Debra Furr-Holden named Fellow of the Hedwig van Ameringen 
Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) Program. It is a one-year leadership training on coaching, networking, and mentoring for senior women faculty.

May 23, 2019

The Drexel University ELAM program is a one-year fellowship of leadership training on coaching, networking, and mentoring for senior women faculty. The purpose of the ELAM fellowship is to build a community of women academic medical, dental, public health and pharmacy leaders who have broad perspectives and deep capacity to address emerging issues in academic health centers and the society they serve.

Placing more women in positions of senior leadership will provide new perspectives for decision making and help speed the curricular, organizational, and policy changes needed to ensure a more effective, representative, and responsive health care system.

“Spending the past year with this amazing group of women leaders was transformative for me,” Furr-Holden said. “Despite some of our best efforts, there are still glass ceilings, and doors for women in academic medicine and the ELAM community of practice is at the forefront of breaking through these barriers.”

As part of her ELAM Fellowship project, Furr-Holden led a participatory, inclusive process to answer the broad question: “What might MSU be able to do in the arena of public health that will continue to improve our efforts if we were organized in a School of Public Health?” After forming an advisory board, 50 listening sessions were held across MSU campuses to explore this question. What was learned is that MSU is uniquely poised to add tremendous value to the current state and national public health landscape and that work to consider expanding MSU’s public health infrastructure should continue moving forward.  

“Acceptance into ELAM is highly competitive. The selection committee seeks individuals who are impactful and poised to be transformational for their organization, the communities they serve and academic medicine,” said Norman J. Beauchamp Jr., MD, MHS, dean, MSU College of Human Medicine. “Debra is such a person. She works with a collaborative approach and always is seeking out the community voice. Her leadership strengths are key to our public health research growth in Flint.”

The Michigan State College of Human Medicine now has three ELAM Fellows among its ranks. Internationally, ELAM graduates number more than 1,000 and serve in numerous executive leadership positions at 259 academic health organizations.

About Debra Furr-Holden
Furr-Holden is an internationally renowned epidemiologist with expertise in addiction epidemiology, prevention science, psychosocial measurement, and behavioral health equity research, interventions, and policy.

Her research focuses on developing environmental strategies, structural and policy interventions to promote behavioral health and health equity. She is the director of the Flint Center for Health Equity Solutions (FCHES), a National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)-funded Transdisciplinary Collaborative Center (TCC) for health disparities research on chronic disease prevention.