Dr. Alvin D. Jackson, a family practice physician, is the former Director of the Ohio Department of Health. He was appointed by Gov. Ted Strickland in January of 2007, and served until January 10, 2011. He is believed to be the first Director to visit every local Health Department in the history of The Ohio Department of Health. Jackson’s responsibilities included management of a $700 million budget and nearly 1300 employees, and regulatory oversight of Ohio’s 128 local health departments and other public and private health care providers. Dr. Jackson made public awareness and education, disease prevention and data-driven decision making as top priorities in his service to the 11.5 million Ohio residents.
Dr. Jackson has served on the Board of Directors of ASTHO (The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials). He was recently appointed to the Institute of Medicine's Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice. Dr. Jackson also serves on The Ohio State University College of Medicine Admission’s Committee, The Ohio State University Medical Alumni Board of Governors and on the Board of The Ohio State University College of Optometry Dean’s Advisory Council.
On May 12, 2009, Dr. Jackson became the first Public Health official to meet with President Barack Obama. He was one of seven business leaders invited to the White House to discuss ways to cut health costs.
Prior to becoming Ohio Health Director, Dr. Jackson was Medical Director of Community Health Services and member of the staff of Memorial Hospital in Fremont, Ohio. Community Health Services provides medical services for the community as well as Latino migrant farmers. His fluency in the Spanish language was a great asset to the organization. Dr. Jackson was Chief of Staff of Fremont Memorial Hospital from 2003 to 2005 and a staff physician at the Sandusky County Health Department from 1994 to 2007.
Dr. Jackson was born in Portal, Georgia. He lived on a farm and was one of the first students to integrate the high school there.
Dr. Jackson received his B.S. degree from Andrews University in Michigan. He also did undergraduate studies at Oakwood College in Alabama. Dr. Jackson was the second recipient of the prestigious Luard Scholarship which allowed him to pursue studies at The University of Keele in England and travel to over 20 countries in Europe and Russia. Dr. Jackson earned his M.D. from The Ohio State University and completed his family practice residency at Mercy Hospital of Toledo, Ohio. On May 16, 2004, Dr. Jackson received the honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Heidelberg College.
Dr. Jackson is a member of the African-American College Club , NAACP, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the Ohio Academy of Family Physicians, the National Medical Association, the American Medical Association, the American College of Physician Executives, The American Public Health Association, the Ohio Public Health Association and . He is a frequent lecturer on the topics of Alzheimer's disease, Diabetes and Wellness.
Dr. Alvin Jackson, a man committed to providing quality health care to people regardless of their ability to pay, has received numerous awards during his career. In November of 2000 he received the "Ohio Quality Care Award" from Pfizer Pharmaceuticals for outstanding contributions to the medical community in the state of Ohio. On April 28, 2001, during the National Farmworker Health Conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico, he was awarded the "Clinician Award" by the Department of Health and Human Services/Bureau of Primary Health Care for his outstanding dedication and commitment to the nation's Migrant Farmworkers. On June 27, 2001 Dr. Jackson was one of ten recipients of the Robert Wood Johnson Community Health Leadership Award out of 577 nominees nationwide. He was chosen for the award for his work in migrant care and also for the role he and his wife, Dr. Gayle Jackson, play in such projects as youth programs and efforts to rebuild a hospital in war-torn Liberia. Dr. Jackson received the $100,000 award at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. In 2001, Dr. Jackson was also named as an Academy Advocate by the Ohio Association of Family Practitioners.
Dr. Jackson has served as the Ohio Primary Care Association's clinician state representative to the board and president and member of the executive committee of the MidWest Clinicians Network.
On November 18, 2002, Dr. Jackson and his wife, Dr. Gayle Jackson, were awarded a $15,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Community Health Leadership Program. This grant was used to study "The Correlation Between Low Academic Achievement and Health Disparities in the African-American Population of Fremont, Ohio."
Dr. Alvin Jackson and his wife are co-recipients of three awards, the 2005 Peacemaker Award from the Tiffin-Fostoria Community Celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the 2007 Distinguished Service Award by the Chamber of Commerce of Sandusky County and the 2007 Liberty Bell Award presented by the Sandusky County Bar Association.
Dr. Jackson has been involved in international and national relief efforts. In March of 1999, he spent a week in Honduras serving the medical needs of the victims of Hurricane Mitch. Presently he is a participant in the Liberian Relief Effort of Africa House, Inc. In September of 2005, Dr. Alvin Jackson spent about 10 days on the Gulf Coast providing medical care to the victims of Hurricane Katrina. He and members of National Association of Community Health Centers have spoken at a congressional staff briefing in Washington to discuss a number of issues, including proposed legislation that would allow medical providers to treat impoverished victims during national disasters.
Dr. Jackson is a family man. He is married to Dr. Gayle Jackson, a retired pharmacologist and education activist. They are parents of four children. Dr. Nkenge Jackson is an OB-GYN, practicing at St. Joseph Candler and Memorial Hospitals in Savannah, Georgia. Dr. Atiba Jackson, an Orthopaedic Surgeon, is working in private practice in Burlington, Iowa and is a sports physician for Western Illinois University. Jelani Jackson is a Research Analyst at Opus Capital Management in Cincinnati, Ohio. Wiloise Jackson is a physical therapy/occupation therapy aide at St. Joseph Candler Hospital in Savannah, Georgia and a student at Armstrong State University. Dr. Jackson has two grandsons, Johari and Amari.