Kisha B. Holden, PhD, MSCR
Satcher Health Leadership Institute
Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences; Department of Community Health and Preventive Medicine
About the Interim Director
Kisha B. Holden, PhD, MSCR is Interim Director of the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM). In this role, she provides executive leadership for the institute’s four divisions — Behavioral Health, Community Voices: Healthcare for the Underserved, Health Policy, and the Center of Excellence for Sexual Health; and its Kennedy Center for Mental Health Policy and Research. Also at MSM, Dr. Holden is an Associate Professor in both the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences and Department of Community Health & Preventive Medicine.
Dr. Holden earned undergraduate, masters, and doctoral degrees from Howard University in counseling psychology, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Johns Hopkins University in both the School of Medicine and School of Public Health. She earned a Master of Science in Clinical Research degree from MSM. She has completed professional development trainings from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), American Psychological Association (APA), and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Prior to joining MSM, Dr. Holden held positions at Georgetown University, Kennedy Krieger Institute, Urban Health Institute, Children’s National Medical Center, and Evaluation and Research Associates, Inc. Dr. Holden serves on many national, regional, and local boards/committees; she is a reviewer for several academic journals; and she has received professional awards from various organizations and agencies. She has been awarded research funding from public and private sources; co-edited two books; developed several book chapters; published over 40 articles in peer-reviewed academic journals; and served as a guest co-editor for the Journal of Healthcare for the Poor and Underserved.
Dr. Holden has dedicated her career to encouraging mental health and well-being among ethnically and culturally diverse families through research, programmatic initiatives, and the development of innovative strategies for informing health policies. She has placed a special emphasis on addressing the needs of underserved and underrepresented populations that are often overlooked, yet prevail in contributing to the myriad of health disparities. She aims to: (1) promote excellence in community-based clinical and translational mental health research, (2) develop innovative programs that improve accessibility of individuals to comprehensive healthcare, and (3) develop culturally centered, gender specific, resilience based prevention and intervention models for individuals at risk for depression.
She is an advocate for the Lupus Foundation of America, Atlanta Ballet, and Delta Sigma Theta, Inc., A Public Service Sorority. She enjoys international travel and gourmet vegan cooking with her stepdaughter Michele and husband Dr. Elton Holden.
David Satcher, M.D., Ph.D.
Founding Director and Senior Advisor,
Satcher Health Leadership Institute
Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences; Department of Family Medicine; Department of Community Health and Preventive Medicine
16th Surgeon General, United States of America
About the Founding Director and Senior Advisor
David Satcher, MD, PhD is Founding Director and Senior Advisor of The Satcher Health Leadership Institute which was established in 2006 at the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia. The mission of the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at the Morehouse School of Medicine is to develop a diverse group of exceptional health leaders, advance and support comprehensive health system strategies, and actively promote policies and practices that will reduce and ultimately eliminate disparities in health. The Institute’s programs reflect Dr. Satcher’s experience in improving public health policy and his commitment to eliminating health disparities for underserved groups, such as minorities and the poor and shedding light on neglected issues, such as mental and sexual health.
Dr. Satcher was sworn in as the 16th Surgeon General of the United States in February 1998 and served until 2002. He also served as the 10th Assistant Secretary for Health in the Department of Health and Human Services making him only the second person in history to have held both positions simultaneously. His tenure of public service also includes serving as Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Administrator of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. He was the first person to have served as Director of the CDC and Surgeon General of the United States.
Dr. Satcher has held top leadership positions at the Charles R. Drew University for Medicine and Science, Meharry Medical College, and the Morehouse School of Medicine. He has been a Macy Foundation Fellow, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar, and a Senior Visiting Fellow of the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Dr. Satcher held the position of Director of the National Center for Primary Care (NCPC) at the Morehouse School of Medicine from 2002 to 2004. This recognizes his long commitment to removing the stigma attached to mental illness, as evidenced by Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General, the first surgeon general’s report on mental health released during his tenure as Surgeon General.
As Surgeon General and Assistant Secretary for Health, Dr. Satcher led the department’s effort to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in health, an initiative that was incorporated as one of the two major goals of Healthy People 2010. In 2005, he was appointed to serve on the World Health Organization Commission on Social Determinants of Health.
Dr. Satcher has received over 50 honorary degrees and numerous distinguished honors including top awards from the National Medical Association, the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the Ronald Davis Special Recognition Award from the American College of Preventive Medicine, and the Symbol of H.O.P.E. Award for health promotion and disease prevention. He received the Benjamin E. Mays Trailblazer Award and the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Award for Humanitarian Contributions to the Health of Humankind from the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases.
Previously, Dr. Satcher served on the Board of Directors of Johnson and Johnson and MetLife. He has also served locally on the board of United Way of Greater Atlanta and The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta. Currently, he sits on the board of the CDC Foundation.
Dr. Satcher graduated from Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia in 1963 and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He holds MD and PhD degrees from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. He is a member of Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society and a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American College of Preventive Medicine and the American College of Physicians. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences, the 100 Black Men of Atlanta and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
A proponent of healthy lifestyles through physical activity and good nutrition, Dr. Satcher is an avid runner, rower, and gardener.