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Professor Walter Holland CBE, 1929-2018

The Faculty is saddened to learn of the death of Walter Holland CBE, Professor of Social Medicine and Fellow of King’s College London, who died at St Thomas’, where he worked and studied, on the 9th February 2018. 

Professor Holland (born 1929) qualified from St Thomas's Medical School in 1954. In 1962 he was appointed to the first academic position in public health with an honorary consultant contract, also at St Thomas’, and in 1968 became the first Professor of Social Medicine. The importance of his work, linking public health and clinical medicine, was soon recognised by the Department of Health who subsequently funded its first independent research unit at the hospital.

Under Professor Holland’s leadership this department published many studies influential in shaping government policy. Examples include showing the harmful effects of passive smoking on infants and conducting the first investigation into service provision for disabled patients prior to hospital design.

Over the course of his working life Professor Holland published over 315 articles and books, edited the Oxford Textbook of Public Health, served as Editor of the International Journal of Epidemiology from 1971-1977 and President of the International Epidemiological Association from 1987-1990. He was President of the Faculty of Public Health and in 1992 Professor Holland was made a CBE in recognition of his contribution to the field. Our thoughts and deepest sympathy are with his family at this sad time.