Terry A. Johnson, D.O., is a practicing physician, a medical educator, a retired military officer, and recently concluded four terms in the Ohio legislature as a representative, bringing that service to a close in 2018 due to term limits. As a legislator, he sponsored important health-related laws, including one aimed at helping rein in the scourge of prescription drug abuse in Ohio. He concluded his time in the legislature in a distinguished fashion, serving through four General Assemblies. He was the first and, to date, only osteopathic physician to serve in the Ohio legislature. No less than eighteen of his bills were signed in to law, and his influence strongly impacted scores of other bills as they moved through the legislative process.
A 1991 graduate of the Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine, Dr. Johnson is a clinical professor of family medicine, and an assistant dean. He has served continuously as a family practice physician for nearly three decades in southern Ohio, his lifelong home.
Commissioned into the Ohio Army National Guard while a fourth-year medical student, he attained the rank of 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 tours in Iraq and one posting in Kuwait. He ended his military career in 2011 as the Army Guard's State Surgeon, the highest position attainable for a Medical Corps officer at that time.
Dr. Johnson served as Scioto County Coroner from 2002-2010, leaving that position after being elected to represent Ohio's 89th House District. Having seen first-hand as 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 immediately 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. House Bill 93 effectively closed Ohio’s illicit “Pill Mills”, which were causing large numbers of our citizens to become addicted to opioids.
Dr. Johnson also joint sponsored House Bill 296, which allows schools, school districts and residential or day camps to stock epinephrine "epi-pens" to treat anaphylactic shock. House Bill 170, which he sponsored in 2013, greatly expanded access to naloxone hydrochloride (Narcan), a medication that can save the lives of people suffering overdoses of heroin or prescription pain medication. Literally thousands of lives have been saved as a result of his bill. Dr. Johnson also worked on legislation that restricted youth exposure to tanning beds, and contributed to the recent reform of Step Therapy regulations that impeded patient access to needed medicines.
In 2018, the Ohio Osteopathic Association awarded Dr. Johnson with the Distinguished Service Award, its highest honor for an osteopathic physician. Also that year, he was presented with Awake Ohio’s Legislator of the Year Award for his commitment to religious freedom and Christian values in his work. In 2017, the American Conservative Union Foundation recognized him for his 100% conservative voting record. In 2016, he was awarded the OUHCOM Medal of Merit, the highest award for an alumnus of that school.
In 2014, Dr. Johnson was honored by OUHCOM with the Phillips Medal for Public Service, the highest award that the college has to offer. 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 site where he was 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. He was honored with that award on two separate occasions by the Vietnam veterans. Dr. Johnson completed his military career as a highly decorated Medical Corps officer. Among his many decorations are the Legion of Merit, multiple awards of the Meritorious Service Medal, the Ohio Distinguished Service Medal, and the US Army’s Senior Flight Surgeon Badge.
Dr. Johnson graduated summa cum laude in 1985 from Ohio University with a bachelor's degree in history, before attending that 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 to practice in 1994.
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 part of Lawrence County.
Dr. Johnson is presently employed by Valley View Health Centers in Waverly, Ohio, as Director of Medically Assisted Treatment and Integrated Health Services. Dr. Johnson works directly with addicted people, particularly those afflicted with opiate and alcohol addiction. He strives to help his patients achieve Total Healing—spiritually, mentally, and physically—by changing their lives and finding their true potential as human beings. He does this through counseling and education of those who seek his help. Dr. Johnson is a passionate proponent of health and healing and takes a holistic view of what healing actually means—a view that is consistent with his training as an osteopathic physician. He is a resident of Scioto County, where he lives with his wife, Jennifer, who is a pharmacist. He has four adult sons and two grandchildren.