Phillips Medal Recipients
Terry A. Johnson, D.O., ('91)
Terry Johnson, D.O., a 1991 graduate of the Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine, is state representative for Ohio’s 90th House District, and the only physician serving in the state’s General Assembly. As a legislator since 2010, he has sponsored important health-related laws, including one aimed at helping rein in the scourge of prescription drug abuse in Ohio.
A clinical associate professor in family medicine at the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, and an assistant dean in the college’s Centers for Osteopathic Research and Education (CORE), Dr. Johnson has also served as a family practice physician in the Portsmouth area in Scioto County, his lifelong home.
Commissioned into the Ohio Army National Guard while still a fourth-year medical student, he attained the rank of full colonel in just 12 years. A senior flight surgeon and the Ohio Army National Guard’s first State Aviation Medical Officer, Dr. Johnson was deployed overseas multiple times, including two stints in Iraq. He ended his military career in 2011 as the Guard’s State Surgeon, the highest position attainable for a Medical Corps officer at that time.
Dr. Johnson served as Scioto County Coroner from 2002-2012, leaving that position after being elected to represent Ohio’s 89th House District. Having seen first-hand as county coroner the destructive impacts of prescription drug abuse, Dr. Johnson partnered with fellow representative and pharmacist Dave Burke to author House Bill 93, dubbed the “Anti-Pill Mill Bill.”
The bill, which passed the General Assembly in a remarkably quick five months and was signed into law in May 2011, placed limitations on the in-office prescribing of controlled drugs, added licensing requirements for pain clinics and created a take-back program to help people safely dispose of unused medications.
Dr. Johnson has also co-sponsored House Bill 296, which allows schools, school districts and residential or day camps to stock epinephrine “epi-pens” to treat anaphylaxis shock. House Bill 170, which he sponsored in 2013, expands access to naloxone hydrochloride (Narcan), a medication that can save the lives of people suffering overdoses of heroin or prescription pain medication.
In 2011, Dr. Johnson was named Physician of the Year by the American Osteopathic Foundation, and Ohio’s Family Physician of the Year by the Ohio Academy of the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians. In 2010 students at the Southern Ohio Medical Center in Portsmouth, a CORE site where he is a former director of the family practice residency, named him Family Physician of the Year. He also has won State Legislator of the Year awards from two statewide veterans’ groups, the AMVETS Department of Ohio in 2013 and the Vietnam Veterans of America Buckeye Chapter in 2012.
Dr. Johnson graduated summa cum laude in 1985 from Ohio University with a bachelor’s degree in history, before attending the university’s College of Osteopathic Medicine. He completed his family practice residency at Doctor’s Hospital in Columbus, after which he returned to the Portsmouth area in 1994 to practice.
Originally elected to represent Ohio’s 89th House District, Dr. Johnson saw his district lines redrawn, and in 2012 was elected to represent the new 90th District, which includes all of Scioto and Adams counties, and a small part of Lawrence County.