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Terry Johnson Biography

Senator Terry Johnson serves the people of Senate District 14

Terry A. Johnson, D.O., is a retired physician, medical educator, retired military officer, and former four-term State Representative. As a legislator, he sponsored important health-related laws, including one aimed at helping rein in the scourge of prescription drug abuse in Ohio.

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.

After graduating in 1991 from Ohio University 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. He has served continuously as a family practice physician for nearly three decades in southern Ohio, his lifelong home. Johnson is the first and, to date, only osteopathic physician to serve in the Ohio legislature. No less than eighteen of his bills were signed into law, and his influence strongly impacted scores of other bills as they moved through the legislative process.

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 then.

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 County 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. 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.

He 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.

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.

In 2016, he was awarded the OUHCOM Medal of Merit, the highest award for an alumnus of that school. In 2017, the American Conservative Union Foundation recognized him for his 100% conservative voting record. In 2018, the Ohio Osteopathic Association awarded Dr. Johnson with the Distinguished Service Award, its highest honor for an osteopathic physician. He was also presented that year with Awake Ohio’s Legislator of the Year Award for his commitment to religious freedom and Christian values in his work.

Dr. Johnson was appointed to the Ohio Senate in 2019 to the 14th Senate District, which includes all of Clermont, Brown, Adams, and Scioto Counties.

In the 2021/22 legislative cycle, he sponsored two landmark bills defending unborn life and constitutional rights. Senate Bill 157 required medical professionals to preserve the life and health of an infant born alive after a failed abortion and ensure that taxpayer dollars do not directly on indirectly fund abortions.

Senate Bill 215 established Constitutional Carry in Ohio, ensuring that law-abiding citizens are free to exercise their Second Amendment rights, and fixing a legal loophole to ensure Ohioans were not accidentally violating state law by concealed carrying a firearm.

Dr. Johnson recently retired from his position as Director of Medically Assisted Treatment and Integrated Health Services at Valley View Health Centers in Waverly, Ohio. Dr. Johnson worked directly with addicted people, particularly those afflicted with opiate and alcohol addiction. He helped his patients achieve Total Healing—spiritually, mentally, and physically—by changing their lives and finding their true potential as human beings through counseling and education. He is a resident of Scioto County, where he lives with his wife, Jennifer, who is a pharmacist. He has four adult sons and three grandchildren.

135th General Assembly Committee Assignments: 
- Community Revitalization (Chairman)
- Health (Vice-Chair)
- Veterans and Public Safety Committee
- Medicaid