Keynote | Room: TBD
Harold P. Freeman, MD
President and Founder of the Ralph Lauren Center for Cancer Care and Prevention in New York City
Senior Advisor to the Director of the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, MD
Chief Architect of the American Cancer Society initiative on Cancer in the Poor
Dr. Freeman is Founder past President and Chairman Emeritus of the Ralph Lauren Center for Cancer Care and Prevention.
Dr. Freeman was Founding Director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities for a five year period ending in 2005. During that time period, he served as Associate Director of the National Cancer Institute.
Dr. Freeman is a diplomat of the American Board of Surgery and a fellow of the American College of Surgeons.
Dr. Freeman is the Founder and Medical Director of the Breast Examination Center of Harlem, a program of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, since 1979.
Dr. Freeman was elected to membership in the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences in 1997. Dr. Freeman served as national president of the American Cancer Society from 1988-1989. He was the chief Architect of the American Cancer Society’s initiative on Cancer in the Poor and is a leading authority on the interrelationships between race, poverty, and cancer. The Society established the “Harold P. Freeman Award” in 1990 to recognize his work in this area. This award is presented annually by American Cancer Society divisions throughout the U.S. to individuals and organizations which have made outstanding contributions to the fight against cancer in the poor.
Dr. Freeman pioneered the Patient Navigation concept and model which addresses disparities in access to treatment, particularly among poor and uninsured people. This program is designed to assist medically underserved patients in navigating their way through a complex health system by overcoming barriers to timely diagnosis and treatment of cancer and other diseases. The success of Dr. Freeman’s “Patient Navigation Program” has led hundreds of other health care organizations to develop patient navigation programs. Based on this model the Patient Navigator and Chronic Disease Prevention Act was signed into law by President Bush in June 2005. In 2012 the American College of Surgeon’s Commission on Cancer made patient navigation a required standard of care for cancer center approval.
Dr. Freeman is past chairman of the President’s Cancer Panel, to which he was appointed for four consecutive three-year terms, first by President Bush in 1991 and subsequently by President Clinton in 1994, 1997 and 2000.
As a graduate of Catholic University of America, Dr. Freeman received the Harris Award for “Outstanding Scholar, Gentleman, and Athlete.” He was inducted into the Athlete’s Hall of Fame of the University.
Honorary Doctor of Science degrees have been awarded to Dr. Freeman from Albany Medical College, Niagara University, Adelphi University, and Catholic University of America. He was also awarded the University of California at San Francisco Medal.
Dr. Freeman is a Lasker Laureate having received the Lasker Award for Public Service “For enlightening scientists and the public about the relationships between race, poverty and cancer.”
Other selected awards include: the American Cancer Society’s Medal of Honor; the Centers for Disease Control Foundation’s Champion of Prevention Award; the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s Special Recognition Award; the Avon Breast Cancer National Leadership Award; the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer National Foundation’s Betty Ford Award; Dorothy Height Life Time Achievement Award; the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) “Public Service Award” at the Centennial Meeting of the AACR in 2007; the American Psychosocial Society Distinguished Public Service Award; the National Institutes of Health Certificate of Recognition for Outstanding Contributions as Chairman of the President’s Cancer Panel (1991-2002); Giant in Cancer Care Award 2015 recognizing individuals who have achieved landmark success within the field of oncology. Presented by the Intellisphere Oncology Specialty Group; the Lifetime Achievement Award 2016 presented by the American Foundation of the University of the West Indies and the National NAACP Montague Cobb Award for Outstanding Contributions to Healthcare Equity, Education and Research July 18, 2016.