Walter Johnson papers

Guide to the Walter Johnson papers
1902-2016, bulk 1961-1978

Collection number: HMC-0932.
Creator: Johnson, Walter.
Title: Walter Johnson papers.
Dates: 1902-2016, bulk 1961-1978.
Volume of collection: 8 cubic feet and 45 KB.
Language of materials: Materials in this collection are in English.
Collection summary: Personal and work related papers of an Alaskan public health physician.

Biographical note:
Merle Walter Johnson was born in 1922. He graduated high school in Lincoln, Nebraska in 1941, and moved to Alaska shortly afterwards. Johnson worked for two summers in Southeast Alaska in a gold mine and then on a fishing boat. During World War II, he served in the U.S. Army at the hospital laboratory at Ladd Field in Fairbanks. He graduated from the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) in 1948 with bachelor degrees in Anthropology and Biology. In the summers between semesters at UAF, Johnson worked for the Alaska Road Commission in Wiseman building and maintaining roads to mining camps. In 1944 or 1945, Johnson, along with William English Jr., purchased the Wiseman Trading Company and other property in Wiseman. Johnson then attended medical school at the University of Nebraska, and received an M.D., before returning to Alaska as a member of the medical staff of the Bethel Hospital in 1954. In 1956, Dr. Johnson was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Public Health Service, after which he served at public hospitals in Chicago, Boston, Seattle, and Memphis. He returned to Alaska in 1963, where he served as the Chief of Medicine and then Medical Director at the Alaska Native Medical Center in Anchorage. He then became the Director and Instructor for the Community Health Aide training program (also called Community Health Aide Program, or CHAP). He retired in 1987, and received an honorary degree of Doctor of Public Service from the University of Alaska in 1989. Walter Johnson died in 2015.

Collection description:
The collection consists of the personal and professional papers of Walter Johnson. Included in the collection are Johnson’s research on tuberculosis, files relating to the Community Health Aide Program (CHAP), and the founding and establishment of the Alaska Medical Library (formerly called Alaska Health Services Library). The collection also includes Johnson’s research on the discovery of gold in Nome, history of Swedish people in Alaska, the Sami and reindeer herding, and advocacy for bike paths in Anchorage.

Arrangement: The collection has been arranged into the following series:
Series 1. Tuberculosis and medical research papers; 1902-2005
Series 2. Community Health Aide Program files; 1955-2005
Series 3. Alaska Medical Library records; undated, 1966-2008
Series 4. Personal papers; circa 1943-2016

Digitized copies: Digital copies of collection material are not available online. For information about obtaining digital copies, please contact Archives and Special Collections.

Digital materials: The digital contents of this collection are not available online. Access may only be provided on-site in the Archives research room. For more information about potential distance access to digital records, please contact Archives and Special Collections.

Access restrictions: Access to audiotape recordings and film may be subject to delays and costs for the cleaning and digitization of the originals.

Rights note: Archives has copyright to materials created by Walter Johnson. The collection contains materials not created by Johnson, which may be subject to copyright restrictions.

Preferred citation: Walter Johnson papers, Archives and Special Collections, Consortium Library, University of Alaska Anchorage.

Works used in preparation of inventory: Biographical history was provided by Walter Johnson and Johnson’s wife, Judith James.

Separated materials: Publications were removed from the collection and some added to the Consortium Library’s Rare Books collection.

Related materials: Archives and Special Collections also has the records of the Community Health Aide Program, HMC-1087 and Wiseman Trading Co. records, HMC-0434.

University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) Oral History Collection contains an audiocassette of an interview Walter Johnson gave to Amos Alter on the development of Community Health Aides (tape number H89-30).The UAF Oral History Collection also has an interview Johnson gave to Karen Brewster in Homer, AK regarding the Community Health Aides project (tape number H2000-17-06). Please contact the UAF Oral History Program for further information.

Acquisition note: The collection was donated to the Archives by Walter Johnson in 2006. Additional materials were donated to the Archives by Judith James, Johnson’s wife, in 2018.

Processing information: This collection was originally arranged and described by Jeffrey Sinnott in 2008. The guide to the collection was converted to current standard by Veronica Denison in 2014. Additions to the collection were added, arranged, and described by Veronica Denison in 2018. Materials were removed from binders and one scrapbook dismantled for preservation purposes at that time. Whenever possible, original binder and folder titles were retained and are reflected in the container list below.

