Dr. Kurt Freeman, an Oakland native and Oakland High School graduate, was recently named the recipient of the Fred Fax Professorship for Pediatric Excellence.
Freeman is professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry at Oregon Health Sciences University School of Medicine in Portland, and the director of the Institute on Development and Disability (IDD). As the lead psychologist, he oversees and supervises efforts to integrate behavioral health services in pediatric primary care. Freeman received the award Oct. 31.
The Fred Fax Professorship is awarded to recognize faculty who have made significant contributions to OHSU and the community through service, teaching or scholarship, according to OHSU. The award is given by the dean of the School of medicine and the OHSU provost.
“I feel incredibly honored to be a recipient of this professorship,” Freeman said. “It’s humbling to receive this recognition, and I feel fortunate to be engaged in meaningful work that I love. I also feel personally connected to this particular professorship given that the Fax family is from rural Oregon given that I grew up in Oakland.”
Freeman is a licensed psychologist, board certified in child and adolescent psychology.
He has worked to improving the lives of youth with and without disabilities and special health needs through clinical care, scholarship and educational leadership.
Freeman said he became interested in psychology when he was in high school and became a first grade teacher’s aide and was able to work with a girl with autism and another significant anxiety. He shifted his plans from becoming a teacher to clinical psychology. Since then Freeman says all of his educational and employment choices have been designed to support his interest in helping children and their families.
“I worked with children with and without disabilities with a variety of behavioral health needs in a variety of context,” he said. “I feel truly blessed to have had the career I’ve had thus far and honored to have recieved this endowed professorship in recognition of my accomplishments.”
Freeman’s clinical and research expertise addresses behavioral health issues of youth, ranging from common child-rearing challenges to severe behavioral difficulties.
Freeman doesn’t teach courses, but supervises psychology doctoral interns and postdoctoral fellows engaged in clinical and research activities. He also provides didactic trainings to psychology learners as well as pediatric residents and occasionally provides guest lectures in courses.
As the IDD director, Freeman helps shape the clinical, scholarship, education, public health and advocacy efforts of a team of approximately 100 faculty and an additional 100 staff.