The Board of the Intercultural Cancer Council pay homage to Dr. Gilbert Freidell for his tireless efforts and work for vulnerable populations across the nation and specifically, Appalachia.
FRIEDELL, Gilbert “Gil” H. Friedell, age 91, passed away peacefully on September 23, 2018. Gil was born on February 28, 1927, the second son of Emma and Aaron Friedell.
An avid student, he attended Harvard College in 1943 at the age of 16 and graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1950 with his B.S., M.B., and M.D. degrees. Gil received his medical training in pathology in Boston, and served as a physician in the U.S. Navy Reserves.
During his expansive medical career, Gil worked tirelessly in the field of medicine and consistently placed an emphasis on reaching the medically underserved. At St Vincent’s Hospital in Worcester, MA, Gil served first as Chief of Pathology and then Medical Director while serving as Executive Director of the National Cancer Institute National Bladder Cancer Project and Professor of Pathology at University of Massachusetts Medical School from 1971 to 1983.
Gil became the first Director of the Markey Cancer Center at the University of Kentucky in 1983, co-founding the Kentucky Cancer Registry and serving as the Principal Investigator of NCI’s Mid-South Cancer Information Service and Co-Director of an expanded statewide cancer control outreach program. In 1994, along with his colleagues, Gil started the Kentucky Home Place to facilitate greater access to healthcare for the rural poor. He also established Indian Summer, a camp for children living with cancer. After his “retirement” from the Markey Cancer Center in 2000.
Gil continued his passion of educating communities and individuals about public health issues in underserved communities. He also co-authored a book on diabetes control: The Great Diabetes Epidemic: A Manifesto for Control and Prevention published in 2014. Gil also helped launch a 501(c)3 committee to educate public health departments and others with a call to action for public involvement. The group was later named the Friedell Committee for Health System Transformation, and much of Gil’s focus was with that organization’s work until his last days.
Gil was the recipient of numerous awards, including honors from Planned Parenthood (1995), the Avon Foundation (1996), the Susan G. Komen Foundation (1998), the American Cancer Society (1998), as well as the Dorothy Height Lifetime Achievement Award from the Intercultural Cancer Council (2004). He authored over 200 articles in medical publications and served on numerous public health committees at state and national levels throughout his career. To those who knew him, Gil will be remembered for his wise personal and professional counsel, incisive questions, wit, infectious chuckle, poetic annual holiday letters and fondness for bowties.
A memorial service will be held in Charleston, SC in the fall with details to follow. Gil dedicated his life to transforming inequitable systems to make the world a better place.
Mission and Vision
The Intercultural Cancer Council promotes policies, programs, partnerships, and research to eliminate the unequal burden of cancer among racial and ethnic minorities and medically undeserved populations in the United States and its associated territories.
Our Motto: Speaking With One Voice
Patricia (Pat) Matthews-Juarez, PhD
Chair, Intercultural Cancer Council (ICC)
Meharry Medical College
In her role as chair of the ICC, she advocates for equal access of all racial/ethnic and disadvantaged groups to cancer care and other related services. She is dedicated to health equity for the medically underserved and vulnerable populations.
Dr. Matthews-Juarez firmly believes that cancer prevention and control programs, such as the ICC community-based/ regional network model, can improve health equity for all individuals and family members facing the equal burden of cancer across geographical locations. Health equity, she asserts can enhance the quality of life for everyone. She also believes there is still progress to be made in the health system following diagnosis and treatment of cancer patients. Early diagnosis through screening can increase survival rates. Combating the stigma associated with cancer by using cultural competency tools can reduce barriers that racial/ethnic minorities and disadvantaged groups experience. Speaking with one voice is tremendously important as we work together to bring about policy transformation and cancer care.
Pamela M. Jackson, MS
Intercultural Cancer Council
“The ICC is about solving national cancer issues with representation from all Americans. It cannot be defined as either an entity composed of grassroots organizations or categorized as mainstream, but as an American organization whose members are the fabric of which this nation is comprised. It is more of a fine salad than a melting pot.”
Armin D. Weinberg, PhD
Co-Founder, Intercultural Cancer Council
“The Intercultural Cancer Council’s motto ‘Speaking with One Voice’ embodies the power of uniting a diverse and representative membership to raise issues, propose solutions and, most importantly, to effect change that benefits all regardless of race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status or geography. Finding leadership from the communities where cancer health disparities exist, the ICC is committed to returning to those leaders, their organizations and their communities, the skills, resources and programs that offer solutions to our call to action.”
Lovell A. Jones, PhD
Co-Founder, Intercultural Cancer Council
“There is still a disproportionate cancer incidence, morbidity, and mortality among minorities, persons of low socioeconomic status in the United States, its associated territories and our Tribal Nations. Health inequities and health disparities suffered by these communities have been documented through many published reports including the tobacco crisis in America. There is still a critical need to develop knowledge and strategies to address this crisis with the leadership and full participation of the affected communities. The Intercultural Cancer Council will continue to provide a multicultural forum to address, discuss and demonstrate the importance and promotion of the issues of cancer and chronic diseases that impact our communities.”