Container list:

Series 1: Tuberculosis and medical research papers; 1902-2005. 2.2 cubic feet.
This series mostly contains Walter Johnson’s research, presentations, and photographs relating to tuberculosis in Alaska, primarily within Alaska Native populations. The series also includes Johnson’s research relating to health issues in Africa, as well as correspondence in regards to Johnson’s research.

Box/Folder Description Dates
1/1 Manual for the Tuberculosis Control Program; Alaska Department of Health, Tuberculosis Division 1961
1/2 Chemoprophylaxis: Bethel Study 1963-1964
1/3 TBC Course, National Jewish Hospital, Denver, Colorado: Notes 1964 January 6-24
1/4 TB Conference, PHS Alaska Native Hospital, Anchorage: memoranda, agenda, summary 1964 June 15-19
1/5 “Manual for the Operation of Tuberculosis Case Registers” 1965
1/6 “The Village and Tuberculosis” by Johnson: Draft paper and related materials 1965-1966
1/7 Clinical Staff Meetings, Alaska Native Medical Center: presentation by Dr. M. Walter Johnson 1965-1966
1/8 Correspondence: Charles W. Lester, M.D. 1966-1968
1/9 “Alaska Statistics: Pediatric TB Admissions, Discharges and ADPL-ANMC, 1961-1968” 1968
1/10 Tuberculosis Control, Risk of TB in Alaska Natives: Draft presentation 1968 November
1/11 TB Rates: Public Health Service, 1952-1968: Death and incidence rates 1969
1/12 Notes, memoranda, and “Tuberculosis in Alaska” draft 1970
1/13 Alaska TB Epidemic: Sitka Meeting, Alaska Historical Society: letters, memoranda, and annual meeting program 1970
1/14 “Tuberculosis in Alaska: Experience with Twenty Year Control Program, 1950-1970” by M. Walter Johnson, presented at the Second International Symposium on Circumpolar Health, Oulu, Finland 1971
1/15 TB Program Plan for 1972, prepared by Dr. Walter Johnson, Dr. Richard Chao, Dr. David Templin, Meral Loewus, and Nadine Haley 1970 April
1/16 TB rates for Greenland 1971
1/17 Tuberculosis Control Program Planning Models, by J. L. Sanders 1972
1/18 “History of the Alaska Native Medical Center” by Johnson (draft) 1984
1/19 “The Alaska Tuberculosis Epidemic: Historical, Clinical and Public Health Analysis”: lecture outlines and bibliography 1985
1/20 Recent Developments in Tuberculosis Control Conference, Anchorage, Alaska: Agenda, lecture notes, and programs 1989 September
1/21 Bibliography on Tuberculosis in Eskimos circa 1962
1/22 Tuberculosis reports completed by the United States Government and the State of Alaska undated, 1954-1973
1/23 Alaska Native Medical Center newsletter, Tuberculosis statistics, news articles undated, 1965-1973
1/24 News articles: New Alaska Native Service Hospital in Anchorage 1953 November 28
1/25 News clippings: Tuberculosis in Alaska 1967-1973
1/26 Tuberculosis Control: Alaska General History: Notes, correspondence, and reference materials undated, 1969-1970
1/27 Tuberculosis Control Testing: “Depression of Tuberculin Sensitivity Following Measles Vaccination” by Jacob Brody and Robert McAlister 1964 October
1/28 Chemotherapy–INH Inactivation: Articles circa 1960-1968
1/29 Tuberculosis bibliography: Index note cards circa 1970
1/30 “Description of an Outbreak of Tuberculosis in an Alaskan Village (Tanacross), 1971-1972” by Claire Dukinier 1972
1/31 “The Fight for Tuberculosis Hospitals for Alaska” by Pauline Burkher, pages 5-43 undated
1/32 “How Three Seattle Tuberculosis Hospitals Have Met the Needs of Their Patients” by Margaret L. Lantis and Evelyn N. Hadaway, Public Health Service circa 1957
1/33 “‘Who Knows What Sickness They May Bring Us?’: The Historical Review of Tuberculosis as an Agent of Change for the Alaska Native” Aronson paper undated
1/34 Tuberculosis and chemotherapy journal articles undated, 1965-1967
1/35-37 Tuberculosis in Arctic Native Populations circa 1950-1970
1/38 Articles on Tuberculosis in Alaska 1902-1989
1/39-41 Articles on Tuberculosis 1940-1973
1/42 Publications on Tuberculosis: National Tuberculosis Association bulletins, “Understanding Tuberculosis Today: A Handbook for Patients”, “Expert Committee on Tuberculosis: Seventh Report, Reported Tuberculosis Data” 1960-1976
1/43 Correspondence and memoranda 1965-1971
1/44 Tuberculosis death rates, Johnson’s notes on prevention and treatment, graphs, and statistics circa 1969-1970
1/45 Johnson’s International Symposium on Circumpolar Health presentation: “Tuberculosis in Alaska: Experience with twenty year control program, 1950-1970” 1971
1/46 “Preventive Treatment of Untreated Nonactive Tuberculosis in an Eskimo Population” circa 1971
1/47 “The Health of the Eskimos: A Classified Bibliography 1857-1966” circa 1966
1/48 Science in Alaska 1964; “A Family Patient Education Module” undated, 1964
1/49 Alaska’s Battle with Tuberculosis by Henry Kaiser Jr. 1988
1/50 Johnson’s publications undated, 1972-1990
1/51 The Parenteral Use of Fat Emulsions by Walter Johnson 1953
1/52 TB pictures of graphs [photographs of graphs created by Jonson] undated
1/53 Tuberculosis slides undated, 1970-1971
2/1 Transparencies: Tuberculosis Lecture 1970 October
2/2 American Lung Association of Alaska DVD “The Forgotten Plague” undated
2/3 VHS: “History of Tuberculosis in Alaska Natives” undated
2/4 DVD: “Health Promotion & Disease Prevention in Rural Alaska” presented by the Alaska Native Health Board and Indian Health Service 2005
Map roll “Tuberculosis in Alaska” chart undated
Oversize folder Tuberculosis in Alaska notes and charts, including chronology of tuberculosis in Alaska undated
2/5 Somalia demographics, by I.M. Lewis 1957
2/6 Slides from trip to Tunisia circa 1970
2/7-9 Tunisia tuberculosis project and research, including 1972 annual report and Johnson’s notes 1965-1978
3/6 Diabetic clinic 12/5/63 Alaska Native Med[ical] Center [RESTRICTED] 1963-1969
3/7 Audiocassette: Hx [Medical history] of Alaska Native Medical Center undated
7/1 Hx TB slides undated

