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Nancy Johnson, RN, PhD(c)

El Rio Health

Nancy Johnson comes from a family of healthcare professionals. She completed her undergraduate nursing education from Illinois Wesleyan University with a BSN, beginning her career at the University of Illinois Medical Center in Chicago, as a critical care nurse. Upon completing her Masters in Nursing with a specialty in Teaching and Administration from the University of Illinois, she began teaching at Illinois Wesleyan University while maintaining a clinical practice at Mennonite Hospital in Bloomington, Illinois. Nancy relocated to Tucson in 1982 to teach at the University of Arizona College of Nursing. The following year she was recruited by Tucson Medical Center to manage their Nursing Education and Research Department where she initiated and developed the Community Health Education Center for TMC including employee wellness and corporate wellness programs along with community health education. She completed a second Masters Degree in Marketing and Business from the University of Arizona Eller College—where she is received an award just this year as “An Extraordinary Woman” in our business community. Nancy continued to work with TMC developing their managed care programs and managing their medical practice division through 1995, when she left to found Quality Health Consultants, a healthcare consulting business she continues to own and manage with her husband.

Nancy is adjunct nursing faculty with the University of Arizona College of Nursing as well as Grand Canyon University College of Nursing and has received the Teaching Excellence Award twice in the past two decades from the University.

Nancy received a National Healthier Communities Fellowship Award in 1992 and was involved in creating improved access to care for the uninsured and underserved in our community. She served as the Executive Director for St. Elizabeth’s Health Center for five years, prior to joining El Rio Health as their Chief Operating Officer in February of 2009. In 2012, Nancy was awarded the University of Arizona’s Cecil B. Hart Humanitarian Award. In 2017 Nancy was appointed CEO at El Rio Health.

Currently, while expanding access to care for the many uninsured and underserved in her community, Nancy has completed her doctoral dissertation on the Perceptions of Primary Care Physicians in Caring for the Uninsured and also has a new book just out in 2010, co-authored with her husband, on “The Care of the Uninsured in America” with Springer Publishing. Her research interests continue to be on improving the health and care delivery for high risk populations.

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