From the Interim Director


The Satcher Health Leadership Institute (SHLI) is dedicated to promoting excellence and leadership for inventive research, innovative community based programs, education of diverse learners, engagement in public service, and advancing strategies for health policy solutions.

Our vision is to be a leading transformative force for global health equity. This can be achieved with a commitment to community engagement, prevention as a priority, and cross-sector collaboration to improve the inter-relationships between healthcare, socio-political, economic, educational, and environmental systems. I aim to lead with integrity, empower others, and have a positive impact on diverse individuals, families, and communities.

Our multidisciplinary team which comprise SHLI’s four divisions–Behavioral Health, Health Policy, Center of Excellence for Sexual Health, and Community Voices will build on the strong foundation and vision of our Founding Director and Senior Advisor, David Satcher, MD, PhD. Dr. Satcher-physician, researcher, educator, thought leader, 16th U.S. Surgeon General, and pioneer in public health has established a legacy that I will honor through advancing health equity. Moreover, SHLI’s myriad of remarkable initiatives complement Morehouse School of Medicine’s (MSM) vison of leading the creation and advancement of health equity, which is framed by the pillars of which our institution was founded – Knowledge, Wisdom, Excellence, and Service. As a servant leader, my goal is to espouse values that engender trust, transparency, accountability, and collaboration.

SHLI was established in 2006. As we embark upon celebrating the10 year anniversary, let’s reflect on our many contributions and progress delineated in various fields of health. Guided by the goals of Healthy People 2020, we are well aware of the enormous amount of work that remains unfinished. However, I am optimistic that collectively we can accomplish many successes.

I invite you to explore our website, view the exciting work being conducted, and discover the many opportunities that exist for you to partner with SHLI. We are open to new ideas and collaborative opportunities!

Kisha B. Holden, Ph.D., MSCR

Interim Director,
Satcher Health Leadership Institute
Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences; Department of Community Health and Preventive Medicine
Read Dr. Holden’s Bio

From the Founding Director & Senior Advisor

The Satcher Health Leadership Institute at the Morehouse School of Medicine (SHLI/MSM) was founded in 2006 in response to a public health crisis that continues today in the United States and around the world. In its 1988 report, The Future of Public Health, the Institute of Medicine stated: “Today, the need for leaders is too great to leave their emergence to chance.” SHLI/MSM is responding to the IOM’s call to action to develop the next generation
of leaders in public health.

The mission of SHLI/MSM 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.

There are those who feel that leaders are born and not made. Others feel that leaders are primarily developed. We believe that there are leadership capacities in each of us, and that for those who are motivated, we must help to develop their capacity because leadership matters. We also believe that we need leaders who care enough, who know enough, who will do enough, and who will persist in the effort to eliminate disparities in health.

At SHLI/MSM, we are committed to an interactive and experiential approach to teaching and learning. We believe that there is still much for all of us to learn about leadership. Leaders must be good learners, continually learning more about themselves and those they lead. Leaders function best when they identify with the mission and goals of the organization and are passionate about them.

In the pages of this website, you will learn about our approach to preparing future generations of leaders through our leadership development programs. You will learn about the research, service, education, and excellence in health promotion and disease prevention that take place each day in the Satcher Health Leadership Institute. We view leadership as a team sport, and this website will help you get to know our diverse team of servant-leaders.

David Satcher, MD, Ph.D.

Founding Director & 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
Read Dr. Satcher’s Bio