This website was authorized, approved, and paid for by Daniel Freilich for U.S. Senate

Detailed Background

Dr. Daniel Freilich, a physician and U.S. Navy Captain, completed thirteen years of Active Duty service in September 2009. He is continuing to serve, transferring into the Active Select Naval Reserves in bases in White River Junction, VT, and MD. He has been active in clinical care and teaching in Infectious Diseases, Tropical Medicine, and Internal Medicine, and in medical research in infectious diseases, tropical medicine, bioterrorism, and trauma and combat medicine. He attended and taught Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases at National Naval Medical Center (Bethesda, MD) and Walter Reed Army Medical Center (Washington, DC), holds academic appointments as Associate Professor of Medicine and of Surgery at Uniformed Services University (USU) (Bethesda, MD), and co-directed the Navy's Blood Substitutes research and development (R&D) program at Naval Medical Research Center (Silver Spring, MD).

Dan Freilichs Children

After 9/11, Daniel appreciated that in the pending Global War on Terrorism, combat casualty mortality would remain high because minimal progress had been made in trauma resuscitation medicine since the Vietnam War. To address the most common cause of death in potentially salvageable casualties, hemorrhagic shock (massive bleeding), he conceived of, secured funding for, and then directed the Navy's Blood Substitutes R&D program, which aims to improve field resuscitation of combat casualties. The program secured over $30 million in funding. Scientific output resulted in authorship of numerous publications. The program's relevance translates to civilian medical care, particularly impacting trauma care in rural areas such as Vermont where ambulance transportation times are prolonged and Emergency Medical Services more limited. He challenged the drug approval process of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), noting an antiquated, arbitrary, and sluggish system—vowing to improve it to hasten important medical advancements in the future.

Dan Freilichs Children

His leadership roles in infectious diseases research included projects in malaria vaccine and drug development, bioterrorism, and septic shock. Believing in leadership by example, he served as a research volunteer in a Navy malaria vaccine trial he was directing, being intentionally infected and sickened by the most lethal malaria parasite. In order to improve understanding of human responses to bioterrorism, he conceived of and led a contingency program to conduct research on 'future' bioterrorism casualties. The program evaluated biologic responses to the anthrax and ricin bioterrorism events at the U.S. Capitol, advancing knowledge about these security threats.

Daniel chaired or served on a number of clinical trial safety boards (pneumococcus vaccine, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus [MRSA], dengue vaccine) and served on the USU Medical School Admissions Committee. He lectured in USU's Military Tropical Medicine course and served as Team Leader in its associated MEDEX operations, training military physicians in field Tropical Medicine and providing medical care to local populations in some of the poorest areas in the Hemisphere. He led the Navy's first-ever presentation to an FDA Advisory Board, advocating on behalf of service members and rural civilian trauma victims. He was an invited speaker at numerous international medical conferences. He served on a number of boards (Institutional Review Board for human research, blood supply after 9/11, malaria outbreak in U.S. Marines, swine flu) and research review study sections (National Institutes of Health, U.S. Army) and chaired National Naval Medical Center's Infection Control Committee during the onset of the swine flu pandemic.

Daniel, 45 years old, was born in New York City in 1963, lived in Israel during elementary school, then finished middle and high school in Queens and Long Island, NY. He graduated from Cornell University (Ithaca, NY) with a B.A. in Government (1984) and State University of New York Health Sciences Center at Brooklyn with a M.D. (1989). He completed medical internship in Internal Medicine/Pediatrics at Albany Medical Center (1990) (Albany, NY).

Dan Freilichs Children

He then volunteered for a U.S. Navy commission—at the outset of the Gulf War. He served as General Medical Officer aboard the flagship, USS Coronado AGF-11, and as Fleet Surgeon for COMTHIRDFLT (Third Fleet) based out of Pearl Harbor (HI) and San Diego (CA) (1990-1992).

He moved with his family to Vermont in 1992, lived briefly in Bolton Valley, and then purchased a family home in Westford, VT. He remained a resident of Westford until transfer from Navy Active Duty to Reserves status in 2009, at which point he moved to Wilmington, VT.

He completed Internal Medicine residency training at University of Vermont (UVM, Burlington, VT) in 1994 and then was active in rural private practice in Internal Medicine (Jeffersonville, VT)—admitting and attending at Fletcher Allen Health Care/UVM and Northwestern Medical Center (NWMC, St. Albans, VT). He was also an Emergency Medicine attending at NWMC. He conceived of, secured funding for, and implemented a research program in septic shock and malaria drug development at UVM leading to collaborative research on malaria vaccines between UVM and the U.S. Navy.

Dan Freilichs Children

He returned to Navy Active Duty service in 1998, completed Infectious Diseases fellowship training at Naval Medical Center San Diego (CA) from 1998 to 2000, received certification in Tropical Medicine, and then transferred to Naval Medical Research Center (NMRC, Silver Spring, MD) where he was a leader in malaria and trauma medicine research. He transferred to National Naval Medical Center (Bethesda, MD) in 2008 to increase direct patient care and teaching, yet continued to co-direct NMRC's Blood Substitutes research program.

He was promoted rapidly, reaching Captain (O-6) after 12 years of Active Duty service. He received a number of personal awards, including Navy Achievement, Commendation, and Meritorious Service medals. His medical and military career has been accentuated by commitment to caring for his patients, medical teaching, and improving the lives of people in underdeveloped countries and of combat casualties through medical research.

Dan Freilichs Children

Daniel has five children: Sarah (step-daughter, 30 years old), in a Masters program at Antioch College; Ariel (21 years old), at Stanford University Law School; Mara (19 years old), at Emory University; Leah (16), a high school senior in MD; and Joshua (10 years old), a sixth grader in MD. His children received part of their education in VT, attending Westford Elementary School, Essex Middle and High Schools, and the International School for Children in S. Burlington.

He lives with his significant other, Donna Wilder, and her two children (Delphine, Sophia), alternating between their homes in Wilmington, VT, and Washington, DC. Donna, a former 'DoD brat', has a B.S. in Biochemistry from Catholic University and a Masters in Diplomacy from Norwich University (Northfield, VT). She is a blood researcher at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (Silver Spring, MD) and is working on advancing techniques to enhance the integrity of the blood supply used to support the military troops stationed in the U.S. and overseas.

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