The Harold P. Freeman Patient Navigation Institute

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About Us

Harold P. Freeman

Harold P. Freeman
Harold P. Freeman
Present Positions
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
Director of Howard University
Diplomat of the American Board of Surgery
Professor of Clinical Surgery at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons
Fellow of the American College of Surgeons
Medical Director of the Breast Examination Center of Harlem, a program of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, since 1979
Trustee of Howard University Hospital since 1993
Elected to membership in the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences in 1997
Past Positions
Chief of Surgery and President of the Cancer Center at North General Hospital
Founding Director of the National Cancer Institute Center (NCI) to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities (2000-2005); also Associate Director of NCI during that time
Served as President and Chief Executive Officer of North General Hospital in New York City
Served as National President of the American Cancer Society, 1988-1989
Served as Chairman of the President's Cancer Panel, having been appointed for four terms, first by President George H. W. Bush in 1991, and by President Clinton in 1994, 1997, and 2000
Served as Director of Surgery at Harlem Hospital Center for 25 years (1974-1999)
Awards & Recognitions
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. Other selected awards include: The Mary Lasker Award for Public Service; the Time, Inc. International Health and Medical Media Awards' Lifetime Achievement Award; the American Cancer Society's Medal of Honor; the CDC Foundation's Champion of Prevention Award; the Breast Cancer Research Foundation's "Jill Rose 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; the International Spirit of Life Foundation and the Washington Cancer Institute's Spirit of Life Award; the Mayo Clinic Charles G. Moertel Memorial Lectureship Award; the Association of Community Cancer Centers' Achievement Award; the George Washington University Cancer Institute's Distinguished Public Service Award; the Rudin Prize in Medicine and Health; the Dorothy Height Lifetime Achievement Award; and the First Annual Medical Assembly "Humanitarian Award" at the United Nations Meeting the Global Challenge of Cancer in New York City.
Dr. Freeman was recognized by Black History Makers in 2006 with the Daniel Hale Williams Award. The American Cancer Society established the "Harold P. Freeman Award" in 1990 to recognize his work in dealing with the interrelationships between race, poverty, and cancer. This award is presented annually by American Cancer Society divisions throughout the United States to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the fight against cancer in the poor.
Dr. Freeman received an A.B. degree from the Catholic University of America, and a M.D. degree from the Howard University College of Medicine. At Catholic University, Dr. Freeman received the Harris Award for "Outstanding Scholar, Gentleman, and Athlete," and was later recognized as "Outstanding Alumnus in the Medical Arts" and inducted into the Athlete's Hall of Fame of the University. Additionally, he received the Daniel Hale Williams Award for Outstanding Achievements as Chief Resident at Howard University Hospital.
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The Gold Standard
The concept of patient navigation was founded and pioneered by Harold P. Freeman in 1990 for the purpose of eliminating barriers to timely cancer screening, diagnosis, treatment, and supportive care. A critical window of opportunity to apply patient navigation is between the point of an abnormal finding to the point of resolution of the finding by diagnosis and treatment.

Currently the patient navigation model has been expanded to include the timely movement of an individual across the entire health care continuum from prevention, detection, diagnosis, treatment, and supportive, to end-of-life care.