Cancer Institute chief and medical director. His appointment is effective today.
Tinger, who has more than 20 years of experience as a radiation oncologist, spent his transitional year as a resident at Bassett after graduating medical school in 1992. He also has a home in Cooperstown and while practicing as a radiation oncologist in the New York metropolitan area, he provided support to Bassett through per diem work.
“I love Bassett and have always admired its mission. Bassett has always been about doing the best job possible for patients,” he said.
With 24 years’ experience in radiation oncology, Tinger previously served as chief of radiation oncology at Northern Westchester Hospital in Mount Kisco and St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Yonkers.
The new Cancer Institute director said he was drawn to the field after losing a close 19-yeare-old friend to extremely rare Ewing sarcoma. “I was in college and didn’t like how doctors’ treated him,” he recalled. “You can always do something to help, even if a person is dying.”
That philosophy of care remains a steadfast guiding principle, one that Tinger said is evident in the work of the Bassett cancer team. “My early assessment and impressions are that we have an amazing community asset in the Bassett Cancer Institute and our cancer program is already superb on many levels.”
Tinger said his goals are for the institute are: good access, good outcomes and program sustainability.
There have been advancements in oncology that the cancer team will continue to track and adopt as appropriate, he said, including the explosion of big data, informatics, genetics, precision medicine, and immunotherapy.
“It is an exciting time to be in the field of cancer care; the strides made over the last couple of decades are incredible and there is always something new to learn,” Tinger said.
In addition to administrative work, the doctor plans to spend two days a week seeing patients in Cooperstown and Oneonta.