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Debra J. Holden

Senior Director, Community and Health Education Research

Debra Holden, PhD, a community health psychologist, has more than 22 years of experience working in a variety of settings to implement and evaluate health programs, including those at the national, state, and local levels. She has significant research experience, particularly with all types of evaluation research, consulting, teaching, and advising. Key areas of expertise include community- and health-related evaluation planning and research, survey design and development, qualitative and quantitative research methods, application of health behavior theory to practice, community-based intervention design, and implementation and institutionalization of programs. She has extensive experience in a variety of techniques to work with expert groups to facilitate group decision making of complex and important issues. Content areas of expertise include cancer control, tobacco prevention and control, and chronic disease prevention.


PhD, Community Psychology, North Carolina State University; MS, Community Psychology, North Carolina State University; BA, Psychology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Latest Publications

Porterfield, D.S., Rojas-Smith, L., Lewis, M., McCormack, L.A., Hoerger, T.J., & Holden, D.J. (July 2015). A taxonomy of integration interventions between health care and public health: RTI Press Publication No. OP-0023-1507. Research Triangle Park, NC: RTI Press.
Holden, D.J., Reiter K, , O'Brien D, , & Dalton, K. (2015). The strategic case for establishing public-private partnerships in cancer care. Health Research Policy and Systems, 13 (1):44.
Halpern, M.T., Spain, P., Holden, D.J., Stewart, A., McNamara, E.J., Gay, G., et al. (2013). Improving Quality of Cancer Care at Community Hospitals: Impact of the National Cancer Institute Community Cancer Centers Program Pilot. J Oncol Pract , 9 (6):e298-e304.
Halpern, M.T., & Holden, D.J. (2012). Disparities in timeliness of care for U.S. Medicare patients diagnosed with cancer. Curr Oncol , 19 (6):e404-e413.
Rochester, P., Adams, E., Porterfield, D.S., Holden, D., McAleer, K., & Steele, C.B. (2011). Cancer plan index: A measure for assessing the quality of cancer plans. Journal of Public Health Management and Practice, 17 (6):E12-E17.
View all publications by Debra J. Holden (25)


  • Cancer Prevention and Control
  • Evaluation Planning
  • Community-Based Research
  • Public Health Program Evaluation