Galen Henderson

Former Director of Neurocritical Care, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer
Brigham and Women's Hospital
Galen Henderson

Brief Bio

Galen Henderson, MD, FNCS (1967-2023) served as Director of Neurocritical Care in the Department of Neurology and Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. A Mississippi native, he was a graduate of Tougaloo College, an Historically Black College and University (HBCU) in Jackson, Miss., and Brown Medical School. He completed his residency in the Harvard-Longwood Neurology Training Program and a fellowship in Neurocritical Care at the Brigham. Dr. Henderson subsequently joined the Brigham’s Neurology Department, where he became the director of Neurocritical Care in 2001. During his tenure, neurocritical care service has grown from five to twenty beds and became one of the busiest ICUs at the Brigham.

In addition to his work at Brigham, Dr. Henderson was the founding deputy editor of Journal Watch Neurology, editor of Reprints in Stroke and the associate medical director of two federally designated organ procurement organizations. He received awards from three different secretaries of Health and Human Services for his contributions to the development of the Organ Donation National Collaborative.

He also served as assistant professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School, where his research focused on clinical trials regarding treatments for stroke and cerebral hemorrhage. In addition, he lectured at the Neurocritical Care Society and the American Academy of Neurology.

Dr. Henderson was a member of the Board of Trustees of Brown University and past president of the university’s Alumni Association. He received a notable alumni service award from the university for his leadership and many contributions.

Alliance Presentations


Bridging the Gap to Navigate the Unique Challenges of Brain Death Determination

Thursday, December 08, 2022, at 2:00pm

Brain Death, Coma, or Vegetative State? These three neurological conditions are often confused with one another, especially when there’s presence of certain reflexes or physiological responses. What does it mean if a patient shows signs of spontaneous breathing? Does a patient require ventilator support when undergoing apnea testing? During this discussion, we will be joined by Dr. Galen Henderson, Director of Neurocritical Care, who will review the process of brain death determination with special focus on some of the unique challenges associated with a brain death testing. Additionally, Dr. Henderson will address some of the common misconceptions and concerns voiced by families, and even other healthcare professionals, as it relates to confirming the diagnosis.

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