Speaker Biography
John C. Nelson, MD, MPH
Immediate Past President
American Medical Association
 
John C. Nelson, MD, MPH, FACOG, FACPM, an obstetrician-gynecologist (ob-gyn) from Salt Lake City, served as the 159th President of the American Medical Association (AMA) from June 2004 to June 2005, after a year-long term as president elect. Dr. Nelson was elected to the AMA Board of Trustees (BOT) in 1994 and re-elected for second and third terms in 1997 and 2001. He served as secretary-treasurer of the AMA from 2002-2003, and has been a member of the AMA-BOT Executive Committee since 1998. During the past 10 years on the AMA-BOT, he has served on the audit committee, finance committee, the task force on fraud and abuse and as a spokesperson for AMA anti-violence activities.

Dr. Nelson came to the AMA-BOT with a long history of service to organized medicine. He is a former president of the Utah Medical Association and the Salt Lake County Medical Society. His national service began in 1981, when he was elected to the AMA House of Delegates. Dr. Nelson served the AMA as a member and chair of its council on legislation and was a charter member of the Prospective Payment Assessment Commission, which advised the secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. He recently served the National Advisory Committee for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and was appointed to serve on the Medicaid Advisory Commission.

A recognized and influential leader in Utah’s public health activities, Dr. Nelson is a former deputy director of Utah’s Department of Health and has served on the governor’s task forces on child abuse and neglect and teenage pregnancy prevention. He is a member of the Committee on Health Issues for the Utah Domestic Violence Advisory Committee and the Utah Health Advisory Council. For his role in reforming the state’s school health curriculum, the Utah State Office of Education presented him the “Light of Learning” award.

A committed leader in his community, Dr. Nelson is a member of the board for the Christmas Box House International (a shelter for battered children) and a passionate, tireless local spokesperson on such issues as family violence, alcohol and substance abuse prevention, teen pregnancy prevention, health system reform, and clinical quality improvement.

Dr. Nelson’s service to the United States includes a tour of duty in the U.S. Army in Vietnam and a year at Dugway Proving Grounds in Utah.

A board-certified ob-gyn, Dr. Nelson has a private ob-gyn practice Salt Lake City. He is a diplomat of the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and a fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Born in Chicago, Dr. Nelson received his MD and MPH degrees from the University of Utah School of Medicine, and completed his residency at the University of Utah after an internship at Providence Hospital, Portland, Ore.

Dr. Nelson and his wife, Linda, reside in Salt Lake City. They have eight children and six grandchildren. Dr. Nelson enjoys playing golf, boating and following University of Utah basketball.