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Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities, Patient Navigation Program (PNP) logo

Project Investigator Biography

Karen M. Freund, M.D., M.P.H. Karen M. Freund, M.D., M.P.H.

Boston University Medical Center
Women's Health Research Unit
Doctors Office Building
720 Harrison Avenue, Suite 1108
Boston, MA 02118
phone: (617) 638-8036
fax: (617) 638-8026

Dr. Karen M. Freund is a Professor of Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine, Chief of the Women's Health Unit, and Executive Co-Director of the Women's Health Interdisciplinary Research Center at Boston University. She completed her training in Internal Medicine at Cambridge Hospital, followed by a residency in Preventive Medicine, a fellowship in General Medicine, and a Masters in Public Health in Biostatistics and Epidemiology at Boston University.

The focus of Dr. Freund's research has been disparities in health outcomes for minority, low-income, and underserved women. A major feature of this work has been addressing cancer outcomes in this group. She has worked on a number of studies to investigate the rates of non-adherence to follow-up after breast and cervical cancer screening. Included have been administrative data analyses using Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) databases and primary data collection at Boston Medical Center (formerly Boston City Hospital and Boston University Hospital), the largest safety net health care institution in New England.

In 1987, she co-founded the Breast Health Group at Boston Medical Center, an innovative, interdisciplinary clinical practice of surgical oncology, radiology, and general internal medicine that provides diagnostic evaluation for women referred with abnormal breast cancer screening and breast complaints. Dr. Freund and her colleagues have recently completed a pilot study of patient navigation in this practice using the care management model to support diagnostic evaluation of breast screening abnormalities. This pilot study has demonstrated benefits of patient navigator in a pre-post test design and supports the need for a multisite case-control evaluation of patient navigation.

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Updated: 07/22/09