Series 2: Community Health Aide Program files; 1955-2005. 2.4 cubic feet and 45 KB.
This series contains material relating to the Community Health Aide Program (CHAP) in Alaska. The series includes meeting minutes of CHAP’s Planning and Advisory Committee and the Curriculum Committee, as well as memoranda, notes, and village aide lists. The series also contains two scrapbooks either made or given to Johnson upon his retirement. The scrapbooks contain photographs and correspondence, as well as good-bye and good luck notes written to Johnson by colleagues.

Box/Folder Description Dates
2/10-13 PAC-HA-PA [Planning and Advisory Committee for Health-Aide Programs in Alaska] minutes 1975-1976
2/14-15 PAC-HA-PA Curriculum Committee meeting minutes 1974-1976
2/16 PAC-HA-PA Planning and Advisory Committee 1976 March
2/17 PAC-HA-PA minutes, memoranda, evaluation information 1977-1979
2/18 PAC-HA-PA memoranda, encounter forms, agenda for 1979 April meeting 1974-1979
2/19 PAC-HA-PA manual 1974-1975
2/20 Alaska Community Health Aide Program: Information, correspondence, purpose undated, 1978
2/21 Status of the Community Health Aide Program 1974
2/22-24 Village Health Aide lists and information 1973-1986
2/25 Change in Rural Health: Evolution of the Community Health Aide Program 1978
2/26 Statewide CHA Association Resolutions 1968, 1973, 1981
2/27-30 By-laws and Constitution of Alaska Statewide Association of Community Health Aides/Practitioners 1971-1983
2/31 CHA emblem, Michael S. Hughes 4/15/81 1981
2/32 Statewide CHA Association minutes 5/81 1981 May
2/33 Statewide CHA Association correspondence 1976-1981
2/34 CHA Association: Letter from Aleutian/Pribilof Islands Association, Inc. 1990 July 23
2/35 Role of the CHA 1991
2/36 Dictabelts: Possibly recordings of meetings at clinics undated, 1955
2/37 Slides: CHAP Hx [Medical History] 1/1/94 1994
2/38 VHS: “Telemedicine: A New Era for Alaska” undated
2/39 VHS: “To Be of Use: The Yukon/Kuskokwim Community Health Aide Program” undated
2/40 “Design of an evaluation of the appropriate level of health manpower in remote Alaskan villages” by Ira Moscovice circa 1977
2/41 Alaska Comprehensive Health Care Proposal and Additions and Corrections to the Proposal [removed from binder] undated
2/42 Academic Review Committee: CHAP [removed from binder] 1975-1981
2/43 Native Health Board Meeting, Community Health Aide Education Center in Barrow dedication undated, 1986
2/44 Training and Supporting Community Health Aides: The Alaskan Experience by Cordes, Johnson, Heraldson 1983, 1985
3/1 CHAP memories [removed from photograph album for preservations purposes]: Johnson’s retirement album of photographs, goodbye notes, and correspondence 1956, 1969-2005
3/2-3 WAMI review [removed from binders] 1976-1983
3/4-5 Old Robert Wood Johnson Foundation reports [removed from binders] 1975-1986
Electronic records CHAP Timeline W. Johnson 1/14/92 1992
Box 5 CHAP scrapbook undated, 1980
Box 6 Audiotape: St. Marys Village meeting; CHAP conference undated

