Title: Health Facility Executive (Retired); Colonel (Retired)
Company: U.S. Air Force
Location: Milledgeville, Georgia, United States
Col. Gerald A. Johnson, Retired Health Facility Executive and Colonel with the U.S. Air Force, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Military for dedication, achievements, and leadership in the military and medical services.
Throughout his career, Col. Johnson has sought to apply his dedication and talents to altruistic purposes rather than directing them toward profit-oriented ventures. He was interested in combining a commitment to his country through 25 years of service in the U.S. Air Force with a dedication to the welfare of mankind through his service as a hospital administrator. After he was initially commissioned as an officer, he was assigned to a medical unit in Athens, Greece. In this post, he was responsible in the recovery of the remains of sailors killed in action during the 1967 Six-Day War between Israel and Arab countries in the Middle East. Ten years later, Col. Johnson became the youngest officer to serve as the administrator for the Air Force Regional Hospital for military and U.S. Department of State personnel in Spain, Portugal and Morocco.
Returning stateside, Col. Johnson was assigned to develop the U.S. Air Force’s capability to care for the sick and wounded as a result of armed conflict with the United States. Assessing a number of international threats, he led the development of the Air Force Medical Readiness Program, which provided enhanced combat medical care that is necessary beginning within the first hour following a combat injury. He crafted this plan with myriad elements and input of over 400 separate recommendations, requiring $750 million in resources to implement the program. The development of deployable medical units followed providing the equivalent of modern day emergency rooms, clinical laboratories, radiology units, surgery and nursing care units for the care and comfort of service members who sustained life and limb threatening injuries. He was also involved in developing the training protocol for the operation of the new field hospitals and clinics. When Col. Johnson left the Air Force, he was honored with the Air Force Legion of Merit for this work.
From his early adult years through his retirement, Col. Johnson has remained active with philanthropic and charitable community-based endeavors. He was a scoutmaster and a commissioner with the Boy Scouts of America as well as a member and a leader of the Junior Chamber of Commerce, also known as the Jaycees. Later, he established affiliation with the Military Officers Association of America, serving as a leader at both the state and local levels. He has further contributed through Kiwanis International, Meals on Wheels and the American Red Cross. Col. Johnson has additionally served as an advocate to acquire state funds for a post-traumatic stress/traumatic brain injury treatment unit at his local veterans medical care center.
Frequently addressing the needs of children in his community, his state and around the globe, Col. Johnson served the children of the world through his organization and guidance efforts with the Kiwanis K-Kids Clubs, which exposes elementary school-age children to service and leadership while bringing in college-age men and women as mentors. Recognized by Kiwanis International for his support of their Service Leadership Program in 2012, he subsequently accepted responsibility as the national representative for K-Kids in the Project ELIMINATE program. This program began to eradicate maternal neonatal tetanus through administration of tetanus vaccine to expectant mothers in underdeveloped countries. Kiwanis’ part in this program has been to raise $100 million for UNICEF, the program administrator. At the same time, Col. Johnson participated in the Grandfather Reading program, in which he personally visited local elementary schools to read to kindergarteners on a weekly basis. He also sat on a judicial panel that observes the progress of children in foster care on behalf of the juvenile court system.
Furthermore, Col. Johnson had held executive management positions with Signum Primary Care and Coastal Government Services, and academic adjunct appointments with The University of Alabama at Birmingham and Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville, Georgia. For many years, he held the distinction of being a fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives. He has previously earned a Bachelor of Science from the University of Illinois in 1964 and a Master of Arts from The George Washington University in 1971. Featured in the 73rd edition of Who’s Who in America, Col. Johnson is also proud of his involvement with the building of a nationwide disaster response capability, known as the National Disaster Medical System. This capability and its many elements was intended to include rescue, recovery, treatment and evacuation of victims, including the use of Air Force airplanes, for the medical evacuation of patients, wherever the need arose. NDMS was first used during Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
He is blessed with a wonderful family, including his wife, Judy, three adult children and three grandchildren. A characteristic of Col. Johnson’s adult life is the 23 moves he has made with his family over his nearly 60 years of marriage. During this time, his wife acquired the skill of having their household fully functioning within a week’s time while their children adapted to the frequency of their moves because their friends were doing the same. It was a way of life for military families. Whether it be disadvantaged children, veterans in need or soldiers who have made the ultimate sacrifice, Col. Johnson continues to cement his legacy as someone who has selflessly pledged his skills and resources to countless others.
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