After conducting a nationwide search, Clarkson University today announced Dr. Lennart D. Johns as founding dean of its Earl R. and Barbara D. Lewis School of Health Sciences.
Johns will lead the Lewis School through a pivotal period that will strengthen and expand a growing portfolio of programs in the health sciences that assure the highest quality of education for students and advance careers, research and innovation with an emphasis on meeting rural and distance-challenged healthcare needs.
Clarkson Provost Robyn Hannigan is looking forward to collaborating with Johns and the faculty to create a new identity for the health sciences across the University and externally through community impact. “With Johns’ experiences and leadership, Clarkson is well poised for national prominence in rural healthcare. Johns understands the reality of the need for more quality rural healthcare options. He passionately works to address complex issues and develop forward-thinking concepts and works hard to build collaborative sustainable educational and experiential learning environments. His entrepreneurial spirit will bring the Lewis School to national prominence in rural healthcare going forward,” Hannigan said.
Johns is known among his peers as an innovative and collaborative leader with an extensive research portfolio as well as practical experience building an outcomes-based curriculum and a nationally sustainable clinical education program that connects students to the world of work. In his role as Director of General Education for Quinnipiac, he oversaw the development of a first-year seminar and a senior-level integrative capstone experience. The primary focus of his academic research has been centered on autoimmunity and injury repair. He works to understand how energy fields, both ultrasound and laser, alter immune regulation. He has been published in a wide variety of journals ranging such as the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Athletic Training, Brain Research, Cytokine, Immunology, Physical Therapy, and Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology.
“Having grown up in a rural farming community in northwestern Pennsylvania, what attracts me to Clarkson is the opportunity to impact the access and quality of healthcare in rural communities -- and not just here, but also where students go to build rewarding careers and personal lives,” said Johns. “My own professional and life experiences provide me with broad perspectives and an appropriate lens to advocate for the Departments of Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, and Physician Assistant and to develop new programs in the health professions, build meaningful diverse relationships, and build out infrastructure to support all aspects of the Lewis School of Health Sciences.”
Johns has an undergraduate degree from Lock Haven University, a master of science degree in biology from Bucknell University, and a Ph.D. in cellular and molecular biology from the University of Vermont. He has held many previous positions in his career and served 18 years in academic leadership roles. He is currently the Founding Director of the Athletic Training Program at Quinnipiac University and has also served as the Chair of Athletic Training & Sports Medicine, and as the Director of General Education at the institution.
He was a Research Fellow for Bayer Pharmaceuticals, Program Director, and Interim Chair of Diagnostic Imaging at Quinnipiac University, and held several faculty appointments at UW-Parkside and Quinnipiac. He also served on the editorial board of the Journal of Athletic Training for 18 years.
Johns will officially begin his new position on January 1, 2021.
The Lewis School of Health Sciences currently consists of three fully accredited graduate-level programs: physical therapy, physician assistant and occupational therapy. The University’s location allows students to experience the uniqueness of providing healthcare in a more rural setting, from working with individuals who sustain farming or industrial injuries to serving highly competitive athletes who use Lake Placid’s Olympic facilities.
Clarkson donors Earl ‘66 and Barbara Lewis made the gift for the new academic division at the University with the intent to positively impact rural healthcare options in communities like New York’s North Country. Click here to read more about the gift that established the Lewis School of Health Sciences.