James W. Holsinger, Jr.

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Dr. James W. Holsinger, Jr., currently president of the United Methodist Judicial Council, was nominated[1] May 24, 2007, by President George W. Bush to be the 18th Surgeon General of the United States. Holsinger would succeed Richard H. Carmona, who resigned at the end of his term in July 2006.[2]

Holsinger was described[3] in June 2007 by the United Methodist Nexus's Cynthia B. Astle as a "[s]taunch anti-gay leader" : "Holsinger rose to national prominence through his membership on the 1989-92 churchwide Committee to Study Homosexuality. He resigned from the committee shortly before the 1992 General Conference in Louisville, KY, because he said the committee's report was 'skewed toward liberal interpretations' of homosexual orientation and behavior. At the time, Holsinger declined the committee's invitation to be included in a minority report on the subject. ... Since that time, Holsinger has consistently supported forces in the denomination opposed to the acceptance of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people."


"A Kansas City, KS, native, Holsinger has a Ph.D. in anatomy and a medical degree from Duke University, along with a master's degree in hospital management from the University of South Carolina. He also has a master's degree in biblical studies from multidenominational Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, KY," Astle wrote.[4]

"Although trained in general surgery and cardiology, and described in President Bush's announcement as a cardiologist, Holsinger has no national board certification in any speciality, according to the web site of the American Board of Medical Specialities.

"Holsinger currently holds the Wethington Chair in Health Sciences and serves as professor of preventive medicine at the University of Kentucky College of Public Health. Prior to his current UK post, Holsinger led the Commonwealth of Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services from 2003 to 2005. Before that, he was chancellor of UK's A.B. Chandler Medical Center for nine years, and directed the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Lexington, KY, from 1993 to 1994.

"Altogether, Holsinger served with the Veterans Administration, renamed the Department of Veterans Affairs in 1989, from 1969 through 1994. He rose to chief medical director and undersecretary of health for the agency under President George H.W. Bush. Holsinger retired from the Army Reserve Medical Corps in 1993 with the rank of major general.

"Holsinger has been a consistent contributor to the Republican Party, according to Newsmeat.com. The web site lists close to $17,000 in contributions to the national party and to various candidates, including President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, both fellow United Methodists, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY)," Astle wrote.

Holsinger's University of Kentucky faculty profile[5] states that Holsinger graduated in 1964 from Duke University Medical School and completed a Ph.D. with a major in anatomy and a minor in physiology at Duke University in 1968. "Holsinger has served in a variety of academic and administrative appointments including time at the University of Nebraska, University of Connecticut, University of Georgia, University of Virginia, and the University of Kentucky." Holsinger retired July 13, 1994, after serving 26 years in the Department of Veterans Affairs. "His career culminated on August 6, 1990 with the President of the United States appointing him as Chief Medical Director of the Veterans Health Administration. Dr. Holsinger is the former Chancellor of the University of Kentucky Chandler Medical Center, and was appointed to serve as Secretary of Governor Ernie Fletcher Administration's Cabinet for Health Services in 2003."

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Related SourceWatch articles


  1. News Release: "President Bush Nominates Dr. James Holsinger Jr. as Surgeon General," Office of the White House Press Secretary, May 24, 2007.
  2. Cynthia B. Astle, "Bush Taps Judicial Council Head for Surgeon General," United Methodist Nexus, June 2007.
  3. Cynthia B. Astle, "Bush Taps Judicial Council Head for Surgeon General," United Methodist Nexus, June 2007.
  4. Cynthia B. Astle, "Bush Taps Judicial Council Head for Surgeon General," United Methodist Nexus, June 2007.
  5. Faculty profile, University of Kentucky.


External articles