Furr-Holden is recognized for her research on health equity that has shaped policy and improved public health

Dr. Debra Furr-Holden

Debra Furr-Holden, dean of the NYU School of Global Public Health and professor of epidemiology, has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine. She is recognized for her community-partnered research that has spurred policy change, improved behavioral health, and eliminated health disparities.

Election to the National Academy of Medicine is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine. New members are elected by current members through a process that recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service in the medical sciences, health care, and public health. This year, 90 regular members and 10 international members were elected.

“It was such an honor to receive news that I had been elected into the National Academy of Medicine. I am excited to join this impactful group of scientists to further fuel public health efforts including reducing gun violence,” Furr-Holden said.

Furr-Holden is an epidemiologist with broad expertise in health disparities and policy-level interventions toward health equity. Her scholarship encompasses a range of topics including drug and alcohol dependence epidemiology, psychiatric epidemiology, and prevention science; in 2021, she published a seminal article in Addiction that highlighted racial disparities in opioid overdose deaths over the past two decades. During the Covid-19 pandemic, she served on multiple task forces in Michigan and New York focused on Covid-19 and racial inequality. Notably, in Michigan and Flint, the racial disparity in Covid-19 cases and deaths among African Americans was eliminated.

The National Academy of Medicine noted that they elected Furr-Holden for her research that has “fueled multiple policy initiatives to improve behavioral health and eliminate racial, economic, and geographic disparities in intentional and unintentional injury including opioid-involved overdose death, gun violence, and community violence.”

“It is my honor to welcome this truly exceptional class of new members to the National Academy of Medicine,” said National Academy of Medicine President Victor J. Dzau. “Their contributions to health and medicine are unparalleled, and their leadership and expertise will be essential to helping the NAM tackle today’s urgent health challenges, inform the future of health care, and ensure health equity for the benefit of all around the globe.”

Céline Gounder, clinical associate professor of internal medicine and infectious diseases at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, and Robert Montgomery, H. Leon Pachter Chair and professor of surgery and director of the NYU Langone Transplant Institute, were also elected to the National Academy of Medicine this year. Gounder was recognized for her expertise communicating about science, medicine, and public health. She has won awards for coverage of health inequities and the Covid, Ebola, Zika, opioid, gun violence, and disinformation epidemics. Montgomery was honored for his significant contributions to the field of transplantation., including leading the team that performed the first successful genetically edited pig-to-human kidney xenotransplant.

Founded in 1970 as the Institute of Medicine, the National Academy of Medicine addresses critical issues in health, science, medicine, and related policy and inspires positive actions across sectors. The National Academy of Medicine is one of three academies that make up the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in the United States, which together provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation and conduct other activities to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions.

About the NYU School of Global Public Health

At the NYU School of Global Public Health (NYU GPH), we are preparing the next generation of public health pioneers with the critical thinking skills, acumen, and entrepreneurial approaches necessary to solve global health challenges. Devoted to employing a nontraditional, interdisciplinary model, NYU GPH aims to improve health worldwide through a unique blend of global public health studies, research, and practice. The School is located in the heart of New York City and extends to NYU's global network on six continents. Innovation is at the core of our ambitious approach, thinking and teaching. For more, visit: publichealth.nyu.edu

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