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Joining the Fight

Endowed professor fights for public health in Flint

Joining the Fight

Endowed professor fights for public health in Flint

One can safely assume Debra Furr-Holden deeply cares about the community of Flint, Mich.


Furr-Holden’s family lived in Flint when she was young. Going on to live in Washington D.C. and Baltimore, she is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University with a passion for helping others. 

Now, back in Flint as a C.S. Mott Endowed Professor of Public Health in the newly-formed MSU College of Human Medicine Division of Public Health, Furr-Holden is examining solutions that will lead to reducing health disparities in Flint, the state and beyond. 

“Michigan State is primely poised for this work,” Furr-Holden said. “To address structural inequalities and deficits, multiple risk factors—we have many opportunities here to impact health on the largest scale.”

Although brand new to Michigan State, Furr-Holden is responsible for starting a center, the Flint Center for Health Equity Solutions (FCHES). The center will bring together policy-makers, community leaders and researchers to better serve the health of the Flint community.

At the end of the day, Flint seemed the perfect place for Furr-Holden to return to, and endowed funding attracted this high-level researcher to Michigan State.

“I appreciate the strong partnerships and the amazing will of the community of Flint,” admitted Furr-Holden. “The people of Flint have an ability to take care of themselves and have done so with very few resources. Michigan State is fighting the good fight here.”

And going forward, this is exactly what she intends to do.

Endowed funding draws high-caliber faculty members to Michigan State. Learn more about endowed chairs and professorships.

Author: Sarah Wardell