By Samantha White
TAFP Past President Glen Royce Johnson, MD, passed away February 20, 2022, at his home in Pinecrest, Florida.
After completing medical school and residency at Howard University, Johnson joined AAFP in 1976 and quickly rose the ranks in both AAFP and TAFP. He served as a TAFP alternate delegate then delegate to AAFP’s Congress of Delegates in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and became the first Black physician to serve as TAFP president in 1986. Johnson was a director on the AAFP Board of Directors, then AAFP vice president in the early and mid 1990s, and eventually served as AAFP’s alternate delegate then delegate to the American Medical Association in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
“Glen was the right family physician at the right time for the AAFP,” says Dale Moquist, MD, a TAFP colleague and friend of Johnson’s.
“I first met Glen when I was a delegate from North Dakota to the Congress of Delegates and Glen was running for the AAFP Board of Directors. When he spoke before the congress he had a booming voice and everybody listened. He sounded like a Baptist minister giving the message of family medicine. You could hear a pin drop in the room. Of course he was elected to the AAFP board, and two years later I was also elected.
“At that time the AAFP was facing a new phenomenon called ‘managed care.’ Glen had just become medical director of a Medicaid HMO. His encyclopedic knowledge of managed care was needed on the AAFP board at that time. The other board members had no experience with managed care. He was chair of the Commission on Quality and Scope of Care for two years. Glen was very knowledgeable but very humble at the same time. I can still remember him saying ‘just because a person has insurance coverage doesn’t mean they will be healthy.’ He found out quickly you needed transportation to get the patients to their physician appointments or they would end up in the ER via ambulance with an acute life-threatening illness.
“Even though he was vice president of the AAFP, he told the board the Academy did not need a vice president. That made the board decide to make changes in the management of the AAFP. With the Congress of Delegates’ approval the office of vice president was dissolved and the past president became board chair. The president-elect in essence became the vice president.
“As chair of the AAFP AMA Delegation, I saw Glen in action at the AMA level. His knowledge of managed care and quality indicators were important in our delegation decisions.”
In lieu of flowers the Johnson family requests donations to the Glen Johnson, MD, Minority Medical Student Scholarship with the TAFP Foundation. Donations can be made to the scholarship fund at tafp.org/foundation or by mailing a check to TAFP Foundation; 12012 Technology Blvd., Ste. 200; Austin, TX 78727.