Tufts Physician-Researcher Wins Prestigious Medical Award

Tufts Medical Center Physician-in-Chief Karen Freund will receive the Glaser Award from the Society of General Internal Medicine

Karen Freund, Physician-in-Chief at Tufts Medical Center (Tufts MC) and the Sheldon M. Wolff Professor and Chair of the Department of Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine, has been selected as the recipient of the highly prestigious 2022 Robert J. Glaser Award from the Society of General Internal Medicine (SGIM). The award, which SGIM has presented annually since 1986, “recognizes outstanding contributions to research, education, leadership and mentoring” in general internal medicine. Dr. Freund is the fifth woman to receive the Society’s highest honor.

“Dr. Freund is an internationally esteemed clinician and an exceptional physician leader,” said Michael Tarnoff, MD, President and CEO of Tufts Medical Center. “She is a true example of excellence in her field, and we are thrilled that she will be recognized with this impressive distinction.”

Dr. Freund’s research is focused on equity, the trajectory of women in medicine and the health needs of underserved women. Using breast cancer as a disease model with significant health disparities, Dr. Freund has developed interventions that are now part of standard care practice. Her innovative research has shown that effective patient navigation can decrease delays, improve quality of care and reduce cancer disparities in this patient population. Dr. Freund has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health for more than 30 years and has published more than 180 papers in peer-reviewed academic journals.

“Dr. Freund is a renowned health equity researcher, whose outstanding leadership and mentorship have made a lasting impact on those who work with her and learn from her,” said Helen Boucher, MD, Dean ad Interim of Tufts University School of Medicine, Chief Academic Officer of Tufts Medicine and Infectious Disease Physician at Tufts Medical Center. “Her achievements speak for themselves, and there is no doubt that she is truly deserving of SGIM’s most prominent accolade.”

A primary care physician by training, Dr. Freund joined Tufts Medical Center and the faculty of Tufts University School of Medicine in 2012. She served as Vice Chair of Medicine for Quality Improvement and Faculty Affairs at Tufts MC, prior to being elevated to Physician-in-Chief at the Medical Center and Chair of the Department of Medicine at the School of Medicine in February, 2021.

“It is a tremendous honor to be recognized with the Society of General Internal Medicine’s Robert J. Glaser Award,” said Dr. Freund. “But it’s also a motivator for me to further my commitment to clinical, research, and teaching pursuits, and help cultivate the next generation of General Internal Medicine leaders.”

Dr. Freund will receive the Robert J. Glaser Award at the 2022 SGIM Annual Meeting in Orlando, FL on April 8, 2022. The award is supported by grants from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, the Commonwealth Fund, and individual contributions.

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