NH-ME LEND health policy faculty member Kay Johnson is the 2021 recipient of the Title V Lifetime Achievement Award through the Maternal and Child Health (MCH) division of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). This prestigious award is given to an individual who has demonstrated inspirational leadership and contributed to the fields of MCH and children with special health care needs (CSHCN) over a sustained period. The award reflects Kay’s hard work over the past 38 years to advance maternal and child health policy and programs.
In 1979, Kay began a career in childhood education where she discovered her passion for improving the well-being of women and children. This drive led her to pursue a master’s degree in public health at the University of North Carolina, where she received support from a MCHB-funded training grant. In 1984, she began her work at the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF), and conducted a survey of state Title V agencies about the impact of Reagan era cuts and block grant transition. Her work on Title V policy and advocacy continued through 2021. Kay has held positions at the March of Dimes, George Washington University, and Dartmouth College, and runs her own business, Johnson Group Consulting. She has played an instrumental role in the redesign of Title V, Medicaid, immunization, home visiting, and perinatal and newborn screening policies, as well as the creation of the Healthy Start and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
Congratulations and thank you, Kay! Countless women, children, and families are in a better place because of your lifetime dedication and hard work.