Harold P. Freeman, M.D.
Founder and President/CEO
Harold P. Freeman Patient Navigation Institute
Harold P. Freeman, M.D., a member since 1993, is founder and president/CEO of the Harold P. Freeman Patient Navigation Institute in New York City. He is Professor Emeritus of Surgery at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. He pioneered the concept of "patient navigation," to provide low-income patients with personal guides through the health care system. With the passage of the Patient Navigator, Outreach and Chronic Disease Prevention Act in 2005, the U.S. Congress provided $25 million in funding to implement his program nationally.
A diplomate of the American Board of Surgery and fellow of the American College of Surgeons, he served as president and CEO of North General Hospital in New York City, and was director of surgery at Harlem Hospital Center for 25 years. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from The Catholic University of America, and an M.D. degree from Howard University College of Medicine.
He was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences in 1997, and served as national president of the American Cancer Society. He is the chief architect of the American Cancer Society initiative on Cancer in the Poor, for which the Harold P. Freeman Award was established in 1990. He is a past chairman of the President's Cancer Panel, appointed to four terms, first by President George H. W. Bush in 1991, and later by President William Clinton in 1994, 1997, and 2000. The HistoryMakers recognized him in 2006 with the Daniel Hale Williams Award. A Lasker Laureate, he received the Mary Lasker Award for "enlightening scientists and the public concerning the interrelationships between poverty, race and cancer."
Since its founding nearly 150 years ago and to the present day, Howard University has been and remains the epicenter for higher education of African Americans and many others who have made and continue to make immeasurable contributions in all spheres to creating a better nation and global community.