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Dartmouth 2009 Honorary Degree Recipient Raymond B. Johnson, M.D. '59 (Doctor of Science)

Dartmouth College Office of Public Affairs • Press Release
Posted 04/23/09 • Media Contact: Roland Adams (603) 646-3661

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Commanding Officer, Naval Hospital, Bethesda, Maryland (retired)
Former Senior Associate Director of Clinical Research, Pfizer, Inc.

Raymond B. Johnson

A native of Washington, D.C., Raymond B. Johnson, M.D., studied psychology at Dartmouth and graduated with an A.B. in 1959. After medical school at Howard University College of Medicine in Washington, D.C., he completed his internship and residency with the U.S. Navy Medical Corps, training in internal medicine and gastroenterology.

Johnson was promoted several times during his 22-year Navy career, serving as Chief of Internal Medicine Service and Director of Clinical Service for the Naval Submarine Medical Center. In 1982 he became the first African American to be appointed Commanding Officer of the Naval Regional Medical Center in Newport, R.I. A year later he was the first African American to be appointed Commanding Officer of the Naval Hospital in Bethesda, Md., a job he held until 1985 when he retired from active military service.

Johnson earned numerous honors from the Navy including the Meritorious Service Medal with Gold Star, the Meritorious Medal, Naval Commendation Medal, Navy Achievement Medal, and National Defense Service Medal.

After retiring from the Navy, Johnson joined Pfizer, Inc., an international biomedical and pharmaceutical corporation, as a clinical researcher. He was extensively involved in the clinical development of the antibiotics azithromycin (Zithromax) and trovafloxacin (Trovan). He also worked on the further clinical developments of these medicines focused on treatments for typhoid fever and sexually transmitted diseases. He was recognized by Pfizer for his contributions to Zithromax with the Central Research Achievement Award. He retired from Pfizer in 2001.

Johnson is a diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine, a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, a Fellow of the American College of Gastroenterology, a member of the American Gastroenterology Association, and a member of the American Society for Gastroenterology Endoscopy. He has published numerous scientific research studies.

Committed to community service, he is a member of the board of trustees at the Waterford Country School in Quaker Hill Connecticut, which provides services and programs dedicated to the special needs of children who have been referred by the Connecticut Department of Children and Families. He serves on the board of directors of Natchaug Hospital in Manchester Center, Connecticut, a mental health facility. He is also a corporator of Backus Hospital and Dime Bank, both in Norwich, Connecticut.

He was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by the State of Connecticut’s African American Affairs Commission in May 2008.

Johnson and his wife Arlene live in Noank, Conn. They have four children, six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

< Return to 2009 Commencement Press Release

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