The Harold P. Freeman Patient Navigation Institute

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About Us

PNI Board of Directors

Dee Dee Ricks
Chair of the Board

Dee Dee Ricks is the founder of RICKS | Consulting Group, Inc., which serves and advises hedge funds. Ms. Ricks is also an activist and philanthropist who has generously supported the Ralph Lauren Cancer Center, among other cancer charities. She is working with The Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute to help expand breast screening across the state via a Modular Mammography Program. She was honored at the 2008 kick-off of Livestrong Day in New York City for her work as a philanthropist and activist. Ms. Ricks currently serves on the Board of Directors for Susan G. Komen for the Cure Advocacy Alliance, University of Arkansas Medical Center, The Group for the East End, and the Society of Memorial Sloan Kettering. She is an Advisory Board member for Hearts of Gold, an organization that supports homeless mothers in NYC, and is very active in Robin Hood, a charity that serves the poor of New York. Ms. Ricks is the subject of an upcoming HBO documentary, "The Education of Dee Dee Ricks."

Brian Pinsker

Brian Pinsker is the CEO of 11:11 Capital, a healthcare-focused fund he founded in November 2008 and began investing in January 2009. Prior to this, Mr. Pinsker was a Managing Director and the head of the Proprietary Long/Short Team at JP Morgan, during which time he also had his own healthcare fund. Mr. Pinsker had previously held a variety of PM level roles for a number of top funds on the buy side. In previous roles, he was responsible for a worldwide diversified healthcare portfolio at Viking Global, he ran a sleeve of funds at Moore Capital, and served as a generalist at Putnam Investments. Mr. Pinsker began his professional career as a banker at Robert Baird and a sell side analyst at Vector Securities. Mr. Pinsker holds a Masters in Business Administration from Yale University and a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin.

Lou Salkind

Lou Salkind serves as Vice Chairman and COO of D. E. Shaw & Co., a specialized investment firm with approximately $30 billion in aggregate capital. Dr. Salkind serves on the board of directors of Schrodinger, Inc., a computational chemistry company specializing in drug design software, and he is also the President of the Bright Horizon Foundation, a non-profit organization that promotes social change through the dissemination of knowledge. Dr. Salkind is a recipient of the USENIX Lifetime Achievement Award, as well as the NYU Distinguished Alumni award for his work in finance and technology. Dr. Salkind received his A.B. degree from Princeton University in 1978, where he studied mathematics and physics, and his Ph.D. from the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at New York University in 1990, where he studied computer science and robotics.

Yvonne Cook

In 2003, Cook joined Highmark Inc., as President of Highmark Foundation and Vice President for Community Affairs. In this position, Cook is responsible for the management and direction of the Foundation, with assets totaling $25 million. For over 30 years, Cook has volunteered her time and expertise by serving on many board and committees. Cook is the co-founder of the August Wilson Center for African American Culture, a $42 million dollar development project and served as its treasurer for over a decade. Ms. Cook holds a bachelor's degree in public administration from the University of Pittsburgh and a master's degree in public management from the H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy & Management at Carnegie Mellon University.

Kurt H. Miller

Mr. Miller is a retired senior partner from Accenture's Health Services Practice. He is currently working as an independent consultant and advisor to health-related non-profit organizations and early-stage healthcare companies. During his 31 years with the firm he had a wide variety of responsibilities and leadership roles – all within the Healthcare industry. During his last several years, he had three primary areas of responsibility:

  • Serving as the Relationship Partner for numerous innovative startup and early-stage healthcare companies.
  • Leading the Global Care / Disease Management, Wellness and Prevention practice. In this capacity he was responsible for directing and overseeing research, product development, thought leadership and business development for this practice area.
  • Leading the Health Services Corporate Citizenship Initiative – which focused on developing pro bono programs and public / private partnerships aimed at (1) improving health status and quality in the areas of Children's and Maternal Health, and (2) reducing disparities in access to care amongst economically and socially disadvantaged populations.

Prior to this, Mr. Miller was the Partner in charge of the Worldwide Medical Management and Care Delivery practice, which focused on guiding large healthcare organizations through the process of developing and implementing business strategies to reduce medical costs, improve health outcomes and enhance customer service.

He has experience across all segments of the Health Industry – both domestically and internationally, including commercial payers, providers, government health entities and pharmaceutical companies, as well as non-governmental organizations focused on Healthcare needs and issues. Mr. Miller was one of Accenture's thought leaders in the area of Consumer Centric Healthcare, and has been a guest speaker on a variety of health care topics at numerous local, regional, national and global health care conferences. He has published numerous articles on these and other healthcare topics, and co-authored a best-selling Healthcare book titled “Changing Health Care: Creating Tomorrow's Winning Health Enterprise Today.”

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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.