New Chief of Breast Surgery Named at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey

RWJBarnabas Health Breast Services leader Dr. M. Michele Blackwood serves dual role
September 17, 2018

M. Michele Blackwood, MD, FACSNew Brunswick, N.J. – Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey has named M. Michele Blackwood, MD, FACS, as its new Chief of Breast Surgery. Dr. Blackwood, whose surgical expertise is in complex breast malignancies, is currently the Medical Director and Northern Regional Director of Breast Services for RWJBarnabas Health. As Chief of Breast Surgery, Blackwood will work with the surgical team in the Institute’s Stacy Goldstein Breast Cancer Center to further enhance and expand clinical and surgical services.

“As New Jersey’s only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, it is our mission to provide the most advanced, world-class cancer care close to home. The expanded role of Dr. Blackwood to our team demonstrates our commitment to provide integrated breast cancer services across RWJBarnabas Health and Rutgers Cancer Institute, so that we can ensure our collective reach touches every part of our state,” notes Rutgers Cancer Institute Director Steven K. Libutti, MD, FACS, who is also senior vice president of oncology services for RWJBarnabas Health and vice chancellor for cancer programs for Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences.

Having earned a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University, Blackwood obtained her medical degree from the Medical University of South Carolina. She completed an internship and residency at The Stamford Hospital, followed by a fellowship with the Breast Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.  She is also a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and is certified by the American Board of Surgery. Blackwood also is taking part in the Harvard Medical School for Surgical Leadership Program.

“With the development of increasingly effective multimodal therapies for patients with breast cancer, we need to ensure that highly specialized and dedicated breast surgeons continue to advance in their knowledge and skills.  Under Dr. Blackwood’s leadership I am confident that our surgical team will continue to be recognized as leaders who are on the forefront of treatment and research,” adds H. Richard Alexander, MD, FACS, chief surgical officer and chief of the Division of Surgical Oncology at Rutgers Cancer Institute; and professor of surgery at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

“Breast Cancer is a complex disease with multiple causes, types and treatment options. I ensure that my patients are provided with the necessary information about their diagnosis, their genetics and their treatment options so that together we can determine the most appropriate and successful treatment plan to fit their lifestyle and conquer their disease. My dual roles across both Rutgers Cancer Institute and RWJBarnabas Health enable me to ensure that breast cancer patients do not have to travel far for state-of-the-art cancer care,” notes Blackwood.

Blackwood has published several articles in professional publications, including The Lancet and The Journal of Trauma, and has served on the Editorial Review Board for Women in Medicine Journal. She has also been continually recognized as a “Top Doctor” by New Jersey Monthly magazine as well as Castle Connolly.  She also serves as a member of the Women’s Board of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center and the Medical Advisory Board of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

About Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey
Rutgers Cancer Institute, along with its partner RWJBarnabas Health, offers the most advanced cancer treatment options including clinical trials and novel therapeutics such as precision medicine and immunotherapy – many of which are not available at other facilities across the state.  Patients have access to these cutting-edge therapies throughout the state at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey in New Brunswick, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey at University Hospital in Newark, as well as at RWJBarnabas Health. 

Along with world-class treatment, which is often fueled by on-site research conducted in Rutgers Cancer Institute laboratories, patients and their families also can seek cancer preventative services and education resources throughout the Rutgers Cancer Institute and RWJBarnabas Health footprint statewide. To make a tax-deductible gift to support the Cancer Institute of New Jersey, call 848-932-8013 or visit

About RWJBarnabas Health
RWJBarnabas Health is the largest, most comprehensive health care system in New Jersey, with a service area covering nine counties with five million people. The system includes eleven acute care hospitals – Clara Maass Medical Center in Belleville, Community Medical Center in Toms River, Jersey City Medical Center in Jersey City, Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch, Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus in Lakewood, Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, RWJUH  in New Brunswick, RWJUH  Somerset in Somerville, RWJUH  Hamilton, RWJUH Rahway and Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston; three acute care children’s hospitals and a leading pediatric rehabilitation hospital with a network of outpatient centers (Children’s Specialized Hospital) with its multiple outpatient centers, a freestanding 100-bed behavioral health center, two trauma centers, a satellite emergency department, ambulatory care centers, geriatric centers, the state’s largest behavioral health network, comprehensive home care and hospice programs, fitness and wellness centers, retail pharmacy services, a medical group, multi-site imaging centers and two accountable care organizations. 

RWJBarnabas Health is New Jersey’s largest private employer – with more than 33,000 employees, 9,000 physicians and 1,000 residents and interns – and routinely captures national awards for outstanding quality and safety. RWJBarnabas Health recently announced a partnership with Rutgers University to create New Jersey’s largest academic health care system.   The collaboration will align RWJBarnabas Health with Rutgers’ education, research and clinical activities, including those at the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care. 


Michele Fisher
Media Relations Specialist
Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey

Carrie Cristello
Director of Media Relations
RWJBarnabas Health










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