2019 Department of Occupational &Environmental Health Distinguished Alumni Award


The 2019 Distinguished Alumni Award for the Department of Occupational & Environmental Health goes to Dr. Robert E.L. Johnson, Jr., a 1971 DrPH alumnus.

Dr. Robert “Bob” Johnson earned a Master of Social Work at OU and his Doctor of Public Health from the Hudson College of Public Health in 1971, and has worked and volunteered in Social Work and Mental Health since and continues to do so to this day. He holds Certification, Licenses, and has and maintained Affiliation with the NASW, part of the American Group Psychotherapy Association while in the U.S. Army; member of the American Public Health Association; member of the Association of Mental Health Administrators of Arkansas;  a Certified Social Worker—Advanced Clinical Practitioner;  a Licensed Social Worker in Arkansas; and part of The Medical Field Service School in San Antonio, Texas. His work activities are too numerous to list, however, a small number need to be noted. He has served is roles such as: Chief of Social Services at Big Spring State Hospital; Director of Mental Health, alcohol and drug abuse services in Dallas, Texas;  Associate Professor and Director of the Social Work Program at Texas A&M-Commerce. He actually started the program and in 2012 was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Department.  

Other activities in Johnson’s past include Executive Director of the Ozark Guidance Center that served four counties in N.W. Arkansas, which led to the development of all program components from a three-person organization to a million dollar plus operation in five years. He was a Social Worker for the Bi-State Mental Health Foundation in Ponca City, Oklahoma. He was part of the Medical Service Corps for the United States Army at Ft. Gordon in Georgia, rising to the rank of Captain, and was also a Social Worker in the Family and Children’s Service of Greater St. Louis in Missouri.  

Dr. Johnson has performed extensive field work, provided community service wherever he has lived, written numerous grants, has many awards and volunteer certificates, and has a number of publications to his credit .In 2012, Dr. Johnson worked with the Mayor of Commerce, serving as campaign treasurer for two terms. Currently, Dr. Johnson serves as the President and CEO of Commerce Community Action Program, also known as C-CAP. C-CAP was created in Bob’s living room and has grown over the last 5 years to a 501C3 organization that provides help and assistance to many in the Commerce community by promoting efforts to educate, mentor, and inspire young people and children. Dr. Johnson has clearly demonstrated his concern for Public Health in many ways and continues to promote programs to detect, cure, and prevent Mental Health illness in the Commerce as well as north east region of Texas.  

Here are a few comments from his nomination letters:

  • “Dr. Johnson has embraced his calling as a servant leader and pillar the community for many years. His passion for helping others goes far beyond the average scope of caring and willingness to help others. Dr. Johnson takes his work seriously and amplifies quality and heart in all that he does.”
  • “Dr. Johnson is highly skilled and exhibits great character and determination” His humility and graciousness are a shining light in the community and all those around. I truly believe that the world would be a better place with more ‘Bob Johnsons’.”
  • “Bob has a tireless dedication to humankind and unconditional love. He is my hero.”



2019 Department of Health Promotion Sciences Distinguished Alumni Award


The 2019 Distinguished Alumni Award for the Department of Health Promotion Sciences goes to Neil E. Hann, a 1982 MPH graduate.

Neil earned his Master of Public Health degree in 1982 from the Department of Health Promotion Sciences. He became a lecturer at the Hudson College of Public Health in 1986 and has continued this service to the present.  Mr. Hann is currently an active adjunct faculty member, helping with classes, strategic planning, student mentoring, and chair mentoring.

Mr. Hann’s most prominent contribution to public health is his 34 years of service at the Oklahoma State Department of Health.  During this time he led a number of important initiatives that have improved the face of health in this state.  As Assistant Deputy Commissioner, he provided oversight for 68 county health departments and major program areas including WIC, MCH, Sooner Start, Child Guidance, Family Support and Prevention, Record Evaluation, and Dental Health.  This effort made him responsible for more than 1300 FTEs and a budget of over $240,000,000.  

As Chief of Community Development Service, Mr. Hann was responsible for creating the vision and then directing the activities of a major service area focused on building healthy communities through collaborative partnerships.  Community Development Service included large divisions such as Primary Care & Rural Health Development, Health Promotion, Turning Point, Minority Health, Health Equity and Resource Opportunities, and the Office of the Tribal Liaison.  Mr. Hann was, in fact responsible for implementing the successful Turning Point initiative in the state with Robert Wood Johnson funding.

In 1992, Neil received the University of Oklahoma’s most prestigious award, the Regents’ Alumni Award. In 2017, the Oklahoma Turning Point Council created the Neil Hann Award to honor individuals who display innovation, inspiration and leadership in creating a culture of health in Oklahoma.  

In conducting his “lessor” responsibilities, Mr. Hann has served as acting director for county health departments and director of specific programs.  His experience and connections from a career of work at the SHOH provided Mr. Hann with “the right stuff” to do almost any job within the profession of public health administration.  In his retirement, we are fortunate to have his attention and our students are fortunate to have his time.  




2019 Department of Health Administration and Policy Distinguished Alumni Award


The 2019 Distinguished Alumni Award for the Department of Health Administration and Policy goes to Garry D. Crain, a 1994 MHA graduate.


Garry D. Crain, MHA, CPL is a 1994 MHA graduate of the Hudson College of Public Health. After graduation, Garry was recognized for his scholarly achievements and was immediately placed in leadership as Mercy Medical Center in Ardmore, OK.

Garry quickly advanced to become a distinguished healthcare executive, serving as CEO to various hospitals and healthcare systems including Kindred Hospital, Cornerstone Hospital in Austin and the Westlake Diversified Medical System. Most recently, Garry served as Vice President and General Manager of Crown Energy Company and Crown Energy Resources, LLC.

In 2018, he was appointed by the Governor of Texas to serve on the Texas State University Board of Regents and oversee the new Medical School constructions at Sam Houston State University.

Garry is a member of multiple associations, including American College of Healthcare Executives. Garry has served the Hudson College of Public Health through the years in roles such as President of the Alumni Association, guest lecturer, advisor, donor and fundraiser.


A few comments from his nomination letters include:

“I have personally been associated with most of the public health graduates over the last 52 years and I know of no one more qualified than Garry Crain” – Scott Henley, 1980 PhD graduate and adjunct professor, Hudson College of Public Health

“Garry has given free of his time to various hospital organizations and health foundations through his career, and has mentored several generations of healthcare interns.”- Mike Pruitt, 1993 MPH graduate, retired Healthcare Executive