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College of Health and Human Sciences

Johannes selected to serve as Kansas Health Foundation Distinguished Professor of Community Health

Monday, January 11, 2021

Elaine Johannes, associate professor and extension specialist in the Department of Applied Human Sciences in the College of Health and Human Sciences, will serve as the Kansas Health Foundation Distinguished Professor in Community Health, an endowed position held by K-State Research and Extension, or KSRE. The professorship was awarded by the Foundation to Kansas State University in 1993 to focus on the promotion of community health.

Rick Peterson, associate director for extension programs with K-State Research and Extension stated, “Dr. Johannes with her extensive understanding of community health systems, health inequities and Extension programs is uniquely qualified to be named the Kansas Health Foundation Distinguished Professorship of Community Health. She will provide leadership to KSRE interdisciplinary community health efforts to improve the lives of Kansas families and communities.”

The professorship will allow 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.

“The opportunity to serve as a bridge for community health collaborations between K-State Research and Extension, College of Health and Human Sciences, Kansas State University units, public health networks, community leaders, health providers and families is an honor,” said Johannes. “As a specialist in KSRE for many years, a K-State faculty member and alumna, and as a native Kansan I'm familiar with the hard work that is already underway and the opportunities available to us.  Put me to work! We have a lot we can accomplish by working together to improve conditions for health and well-being across Kansas and the mid-west."

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 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 Department of Applied Human Sciences, College of Health and Human Sciences and serves as coordinator of Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance, or GPIDEA graduate programs.

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 doctorate in life span human development.

The Kansas Health Foundation, established in 1985, focuses their work to improve the health of all Kansans. They work with other health foundations, nonprofit groups, community foundations, state agencies, universities, hospitals, communities and advisory groups to develop programs and find answers to complex health issues.

K-State Research and Extension is a statewide network of educators sharing unbiased, research-based information and expertise on issues important to Kansas. With 131 years of research and 104 years of extension, KSRE has been improving the quality of life and standard of living for Kansans for a century. Research completed is used by extension agents and others to help solve community issues.

This article was posted on Monday, January 11, 2021, and is filed under Applied Human Sciences, College News, Faculty Research.