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K-State Today

October 27, 2023

Elaine Johannes receives highest award from Kansas Public Health Association

Submitted by Jerry Grasso

Since 1946, the Samuel J. Crumbine Medal has been the highest award given by the Kansas Public Health Association. The medal, named after Crumbine who is considered the "father of public health," is given for meritorious service and state, regional or national recognition related to the improvement of the health of Kansans and/or the environment of the state.

Elaine Johannes, associate professor and extension specialist in the College of Health and Human Sciences, is the 2023 recipient of the Samuel J. Crumbine Medal. As an extension specialist, Johannes' applied research and practice focuses on resilience among families and adolescents in poverty, adolescent health and community engagement. She is currently serving as both a lead and co-investigator for two grant programs funded through the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, which looks to improve the health of Kansans through diabetes and hypertension awareness and prevention.

In 2021, Johannes was selected to serve as the Kansas Health Foundation Distinguished Professor in Community Health, an endowed position held by K-State Research and Extension. The professorship was awarded by the foundation to Kansas State University in 1993 to focus on the promotion of community health. The professorship allowed Johannes to focus on working with networks, systems and teams to address community health issues related to health disparities, unequal access to health care and social determinants of health accentuated by the global pandemic.

Johannes' work is recognized at both the local and state levels through awards and appointments. In 2023, she received the North Central Region Award for Individual Excellence in Extension from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Cooperative Extension and the Association of Public Land-Grant Universities. She was also the recipient of the Outstanding Engagement Award, presented by the Association of Public Land-Grant Universities Board of Health and Human Sciences. She is a member of the executive committee for the Kansas Maternal and Child Health Council for the Bureau of Family Health, Kansas Department of Health and Environment, serves on the state's Public Health System Group, and is a governor's appointee to the Kansas Department of Corrections Kansas Advisory Group for Juvenile Justice.

Along with her extension work, Johannes is a graduate faculty member in the applied human sciences department and serves as a faculty member with the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance graduate programs.

"Elaine has made such positive contributions to the state of Kansas through community-based initiatives and innovative programming," said Mindy Markham, applied human sciences department head. "She has an extensive record of working with communities to address health disparities and social determinants of health and well-being. I am pleased that Elaine's work was recognized by the Kansa Public Health Association."

Johannes is a three-time graduate of K-State, earning her bachelor's degree in psychology, master's degree in adult and community counseling and her doctoral degree in life span human development.

The Kansas Public Health Association, established in 1920, is the oldest and largest organization of public health professionals in the state, representing more than 800 members from over 50 occupations and organizations. The association brings together researchers, health service providers, administrators, teachers and other health workers in a unique, multidisciplinary environment of professional exchange, study and action.

The College of Health and Human Sciences inspires and prepares passionate and caring individuals for meaningful lives and careers that promote human well-being in the areas of business, design, education, human behavior and health sciences. Home to 17 undergraduate and 19 graduate degree programs housed in the departments of: applied human sciences; food, nutrition, dietetics and health; hospitality management; interior design and fashion studies; kinesiology; personal financial planning; and the K-State Center on Aging, the college provides students with the education and skills needed to make an impact in the lives of individuals, families and communities.