Remembering a Life Well-Lived

February 1, 2017

Roseman University faculty and staff said goodbye to Renee M. Holder, PharmD, BCPS, CPE on Thursday, January 26 in a Memorial Service in Berkeley, California, which was held on what would have been her 32nd birthday.

Dr. Holder was originally from Reno, Nevada. She received her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Midwestern University in Glendale, Arizona in 2009. She completed her two-year Pharmacotherapy Residency on the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in 2011. She was part of the interdisciplinary Palliative Care Team at MedStar Washington Hospital Center in Washington, DC.

Prior to MedStar Washington Hospital Center, Dr. Holder was an assistant professor of pharmacy practice at Roseman Univeristy’s College of Pharmacy in Henderson, where she taught pain management, critical care, and nutrition from August 2011-February 2015. While at Roseman, Dr. Holder established the College of Pharmacy’s first Global Health rotation through a medical mission in Guatemala delivering medical care alongside her students. Dr. Holder’s practice site at Nathan Adelson Hospice in Las Vegas allowed her to provide patient care, and train pharmacy and medical students, medical residents, and the inaugural fellow in Palliative Care.

Dr. Holder was a warm presence on Roseman’s Henderson campus, and her love for life and her drive to live it to the fullest as well as her kindness and compassion for her patients left a lasting impression on all who met her. With a passion for education, she was dedicated to her student pharmacists’ success and attainment of their professional goals.

Dr. Christina Madison, a friend and colleague at Roseman remembers Dr. Holder.  “Dr. Renee Holder was not just a colleague but one of my best friends. Her loss is not only inconceivable, but incalculable as she touched so many lives in both her professional and personal life in the short time she was here with us,” said Dr. Madison. “I only had the pleasure of knowing her for the past 5 years but these are some of my fondest memories. She accomplished more in 31 years than most do in a lifetime. It is hard to imagine my world without her in it but I know that she would want me to continue to live life to the fullest and to help those in need. She will be truly missed and was loved by all.”

Dr. Holder lived life healthfully, she was a fitness enthusiast, and was training for a marathon, was a vegan, and a non-smoker. In 2016, after a prolonged illness, Dr. Holder was diagnosed with stage IV non-small cell lung cancer and died at age 31 just two months after receiving her diagnosis. Dr. Holder is survived by her parents, three siblings, and two beloved Dachshunds.


Scholarships that Signify A Life Well Lived

Surely everyone agrees that scholarships can be very valuable to a student and in some instances, can be the tipping point to fill in a funding gap.  Memorial scholarships where a person’s life is honored by a scholarship in their name is also very meaningful to a student struggling to study and succeed.  To receive a scholarship award in memory of a special person who impact so many while alive is significant.  Dr. Renee Holder, Pharm.D., BCPS, CPE was one of those very special people.  Some may have had the pleasure of being taught by Dr. Holder and others may know of her work after leaving Roseman to concentrate in the areas of palliative care, pain management and global heath.  Her incredible education and application for her brief 32 years are a model for many.  Thanks to our own Dr. Christina M. Madison, Pharm.D., BCAP, AAHIVP, a scholarship fund has been set up in memory of Dr. Holder.  Honor the past and celebrate all future pharmacists with your gift to this link.

Vanessa Maniago
Special Advisor to the President
Roseman University of Health Sciences