Dr. Debra Furr-Holden

Debra Furr-Holden joins the College of Human Medicine’s dean’s executive team as the associate dean for public health integration. An epidemiologist by training, her research aims to ameliorate behavioral health inequities.

June 28, 2019

I am pleased to announce that Debra Furr-Holden will serve as the associate dean for public health integration at the College of Human Medicine. To bring hope and healing to those we serve, our efforts must include protecting and improving the health and well-being of individuals and their communities. 

Furr-Holden is a C.S. Mott endowed professor of public health and a professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the College Human Medicine. She joined MSU in January 2016, as one of the first four faculty hires in the Division of Public Health at the College of Human Medicine Flint campus. Furr-Holden has served as the interim director of the Division of Public Health since July 2017 and has also been named director effective June 1, 2019.

An epidemiologist by training, Furr-Holden has spent the past 20 years conducting research to ameliorate behavioral health inequities. She is the director of the NIH-funded Flint Center for Health Equity Solutions and maintains a research portfolio that addresses the social determinants of behavioral health.

As a 2019 graduate of the Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine® (ELAM) Program, Furr-Holden undertook an institutional project to explore the future of public health at Michigan State University. She chaired the committee that held 50 listening sessions across campuses to explore the 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?’. 

Furr-Holden notes, “Coming to MSU and working in Flint has been an amazing experience. Having the opportunity to meet with hundreds of stakeholders across campus, I also gained a deep appreciation and respect for my fellow Spartans who share the institutional values of excellence in our work and partnership with the communities we serve.”

Furr-Holden joins the College of Human Medicine’s dean’s executive team, providing senior level leadership for the college and facilitating cross-campus collaborations. The role also entails leading expansion of public health research, education and service missions at the university.

Furr-Holden writes, “I am deeply humbled by the opportunity to work alongside our community and academic partners to cement MSU’s role in transforming the public health landscape in the state and beyond. Continuing to do our work and train our students to work in partnership with the communities that we serve, will remain a defining feature of the Division of Public Health in Flint, and our future public health endeavors at MSU.”

Norman J. Beauchamp Jr., MD MHS
Dean, College of Human Medicine
Associate Provost and Assistant Vice President for Health Affairs
Michigan State University