In 2007, at age 70, Kenneth Johnson, D.M.D. created a free dental clinic at the Boys and Girls Club of Corvallis to provide desperately needed dental care for underprivileged children. “You reach out to people to help them, not for recognition, but for the satisfaction in your tummy and in your heart,” said Dr. Johnson.
Dr. Johnson received a bachelor of science from University of Oregon in 1960, and continued his education at the OHSU School of Dentistry, graduating with a Doctorate of Dental Surgery in 1963. After graduation, he served in the United States Air Force and was stationed in Guam. While there, he served as president of the Guam Dental Society. After his discharge from the Air Force, Dr. Johnson’s visit with a friend in Corvallis proved to be a turning point in his life. During his visit, Dr. Johnson bought the local dentistry practice which he subsequently owned and operated for forty-two years.
Over the years, Dr. Johnson has sat on numerous boards, including the American Academy of Dental Examiners and the Western Regional Examining Board, and is a member of many dental, scientific, and professional organizations. He was a volunteer instructor at Linn-Benton Dental Hygiene Program and the originator and advisor of a pre-dental course at Oregon State University.
In addition to founding and operating the free dental service at the Boys & Girls Club of Corvallis, Dr. Johnson has made significant contributions to many local and global charitable causes. He served as the first dentist on the Canvasback Missions ship to the Marshall Islands, spending three-week periods providing dental care to people who had never seen a dentist; initiated a program to care for migrant workers in Benton, Linn, and Marion counties; organized local dentists to participate in a ‘free dental day’ for people needing dental help; volunteered in the Northwest Medical Teams mobile dental vans in many Oregon communities; and, served with Medical Teams International in Mexico City.
Dr. Johnson has received many awards during his life, including the OSHU School of Dentistry Alumni Association’s Alumnus of the Year Award; the American Red Cross Medical Heroes Award; the Every Day Hero Award from the Pacific Northwest District of Kiwanis; and the Corvallis First Citizen Award.
Dr. Johnson established the Dr. Ken Johnson Dental Clinic Fund to support the annual operational needs of the dental clinic at the Boys & Girls Club of Corvallis. The fund makes an annual distribution to the Boys & Girls Club for this purpose.