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2013 Luncheon Information



Harold P. Freeman, M.D.
President & Founder of the Harold P. Freeman Patient Navigation Institute

Harold P. Freeman, M.D., is CEO, President and Founder of the Harold P. Freeman Patient Navigation Institute in New York, New York. Dr. Freeman is Emeritus Professor of Surgery Columbia University. For twenty five years (1974-1999), Dr. Freeman was Director of Surgery at Harlem Hospital in New York. During that time he held the position of Professor of Clinical Surgery at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. 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. Kamen 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; and the National Institutes of Health Certificate of Recognition for Outstanding Contributions as Chairman of the President's Cancer Panel ( 1991-2002). 

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Christine Jennings
Democratic Politician & Sarasota County Democratic Party Chairwoman

Christine Jennings has a varied background involving finance, politics, and community service. Her 40-year career in banking culminated in a 14-year stint as the Founder, President, CEO, and Chairperson of the Board for the highly successful Sarasota Bank.


Christine retired from banking in 2004 and became a candidate for the U.S. Congress in 2006 and 2008. Her incentive to enter politics was to help improve the lives of people throughout the west coast of Florida.


In 2009 Christine accepted the challenge of turning around the financially struggling, but talented, Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe. With her guidance and efforts, in collaboration with the Founder and Artistic Director Nate Jacobs, the Troupe is debt-free and one of the most successful performing arts groups in the area.


Since Christine moved to Sarasota in 1984, she has been president of The John and Mable Ringling Museum Board of Trustees, Sarasota Film Festival, Sarasota Ballet of Florida, Mental Health Organization, and the Downtown Association of Sarasota. In addition, she has been involved in many other community organizations such as the Florida West Coast Symphony, the Foundation Board of Florida State University, Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, American Cancer Society, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, and All Faiths Food Bank, to name a few. Currently, Chris is a member of the Foundation Board of New College. 

Christine's leadership in community service was recognized in 1997 when she became the Outstanding Volunteer for the National Society of Fundraising Executives. In 2010 Christine won the Arts Leadership Award, presented by the Sarasota County Arts Council, for her significant contributions to the arts and cultural life in this area. Most recently, Chris has been recognized by Biz 941 as one of the champions of diversity in the workplace as a result of a partnership with the Sarasota County Bar Association Diversity Committee and Booker High School. The collaboration produced a highly successful theatrical production on civil rights called We Are Sarasota.

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