"Understanding the experience of the human being with cancer is as important as understanding the biology of the cancer itself."
Jimmie C. Holland, MD, FAACR, a pioneer in the field of psycho-oncology, died Dec. 24, 2017, at the age of 89.
Dr. Holland was considered the founder of the discipline that became known as psycho-oncology, which incorporated counseling, psychosocial interventions, and medications into cancer care to alleviate the distress experienced by cancer patients and their families. Her research resulted in the development of a body of literature including an international journal, textbooks, and training curricula.
Dr. Holland was born in Nevada, Texas, in 1928, and received her medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston in 1952. She was board certified in psychiatry in 1966.
She became the first chief of the Psychiatry Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) in New York, and under her leadership, the hospital’s Psychiatry Service became the country's leading training and research program dedicated to the field. Most recently, she was the Wayne E. Chapman Chair in Psychiatric Oncology at MSKCC and a professor of psychiatry at Weill Medical College of Cornell University in New York.
Dr. Holland joined the AACR as an active member in 1998 and became an Emeritus member in 2002. She was inducted into the inaugural class of Fellows of the AACR Academy in 2013. She was the 10th recipient of the AACR-Joseph H. Burchenal Memorial Award for Outstanding Achievement in Clinical Cancer Research in 2005. She served on several AACR committees during her tenure as an AACR member, including the Clinical Cancer Research Committee in 2009, the Annual Meeting Program Committee in 2011, the African Cancer Researchers Travel Award Committee in 2016, and the Biedler Award Review Committee in 2017. She served as chair of the AACR Task Force on Survivorship in 2009.
Dr. Holland was the founding president of both the International Psycho-oncology Society and the American Psychosocial Oncology Society. Among many other awards and honors, Dr. Holland received the T.J. Martell Foundation's Pioneer Award at the Foundation's Women of Influence Awards in 2015.
Dr. Holland was married to James F. Holland, MD, FAACR, distinguished professor of neoplastic diseases in the Department of Medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York.
2013 Annual Achievement Award, Association of Community Cancer Centers
2011 Alexander Ming Fisher Lecturer/Award, Columbia College of Physicians & Surgeons
2009 Chair, AACR Task Force on Survivorship
2007 Member, Institute of Medicine, Panel on Care of the Whole Patient
2005 Adolf Meyer Award, American Psychiatric Association
2000 Presidential Commendation, American Psychiatric Association
1997 Chair, National Comprehensive Cancer Network’s (NCCN) Panel on Management of Distress
1996 Chair, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
1995 Elected Fellow, Institute of Medicine
1994 Medal of Honor for Clinical Research, American Cancer Society
1989 Wayne E. Chapman Chair in Psychiatric Oncology
1986 Founding President, American Psychosocial Oncology Society
1984 Founding President, International Psycho-oncology Society
1977 Chief, Psychiatry Service, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
1952 MD, Baylor College of Medicine