Johnson earns Kupchella Preventive Medicine and Wellness Award
Eric L. Johnson, assistant professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the School of Medicine and Health Sciences, has received the Charles E. Kupchella Preventive Medicine and Wellness Award.
Named for former UND President Charles E. Kupchella, the sixth-annual Kupchella Wellness Award was presented to Johnson during the School of Medicine and Health Sciences M.D. Class of 2012 commencement awards ceremony on Sunday, May 13.
The award recognizes the achievements of an individual who has worked to improve health and wellness through lowered rates of disease and disability by developing and delivering effective health promotion and prevention initiatives. It is a means of honoring individuals in North Dakota and surrounding states who have contributed significantly to disease prevention and healthful living.
Johnson is recognized throughout the region as a champion for public health. He extends his work beyond his clinical practice by acting as the physician consultant for North Dakota Quits, a project to reduce tobacco use—the No. 1 cause of preventable disease in the state. His advocacy for tobacco cessation helped lead to the adoption of a Smoke Free Workplace and Public Place Ordinance in Grand Forks in August of 2010. A subsequent study coauthored by Johnson revealed that the incidence of heart attacks in Grand Forks dropped by 24.1 percent within four months of the city's comprehensive smoke-free law taking effect. In addition, Johnson is noted for his work to prevent diabetes and the abuse of alcohol. He further reaches out to the public by hosting a weekly call-in radio show titled “What’s Up Doc?”
Board certified in family medicine, Johnson earned his medical doctorate from the University of Nebraska Medical Center. He completed his post-medical school residency training at the UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences’ Family Medicine Residency Program, Fargo. He serves at Altru Health System in Grand Forks as a family physician and diabetes specialist.
Johnson received a $500 cash award and a commemorative plate. His picture will be displayed on a plaque at the School of Medicine and Health Sciences.
The award was made possible by a gift to the UND Foundation from Manuchair Ebadi, retired senior advisor to the president and associate vice president for health affairs and medical research at UND, and associate dean for research and program development at the School of Medicine and Health Sciences.
-- Denis MacLeod, assistant director, Office of Alumni and Community Relations, School of Medicine and Health Sciences, 777-2733, firstname.lastname@example.org.