Series 3: Alaska Medical Library records; undated, 1966-2008. 0.5 cubic feet.
This series contains records relating to the establishment of the Alaska Medical Library, previously called Alaska Health Sciences Library.

Box/Folder Description Dates
3/8 Audiocassette of meeting regarding the establishment of Alaska Medical Library circa 1966
3/9 Medical Library grant applications, original proposal May 12, 1967 1967
3/10 Medical Library grant letters of support 1967-1970
3/11 Alaska Medical Library Advisory Committee 1967-1972
3/12 Alaska Health Sciences Library—current: Correspondence, application renewal, operation information 1967-1973
3/13 Alaska Medical Library project proposal: Operations and budgets 1968
3/14 Medical Library grant correspondence 1968
3/15 Library Opening: Correspondence and news articles 1968-1969
3/16 Alaska Medical Library: Memoranda, Library Reporter, speeches, articles, and by-laws of Advisory Board 1968-1971
3/17 RMP [Regional Medical Program] and other AML notes 1969-1973
3/18 Invitation for opening of Alaska Health Science Library; Alaska Health Sciences Library information cards undated, 1969
3/19 Alaska Medical Library/Alaska Health Science Library report 1969 May
3/20 Alaska Native Medical Center Library correspondence 1969, 1971
3/21 Alaska Health Sciences Library (Alaska Medical Library) grant renewal application 1970 July
3/22 Alaska Health Science Information Center: Information packet circa 1971
3/23 Alaska Health Sciences Information Center: Budget, resume of services 1974
3/24 Founding of Alaska Medical Library: Report 1974
3/25 Development of a Health Science Information Center of Alaska by Walter Johnson 1974
3/26 Alaska Health Sciences Information Center: Emphasis plan, program, planning, development undated, 1973-1974
3/27 Approach to Primary Health Care in Rural Alaska by Walter Johnson 1974
3/28 Ursula Solom [married name Ursula Strash]: Nomination for Outstanding Civil Servant of the Year 1975
3/29 Alaska Conference on Library and Information Services packet 1979
3/30 Requests for Library Service form undated
3/31 Medline: Hotline to Biomedical Information by Ursula Strash undated
3/32 Articles regarding health science libraries 1970-1977
3/33 Alaska’s Medical Library, Health Science Information Services undated, 2008

Series 4: Personal papers; circa 1940-2016. 2.9 cubic feet.
This series contains the papers of Walter Johnson’s personal life, including his advocacy for the establishment of Anchorage bike paths, as well as his research and presentations on the history of mining in Nome, the history of Swedish people in Alaska, the Sami, and reindeer herding. The series also includes photographs of Nome, and various other locations in Alaska, and Africa.

