June 2, 2015

Norman Johnson

The University of Washington School of Social Work is pleased to announce that Norman Johnson is the recipient of its 2011 School of Social Work Distinguished Alumnus Award. For nearly 40 years, Mr. Johnson has tirelessly promoted social and economic justice, especially among those suffering from mental illness and substance abuse in the African-American community.

Since 1979, Mr. Johnson has served as the executive director of Therapeutic Health Services (THS) — one of region’s largest nonprofit agencies providing outpatient mental health treatment, chemical dependency counseling and youth development services. Under Mr. Johnson’s visionary leadership, THS has grown from a single methadone clinic in central Seattle to seven centers with highly skilled professionals providing comprehensive services to vulnerable populations in King and Snohomish counties.  

A University of Washington and School of Social Work graduate (BA, ’71, MSW ‘73), Mr. Johnson is a long-time friend and colleague, prized for his creative collaborations that support and enhance our mission to educate. Most recently, he shaped a unique partnership between his agency and the School of Social Work to provide our students with a direct path to earning their chemical dependency certification with onsite internships and hands-on training. 

Over the years, Mr. Johnson has maintained a striking community profile, serving as an advisor, mentor and leader for diverse public service, nonprofit and professional agencies and boards including: 

  • Science and Management of Addictions (SAMA) Program Committee 
  • Minority Executive Directors Coalition 
  • The Rehabilitation Accreditation Commission (CARF) 
  • Governor’s Council on Substance Abuse 
  • Washington State Citizen’s Advisory Committee on Alcoholism and Drug Addiction 
  • African American Elder Services Board 
  • Mental Illness Drug Dependency (MIDD) Oversight Committee 
  • Seattle Jobs Initiative Advisory Group 
  • Seattle Community College Human Services Advisory Committee 
  • Seattle Public Schools Response to Intervention (RTI) Action Network 

The 2011 School of Social Work Distinguished Alumnus Award will be presented to Mr. Johnson at a reception following the School of Social Work’s graduation celebration on June 12, 2011 at Benaroya Symphony Hall in downtown Seattle.