OSense O-Sense

THE 2ND CHIEF SANITARIAN OF THE USPHS COMMISSIONED CORPS

JOHN GREY TODD 1974—1986

John G. Todd, born in Richmond, Kentucky on February 15, 1929 many of his friends and colleagues knew him as Jack or Rebel. His career exemplifies outstanding achievements, leadership vision and service to his country. His early education was in Kentucky, Georgia and Ohio. He graduated from high school at Troy, Ohio in 1946. Immediately after graduation he joined the US Navy where in served two years active duty as a machinist mate on the destroyer USS Gainard and 6 years in the inactive Navy Reserves.

Upon discharge from the Navy in 1948 he entered Ohio University at Athens, Ohio. In 1949 he married Marilee Ditmer from Ludlow Falls, Ohio, where he received a bachelor degr ee in agriculture in 1952; he also received a Master of Science degree in 1953. He began his environmental health career with the Ohio Department of Health in Dayton, Ohio. In 1954-1959 he became the Chief Sanitarian for the Fayette County Health Department at Washington Court House, Ohio. During this period of time he received a scholarship from the Ohio Department of Health and was granted a leave of absence from the Fayette County Health Department and attended the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill where in 1957 in obtained a master of public health degree. During the year of academic work at UNC he applied for and received a reserve commission in the United States Public Health Service (USPHS). He returned to the Fayette County Health Department for a year. He then became a six county Supervising District Sanitarian, 1959--1960 for the Ohio Department of Health Southwest District Office, Dayton, Ohio. He then became the Supervising Sanitarian 1960-1962 for Jackson-Vinton County Health Department, Jackson, Ohio. In the summer of 1962 he activated his reserve commission in the USPHS and was assigned to the Indian Health Service (IHS) where served the next 26 years.

During his Indian Health Service career he served as:

  • Field Sanitarian Winslow, AZ, 1962-1964
  • Chief Environmental Health Services Branch, Oklahoma City Area, 1964-1966
  • Acting Area Executive Officer Oklahoma City Area, 1966-1967
  • Peace Corps Project Director Health Program, Ghost Ranch, NM, 1967
  • Director of Training, Oklahoma City Area Office, 1967-1968
  • Acting Chief Office Environmental Health, Oklahoma City Area, 1968-1969
  • Long Term Training University of Oklahoma, School of Public Health completed Dr. Public Health, January 1970
  • Assistant to Director, IHS, Rockville, MD 1970-1973
  • Acting Director, Aberdeen Area, IHS, Aberdeen SD, (5 months) 1973
  • Director, Division Program Operations, IHS, 1973-1981
  • Acting Deputy Director, IHS, Rockville, MD, (5 months)1982
  • Chief of Staff, IHS, Rockville, MD, 1982-1983
  • Acting Deputy Director, IHS, 1983-1984
  • Senior Health Advisor to Director IHS, Rockville, Maryland, 1984-1986
  • Retired July 1986 with 26 years in the USPHS.

John G. Todd was promoted to the rank of Rear Admiral in 1977, during his career he was well recognized as an outstanding Sanitarian, (Environmental Health O fficer). He was an avid recruiter, trainer and mentor for many sanitarians and other public health people throughout his career and held a number of academic appointments at several colleges and universities. He was a champion for sanitarians to obtain advanced education & training to become a respected professional and a vital member of the public health team. He held membership and offices in many professional organizations and received numerous awards.

  • Board of Directors and President Ohio Association Sanitarians, 1958-1962
  • Board of Directors and President National Environmental Health Association, 1963-1966
  • Board of Directors, American Academy of Sanitarians, 15 years
  • Chairman, American Academy Sanitarians, 1971-1976 and 1979-1982
  • National Accreditation Committee for environmental health curricula , 9 years. Chairman, Sanitarian Career Development Committee, 1972-1976
  • Commissioned Officers Association, Board of Directors, 3 year term, 1987-1990
  • Life membership award, Ohio Sanitarians Association, 1966
  • Life membership award, National Environmental Health Association, 1967
  • Commendation Medal, USPHS, 1967
  • National Environmental Health Walter Mangold Outstanding Sanitarian Award, 1970
  • Meritorious Service Medal, USPHS, 1971
  • Distinguished Service Medal, USPHS, 1974
  • Distinguished Service Alumni Award, UNC, 1979
  • Walter F. Snyder Environment Health Achievement Award (NSF), 1980
  • Outstanding Service Medal, USPHS, 1982
  • Distinguished Service Medal, USPHS, 1983
  • American Academy Sanitarians (Wagner Award), 1983
  • Health Resource Services Administration Administrator’s Award for Excellence, 1984
  • Outstanding Alumni Award, College of Public Health, University of Oklahoma, 1991
  • Diplomate Emeritus American Academy Sanitarians, 2003
  • Ordained Baptist Deacon, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, 1965.

Having worked for 30 years in public health services, RADM John G. Todd was well aware of the needs of people that survived on very little. Soon after his retirement in 1986 he organized, developed and became Chairman of a non-denominational mission, “Hands of Love” people helping people. In 1994 the Internal Revenue Service recognized and approved Hands of Love, Inc. as a 501 (C) 3 organization. Since then the organization has continued to evolve into a provider for the needy; obtaining, loading, shipping and personally distributing truck loads and sea containers of supplies for people locally, nationally and internationally.

In 1996 the USPHS Environmental Health Officers Professional Advisory Committee, (EHOPAC), established an Award in Honor of RADM John G. Todd. The John G. Todd Award is the highest honor given by the EHOPAC. The award recognizes an exemplary environmental health professional at the Temporary O-6/GS-14 level or above for significant career contributions in achieving the PHS mission of improving the Nation’s health through the practice of environmental health. This award is presented annually at the American Academy Sanitarians/National Environmental Health Association Conference.

*2007* John & Marilee have three children, Stephen, Amy, Elaine and eight grand children and currently nine great grand children.