Box/Folder Description Dates
3/34 Bike Paths [photographs of bike paths in other countries] 1971 August
3/35 Bike Paths: Petitions, bike day information, “Footpaths and bike trails: Need for a change in state attitude and policy” by Walter Johnson undated, 1971-1978
3/36 Bike paths, trails: Notes, articles 1975-1981
3/37 Bike paths: Photographs, legislation 1971-1972
3/38 Bike paths file: News clippings, fliers, information undated, 1972, 2000
3/39 Bike paths: Bumper stickers, posters, news clippings undated, 1972-1978
Oversize folder Bike Day poster undated
Oversize folder Photographs: Bike Day 1971 October 9
3/40-46 Research, articles, and Johnson’s notes regarding discovery of gold in Nome undated, 1996-1998
4/1-8 Nome gold: Lecture notes and presentations, drafts for articles, and correspondence undated, 1993-1998
4/9 Slides: Trip to Nome 1993-1994
4/10 Nome tourist information undated
4/11 Nome Gold: Includes slides from trip to Norway [removed from binder] 1993-1998
4/12 Slides: Nome undated
4/13-27 Sami and reindeer in Alaska: Lecture notes, articles and research, Johnson’s Sami contacts, interviews, and slides undated, 1982-2000
4/28-29 Swedes in Alaska: Interviews with Maurice Kelleher, Orjon Klaar undated, 1982
4/30-56 Scandinavians in Alaska: Johnson’s research, notes, and files undated, 1981-2001
4/57 August Tobin/ Gold Rush Emery’s Talk: The Gold Rush by Emery F. Tobin undated
4/58-60 Alaska Mining Hall of Fame files 1997-1998
4/61 The Long Look for Uparazuk by Walter Johnson 2005-2006
4/62 Alaskan characters and sobriquets of the North compiled by Joseph Ulmer, E.M. 1943
4/63 Photographs: Nelson—Kotzebue undated
4/64-66 Slides: Swedes in Alaska presentations, includes scenery of Alaska undated, 1982-1994
4/67 VHS: Norwegians in Alaska undated
4/68-69 Slides: Africa 1962
4/70 Slides: Tunisia undated, 1971-1972
4/71 Slides: Ethiopia 1972
4/72 Slides: Kwiguk undated
4/73 Slides: Chevak—Bethel undated
4/74-75 Slides: Bethel undated
4/76 Slides: Unidentified Alaska slides undated
4/77-78 Slides and photographs of Johnson, and house in Homer undated, 1983-1995
Box 6 Audiotapes: Letters from James Ferrill, Syd Stealey, and CJ Hudson undated
Box 6 Audiotapes: Eskimo Dance Songs undated
Box 6 Audiotapes: Ina Barr, Charles Mullaney, Mary K. Johnson, and soundtracks from various other musicians undated
7/2 Wiseman/SE Alaska [Note: Title taken from slide box in which images arrived, however most of the images depict people and buildings in Wiseman, as well as the Brooks Range and the Trans-Alaska Pipeline.] circa 1946-1983
7/3-6 Slides: St. Marys Mission, fishing, skiing, unidentified scenes in Alaska circa 1940-1955
7/7 Slides: Photographs and presentation images on history of Wiseman; Flier for Johnson’s Cook Inlet Historical Society lecture circa 1940-1990
7/8 Coldfoot, AK travel pamphlet; List of Wiseman specimens collected by Johnson; “Code of the North 1932” by Joseph Ulmer, E.M.; Copies from “Wiseman Journal” 1931; Negatives of a building in Wiseman undated
7/9 “Historic Resources Studies of Wiseman and Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve”; Itinerary of summer field work for 1937 – Wiseman undated, 1974, 1988
7/10 Wiseman article correspondence 1979-1982
7/11 Notes: Wiseman Interview – Harry Leonard 1982 July
7/12 Copy of Koyukuk notes undated
7/13 People of Koyukuk Region 1999
7/14 “Coldfoot: An Historic Mining Community on the Middle Fork of the Koyukuk River, Alaska” by Susan M. Will 1981
7/15 Koyukuk lecture 9/90 Notes circa 1990
7/16 Notes: Koyukuk paper clips circa 2000
7/17 Unidentified 1/4 inch audio reel undated
7/18 Audio cassettes: Oral history John Samuelson Bethel, March 8, 1982; W.J. comments on lost tape 12-2-99; Death and Dying W. Johnson given at Homer U/M 2000 1982, 1999-2000
7/19 Lecture on Alaska in Swedish Walter Johnson; Oral Hx Ludvig Ost 11/83, Anchorage, AK undated, 1983
7/20 Correspondence: Letter regarding State of Nebraska medical license; Letter regarding conference in Sweden 1953, 1982
7/21 Johnson’s registered guide licenses 1952, 1956
7/22 Correspondence: Alaska Public Lands Information Center presentation; Letter from “Wendell”; Congratulatory letter regarding Honorary Degree of Doctor of Public Service at UAA; Robert Fortuine’s notes from Alaska Health Sciences Teleconference (1989) and Frederick Hillman’s statement; Letter from Arliss Sturgulewski 1987-1990
7/23 Arctic Institute of North America: Correspondence, progress report, newsletter, constitution, organization information 1946-1949
7/24 Two photographs of unidentified family members undated
7/25 VHS: “Walter Johnson 40 acre patch” produced by John Child Photo Services 1993
7/26, oversize folder Certificates, diplomas, medical licenses; In memoriam citation for Walter Johnson 1948-1972, 2016
Box 6 16mm film: Anchorage travelogue undated

 

 

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