Chief Executive Officer, Cherokee Health Systems
Since 1978, Dennis S. Freeman, Ph.D. has served as Chief Executive Officer of Cherokee Health Systems, Inc., a community-based provider of integrated primary care and behavioral health services in East Tennessee. Cherokee Health Systems is both a Community Mental Health Center and a Federally Qualified Health Center. The company now has 700 employees and two-dozen service locations including both rural and urban sites. In 2007 the National Center for Primary Care presented Cherokee the Best Practices in 21st Century Primary Care Award. Tennessee Governor Bill Lee gave Cherokee the Governor’s Award of Excellence in 2020.
Dr. Freeman is a Licensed Psychologist in the State of Tennessee and is included in the National Register of Health Services Providers in Psychology. He earned a B.A. degree in Psychology at Wheaton College, (Illinois) and a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He completed his internship at the Palo Alto/Menlo Park VA Hospital in California. In 2006 the Tennessee Psychological Association presented Dr. Freeman the Outstanding Contribution to Psychology Award. In 2010 the Department of Psychology at the University of Tennessee honored him with its inaugural Distinguished Alumni Award.
Dr. Freeman’s professional interests include health services development and management, preservation of the safety net, managed care, population based care and the blending of behavioral health and primary care services. Along with his colleagues at Cherokee, he has provided training and consultation to numerous organizations across the country on the integration of behavioral health care and primary care.