Holsinger Appointed by President Bush
Media Contact: Mary Margaret Colliver, 859-361-1887
LEXINGTON, Ky. (January 7, 2009) - President George W. Bush today announced his intention to appoint Dr. James W. Holsinger Jr. as a member of the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, for the remainder of two-year terms expiring May 5, 2010.
"I greatly appreciate President Bush appointing me to the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports," said Holsinger, the Wethington Endowed Chair in the Health Sciences, professor of Preventive Medicine and Health Services Management, and director of Doctoral Studies, University of Kentucky College of Public Health. "Clearly a major issue for Kentuckians and all Americans is our sedentary lifestyle which markedly contributes to the obesity epidemic. I look forward to the opportunity to continue my efforts at dealing with this major issue at a national level."
University of Kentucky officials recognized Holsinger's appointment, citing his longstanding commitment to public health education and accomplishments as an administrator.
"Dr. James Holsinger has exhibited a strong devotion to health care and education throughout his life," said UK President Lee T. Todd Jr. "He has worked tirelessly on countless University of Kentucky public health initiatives, including efforts to combat childhood obesity. Dr. Holsinger is a respected national leader in public health education, and we feel he is an excellent choice for the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports."
"We are delighted that Dr. James Holsinger has been appointed to a leadership position in an area so integral to the health of our nation," said Dr. Michael Karpf, UK executive vice president for health affairs. "Dr. Holsinger's longstanding commitment to public health education and passion as a leader will enable him to serve as a great catalyst to promote better health through physical activity and fitness."
Holsinger was secretary of the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services from 2003 to 2005. He returned to UK in 2006. Prior to his time in Frankfort, Holsinger was chancellor of the UK Medical Center for nine years.
A native of Kansas City, Kan., Holsinger has a doctorate in anatomy and physiology and a medical degree from Duke University. He also holds a master's degree in hospital financial management from the University of South Carolina and a bachelor's degree from the University of Kentucky in human studies as well as a master's degree in biblical studies from Asbury Theological Seminary.
He completed residencies in general surgery at Duke Hospital, Durham, N.C., and Shands Teaching Hospital, Gainesville, Fla., and a fellowship in cardiology at the University of Florida. Holsinger is the son of Ruth R. Holsinger of Durham and the late Brig. Gen. James W. Holsinger Sr. Holsinger is married to Dr. Barbara Craig Holsinger and they have four daughters, Anna, Ruth, Sarah, and Rachel, and six grandsons.
Most of Holsinger's career was spent with the Veteran's Health Administration, where he spent 26 years in various positions, including serving as chief of staff or director of several VA medical centers. Before becoming chancellor at the UK Medical Center, he was director of the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Lexington for one year. He also served as undersecretary for health for the Department of Veterans Affairs in Washington, D.C.
Additionally, Holsinger served the country for 31 years as a member of the U.S. Army Reserve achieving the rank of Major General and retiring in 1993.
Recently, Holsinger received the Dr. Jack Trevey Award for Community Service from the Lexington Medical Society for his decades-long commitment to health care.
The Council on Physical Fitness and Sports raises Americans' awareness of the importance of increasing personal fitness and becoming healthier. The president has appointed outstanding volunteer citizens, including distinguished athletes and experts from the health care community, to serve on the council. The council members use their expertise to advise the administration on the quality and content of administration programs to promote physical fitness. Their diverse backgrounds help the administration reach more Americans, and individuals will serve as an inspiration for a more active lifestyle through personal and professional examples. Their experiences and background make them qualified to communicate important fitness messages to individuals of any age and ability. The council focuses on all populations, including young Americans among whom there is an alarming trend in obesity and inactivity. Council members help to educate community leaders and all citizens.