Rhonda Johnson

Dr. Johnson is Professor of Public Health and former Chair, Department of Health Sciences at University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA).

Since 2004, she has coordinated the Master of Public Health (MPH) program there, focused on circumpolar and northern health issues.  She completed her Doctorate of Public Health – DrPH - as a Public Health Leadership Fellow at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (1998-2001). She has also been a nationally-certified family nurse practitioner (FNP), with about 20 years of primary care practice and program management experience, mostly in rural, underserved areas of the United States, including but not limited to Alaska.  An Arizona native, her first degree was in Political Science (Arizona State University, 1979), followed by graduate work in International Relations/Rural Development at the International Graduate School in Stockholm, Sweden. Service as a Peace Corps Volunteer (Rural Development in northeastern Thailand, 1981-2), and Peace Corps Trainer (Bangkok, Thailand, 1983) shifted her focus to health issues, with a particular interest in community-based public health and primary care efforts. 

Dr.Johnson’s current interests include community-based participatory research/ assessment/evaluation and health communication. She has worked in Alaska in a variety of roles since 1992, and recently served as Principal Investigator for the NIH-funded Center for Addressing Health Disparities through Research and Education (CAHDRE) at UAA, and as Project Director of a regional Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) continuing education-distance learning project called “Frontier Models of Leadership:  Learning from Communities.”  She teaches courses in circumpolar health issues, health education and health behaviour, program evaluation, health administration and policy, and public health ethics.  She has been active in circumpolar health affairs, currently serving as President of the American Society of Circumpolar Health.