Longtime public health advocate to build bridges between medicine and public health

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Sept. 24, 2021
Contact: Kate Alfano, Colorado Medical Society
Phone: 720-859-1001
Email: kate_alfano@cms.org

[DENVER] — Mark B. Johnson, MD, MPH, was sworn in as president of the Colorado Medical Society Friday, Sept. 17, during the organization’s virtual 151st Annual Meeting. Johnson has served as a member of the CMS Board of Directors since 2016 and in many other leadership capacities within the medical society – leading committees, councils, workgroups, task forces and as a delegate to the former policy-making body of CMS – continually since 1993.

He will bring a focus on public health to his presidency, drawing on three decades of service to Jefferson County Public Health. He retired from the position of executive director of JCPH on Oct. 2, 2020.

“My conviction is that medicine needs to actively reengage with public health for the health of the public,” Johnson said in his inaugural address. “During my tenure as president of CMS, I will actively work to rebuild bridges between these two fields of endeavor.”

Over his professional career, in addition to leading the county through the COVID-19 pandemic, wildfires and floods, he has achieved many other accomplishments: helping write and pass the Colorado Public Health Act in 2008, which helps ensure core public health services are provided effectively and equally to everyone in the state, and helping establish the Colorado School of Public Health, where he still teaches today as an associate professor and assistant clinical professor.

Johnson also advocated for transparency around safety related to the Rocky Flats, led JCPH to receive national accreditation status, and has served and continues to serve on multiple leadership boards and committees in the public health and medical fields. The Colorado Public Health Association presented him the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2019.

Johnson was awarded a Master of Public Health by Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health and his medical degree by Loma Linda University School of Medicine. He received additional training through a preventive medicine residency at Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health and a clinical fellowship at Johns Hopkins Hospital Department of Psychiatry. He was a senior assistant surgeon with the United States Public Health Service National Health Service Corps, and achieved the rank of lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Medical Corps, U.S. Army Reserves before honorable discharge in 2006.

The Colorado Medical Society champions health care issues that improve patient care, promote physician professional satisfaction and create healthier communities in Colorado. To learn more about CMS, visit www.cms.org.

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