Women’s Health

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For Medical Professionals

Research Scholars Program BIRCWH Mentors

Karen Freund, MD, MPH

Karen M. Freund, MD MPH is Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology. She has served as Program Director of the BU BIRCWH and will now assume the leadership as PI, also maintaining the roles and functions of the Program Director. Dr. Freund is also Director of Preventive Medicine Residency Program at Boston University School of Medicine and director of the Center of Excellence in Women's Health, and co-directs the Women's Health Fellowship Program. She is also the Chief of the Women's Health Unit at Boston Medical Center. Her research relating to women's health include external funding as a principal investigator through the Agency for Health Care Policy Research, National Cancer Institute, National Institute of Aging, and the Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program, Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and Centers for Disease Control. Her research excellence has been acknowledged with awards from the Society of General Internal Medicine, and the Center of Clinical Quality Evaluation. She has served as a research consultant to the RAND corporations hysterectomy appropriateness study, and has served as a peer reviewer for the Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program.

Dr Freund's work has focused on health services and addressing the disparities in health care of women by racial status, through primary and secondary database analyses. She has completed a number of studies addressing physician decision making and how patient and physician race and gender influence decision making, using videotaped clinical vignettes and a novel factorial experimental design. She has conducted a series of secondary databases analyses using combined NCI SEER-HCFA (Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Health Care Finance Administration) databases to address the benefits of mammography in older and African American women. She has also conducted investigation on gender and racial differences in use of carotid endarterctomy, and care before and after acute myocardial infarction. Her current work through the CDC funded REACH 2010 project is addresses the predictors of lack of appropriate follow up to minority women after abnormal breast and cervical cancer screening, and developing and evaluating community interventions to address this loss to follow up. She has developed several screening tools to address eating disorders and domestic violence within the clinical care sphere. As Chief of the Women's Health Unit at Boston Medical Center, she has worked actively to assist junior investigators in the use of the institution for clinical research. She has published on issues of increasing recruitment of minority women into clinical trials.

She has mentored six junior faculties in her Section in the past five towards the successful award of extramural research funding. This includes the work of Dr. Michele David, a Haitian-American investigator in her project investigating attitudes and practices of breast and cervical cancer screening among Haitian American women. This includes the funding obtained by Dr. Margaret Seaver to conduct a qualitative evaluation of the Center of Excellence Program. Dr. Susan Frayne was formally mentored by Dr. Freund on her Veterans Administration Health Services Research and Development Career Development (HSR&D) Award, resulting in two R-01 level research awards through the VA HSR&D program, one on the role of patient gender and race on physician decision making for depression.

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