Cancer research and control have been the unifying themes of Dr. Gilbert Friedells distinguished career in medicine, both in Kentucky and in Massachusetts. The passion behind that work has come from the communities he has served and loved, particularly in Eastern Kentucky.
Friedell was the first director of the Markey Cancer Center at the University of Kentucky, serving from 1983 until 1990, when he became the director for cancer control. In 1998, he was named director emeritus and professor of pathology emeritus. In addition, he served as the founding director of the Kentucky Cancer Registry, a co-director of the Kentucky Cancer Program, and principal investigator for the National Cancer Institute Region 9 Cancer Information Service for Kentucky, Tennessee, and Arkansas.
Throughout his career, Friedell has reached out to the medically underserved. In 1994, he co-founded Kentucky Homeplace, a state-funded outreach program based at the UK Center for Rural Health in Hazard. He also has been a consultant to the SKYCAP Program of the Center for Rural Health, which helps patients navigate the health care system. Most recently, he founded CREEK, a program based in Hazard that is designed to build capacity within rural areas. Friedell also conducted an assessment of breast and cervix screening for the Kentucky Department of Public Health.
His work has earned Dr. Friedell numerous honors, including the National Humanitarian Award of the American Cancer Society and the Susan G. Komen Foundation Individual Community Service Award. In 2003, he received a Special Recognition Award from the Appalachian Regional Commission for untiring commitment, dedication, and leadership in improving the health and well-being of the people of Appalachia.
Friedell graduated from the University of Minnesota Medical School in 1949 and received his pathology training in Boston.