Dr. Jimmie Holland was the Wayne E. Chapman Chair in Psychiatric Oncology, at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. As a psychiatrist for more than 30 years, Dr. Holland devoted her career to helping patients, their families, and medical staff as they cope with the psychological burden of cancer and its treatment. Dr. Holland directed a support group for patients with lung cancer for over 15 years, and also co-lead a group for older adults who are coping with illness and cancer. This intervention is also being offered over the telephone to housebound elderly.
Over the years, Dr. Holland pioneered ways in which counseling, psychosocial interventions, and medications can reduce the distress experienced by cancer patients and their families. Her research focused on psychotherapy for elderly patients with cancer and is part of the hospital-wide 65+ Program in which clinical services are provided and research is conducted in helping older patients cope with cancer and illness.
She was the first chair of Memorial Sloan-Kettering’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, and the founding president of both the International Psycho-Oncology Society and the American Psychosocial and Behavioral Oncology Society. In 2000, Dr. Holland published a book for patients titled The Human Side of Cancer. In 1995, she became a fellow of the Institute of Medicine. Over the years, Dr. Holland has on many national committees for the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute.
Dr. Holland was a valued member of the cancer community and we at Triage Cancer will miss her dearly.