Samuel Oscar Freedlander was a member of the City Club most of his life, serving as president in 1962 during the City Club’s 50th anniversary year. His daughter Nina Freedlander Gibans was one of the first women to become a member of the City Club and served on the board in the 1970s.
Born in Wooster, Ohio, the sixth of seven children, Dr. Freedlander's siblings contributed greatly to the community in which they lived, including inventing synthetic rubber, running the largest department store in a city the size of Wooster, and receiving the first Ph.D. awarded to a woman from the New School in New York City. After graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Case Western Reserve University (CWRU), Dr. Freedlander earned a medical degree from CWRU and then served a surgical internship and residency at City Hospital (renamed MetroHealth) where he organized City Hospitals’ first Department of Surgery.
Internationally known as a thoracic surgeon, Dr. Freedlander pioneered a surgical lung procedure to treat tuberculosis. For 25 years he served as Chief of Surgery at Mt. Sinai Hospital, a position from which he retired in 1960.
During his career Dr. Freedlander was instrumental in organizing Forest City Hospital to assure career opportunities for minority doctors.
He wrote legislation in Ohio that allowed the development of HMO’s and helped establish the Community Health Foundation, later known as Kaiser Permanente. During the 1960s, he was Chief Surgeon for Kaiser Permanente.
Dr. Freedlander was a great proponent of free speech and issue-oriented community involvement. It is most appropriate that an annual Forum on Free Speech be offered in his memory.
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