Rep. Johnson receives Presidential Medal for support of Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences (with photo)

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Rep. Johnson receives Presidential Medal for support of Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences

Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences (PNWU) in Yakima has awarded Rep. Norm Johnson with its Presidential Medal of Exemplary Service and Commitment.

PNWU President Dr. Keith Watson said Johnson, R-Yakima, was chosen for the medal because he has been a tenacious advocate for the university. Watson said Johnson was instrumental in securing $800,000 of funding for development of PNWU graduate medical education. He also noted passage of Johnson's House Bill 1183 in 2011 that resulted in all medical students having access to clinical rotations, allowing them to train in hospitals throughout Washington.

“This is one of the greatest honors of my life. I have been a longtime supporter of access to quality, affordable health care in our state,” said Johnson, a past trustee of Yakima Regional Hospital and Toppenish Providence Hospital. “There is greater demand for doctors, especially in the rural areas of Washington who are medically underserved. PNWU is the newest medical school in the Pacific Northwest in 60 years and it is preparing doctors to work in our underserved communities. I am proud to support the university's efforts to train new health care professionals who can be sent out into the field and meet the needs of our communities.”

Johnson is serving his third term representing Washington's 14th Legislative District.

The award was given to Johnson during the university's commencement ceremony on May 10 at the Capitol Theatre in Yakima.

PHOTO: Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences President Dr. Keith Watson (left) presents Rep. Norm Johnson with the university's Presidential Medal of Exemplary Service and Commitment. Johnson was chosen for the honor because of his support for the university and its mission to educate and train health care professionals.

PNWU President Dr. Keith Watson and Rep. Norm Johnson

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