Former U.S. Coast Guard Surgeon General to Speak at Health Science Center Commencement May 20

April 19, 2006

Former U.S. Coast Guard Surgeon General Joyce M. Johnson, DO, MA, will speak at the UNT Health Science Center commencement ceremonies on May 20.

The ceremonies will take place at 2 p.m. at the Fort Worth Convention Center Arena. According to preliminary figures, more than 260 students will graduate, including 114 new doctors of osteopathic medicine. Tickets are not required for admission to the commencement ceremony, and there is no limit to the number of people a student may invite to the commencement.

Commissioning ceremonies for students who will be joining the military will take place immediately following the commencement ceremony, and Ronald Blanck, DO, president of UNT Health Science Center, and military personnel will officiate.

The guest speaker for the commencement ceremony, Dr. Johnson, also a retired rear admiral, will be receiving an honorary degree, a doctor of public service, from the health science center.

Dr. Johnson served as the U.S. Coast Guardâ??s Chief Medical Officer, functioning as surgeon general, when she retired from the U.S. Public Health Service in December 2003. Her other government assignments included senior scientific and management positions with the Food and Drug Administration and the Substance Abuse and Mental health Services Administration.

Dr. Johnson has extensive international health experience and has provided consultation or clinical care on all seven continents. She is board certified in three specialties: public health and preventive medicine, clinical pharmacology, and psychiatry. She is also a certified addiction specialist and certified food service executive.

Dr. Johnson has been conferred with an honorary doctor of science degree from the University of the Health Sciences in Des Moines and a doctor of fine arts from New York Institute of Technology in addition to the doctor of osteopathy and master of arts degrees in hospital and health administration that she earned at Michigan State University and the University of Iowa.

Current vice president of health sciences in the health and life sciences division of Battelle Memorial Institute, Dr. Johnson writes the regular Ask the Doctor column for the Military Officer Magazine and recently completed editing the book The Shipâ??s Medical Chest and Medical Aid at Sea. She has faculty appointments at Georgetown University School of Medicine, the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.

For more information about the commencement ceremony, visit the website at or contact the registrarâ??s office at 817-735-2201. The Fort Worth Convention Center Arena is located at 1201 Houston Street in Fort Worth.


Contact: Kay Colley 817-735-2553, cell 817-980-5090, e-mail

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