Dr. Gilbert H. Friedell, Kentucky Health Values Initiative (#315)
Dr. Gilbert H. Friedell, co-chair of the Kentucky Health Values Initiative and director emeritus of the University of Kentucky’s Markey Cancer Center, discusses the evolution of cancer treatment and access to health care.
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Friedell recalls his days as a pathologist in Boston, his participation in the “doctor draft” of the 1950s, and his experiences as the first director of the Markey Center. He also highlights some of the many changes in cancer treatment he has witnessed over the years, including increased communication and interaction among specialists caring for the same patient and the importance of early diagnosis of cervical cancer.
These days, much of Friedell’s time is spent on the issue of health equity, especially in underserved areas like Eastern Kentucky. He talks about the effects of socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, and environmental surroundings on the health of the population and lists some of the requirements for a healthy community: People must be well educated about how to stay healthy; citizens, religious communities, and health experts must all participate in shaping health care; and political leaders should discuss not only health insurance, but also quality health care.