Associate Director for Health, Social Security and Welfare
Domestic Council


Material concerning his work for the Domestic Council on such matters as legislative proposals and administration of federal government programs in the areas of health care, social security and welfare. Key issues include: food stamps, swine flu immunization, national blood supply policy, and physical fitness and sports.

5.2 linear feet (ca. 10,400 pages)

Gerald R. Ford (accession number 77-29)

Open. Some items may be temporarily restricted under terms of the donor's deed of gift, a copy of which is available on request, or under National Archives and Records Administration general restrictions (36 CFR 1256).

Gerald R. Ford donated to the United States of America his copyrights in all of his unpublished writings in National Archives collections. The copyrights to materials written by other individuals or organizations are presumed to remain with them. Works prepared by U.S. Government employees as part of their official duties are in the public domain.

Prepared by Dennis M. Lakomy, July 1979
[s:\bin\findaid\johnson, spencer - files.doc]


Spencer C. Johnson

Born at Olean, New York

1966 - B.A. (Journalism), St. Bonaventure University

1966-69 - Captain, U.S. Army

1971 - Master of Public Administration, Cornell University

1971 - Legislative Assistant, U.S. Representative James F. Hastings, 39th District, Republican - New York

1972-75 - Legislative Assistant, U.S. Representative James F. Hastings, 39th District, Republican - New York; he also was acting staff director for the House Republican Task Force on Health Policy.

Feb. 1976-Jan. 1977 - Associate Director for Health, Social Security, and Welfare, Domestic Council.


Johnson was appointed to the Domestic Council in February 1976 as Associate Director for Health, Social Security, and Welfare, remaining until the end of the Ford Administration. He replaced Arthur F. Quern who became Deputy Director for Policy and Planning.

Johnson's primary responsibilities were in health issues. He assisted in the formulation of policy and as White House liaison with government agencies and private organizations. Among his specific duties were the preparation of decision, information, and discussion memoranda, including some for the President which were routed through, or drafted for the signature of James Cannon, Executive Director of the Domestic Council. He arranged meetings between the President and special interest groups or met with such groups himself; prepared policy studies and Presidential talking points; and drafted Presidential messages. Among other functions he prepared correspondence and monitored legislation.

Sarah C. Massengale, Assistant Director for Health, Social Security, Welfare, and Cultural Affairs, worked under Johnson. In addition to routine matters, Massengale coordinated policy development for several important areas, including abortion, legislation on the aging, medical insurance reforms, and planning for the White House Conference on the Handicapped. She also arranged meetings between the President and special interest groups or met with such groups herself. Starting in August 1976 Ed Friedlander worked directly for Johnson as Special Assistant for Health Affairs.

The Johnson Files include materials inherited from Arthur Quern (1974-76) and Pamela Needham, Assistant Director for Health, Social Security, and Welfare (1975). Many were not added to by Johnson. Most other files consist of copies or printed material, and apparently were accumulated by Johnson for reference purposes. There are few original documents and such original memoranda and other transmittals as do appear are to and from Arthur Quern, James Cannon, Theodore Cooper and Michael Licata of H.E.W., and occasionally other Domestic Council staff such as Sarah Massengale and David Lissy or from persons outside of government. Major topics include food stamps, swine influenza immunization program, blood supply, President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, and the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.

Related Materials (July 1979)
Related materials may be found in the Domestic Council files of Sarah C. Massengale and Arthur F. Quern, particularly on food stamps and social security.


Subject Series, 1974-76.  (Boxes 1-12, 4.8 linear feet)
Reports, press releases, booklets, newspaper articles, bills, statements, printed testimony, House reports, and other processed materials; and occasional memoranda, correspondence, draft messages, schedule proposals, talking points, and other miscellaneous items. Materials were received from the Domestic Council staff, federal agencies - particularly H.E.W. and Agriculture, public interest groups, and individuals. Johnson inherited some files from Arthur Quern (1975-76) and Pamela Needham (1975). Most items are copies and printed matter, which reflect their apparent use for reference. There are few original documents. Major topics include food stamps, swine influenza immunization program, national blood policy, and the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. Of note are the weekly status reports to James Cannon on key projects and problems.

Arranged alphabetically by subject and thereunder chronologically.

View container list for this series

Correspondence, 1976-77. (Boxes 12-13, 0.4 linear feet)
Consists of three sub-series:

    a) Correspondence ­ Chronological. Carbon copies of Johnson's letters and memoranda. Related items include occasional incoming letters, including several letter cases; memoranda; and copies of other staff letters. Most are on health and welfare topics, with an occasional administrative or personal item. Few of these materials are duplicated in the Subject File. Materials are to and from Domestic Council staff, Federal agencies ­ particularly H.E.W. and Agriculture, public interest groups, and individuals. These communications are perfunctory for the most part including thank yous, transmittals of information, and other responses. This series reflects some of the materials actually produced, and functions performed, by Johnson.

    b) Correspondence ­ Alphabetical. Carbons of Johnson's letters and memoranda, arranged alphabetically by name of recipient. Generally materials here are duplicated in the Correspondence ­ Chronological section. Includes very occasional notes and other miscellaneous items.

    c) Referrals. Referrals of incoming letters, either for direct reply or for a draft of an appropriate response, most going to H.E.W. Included are the White House referral forms, usually a copy of the incoming letter, and occasionally the response, related memos and letters. Arranged chronologically.
Arranged chronologically or alphabetically, depending on the sub-series.

View container list for this series


Box 1 - Subject Series

  • Abortion (1)-(2)
  • Aging (1)-(2)
  • Aging - Optometry Study
  • Aging - White House Press Releases
  • Aid for Families of Dependent Children (AFDC)
  • Alcohol, Drug Abuse and Mental Health Administration
  • Allied Services

Box 2 - Subject Series

  • Anticipation Reports (upcoming issues)
  • Black Lung
  • Blind, Association for the
  • Budget/Legislative Program - HEW, 1978 (1)-(2)
  • Cancer Research and National Cancer Institute
  • Child Care
  • Child and Family Services Act

Box 3 - Subject Series

  • Child Nutrition (1)-(2)
  • Child Support (1) - (2)
  • Child Support Background Material
  • Community Services Administration
  • Developmental Disabilities Act
  • Disability Insurance

Box 4 - Subject Series

  • Drug Abuse and Drug Safety
  • Food Stamps (1) - (5)

Box 5 - Subject Series

  • Food Stamps (6)
  • Food Stamps - Congressional Committee Prints
  • Food Stamps - Publications
  • Food Stamps - Publications and Miscellaneous
  • Handicapped (1) - (2)

Box 6 - Subject Series

  • Health
  • Health, Education and Welfare, Department of (1) - (2)
  • Health Manpower
  • Home Health Care
  • Hospice
  • Hospitals
  • Income Assistance Simplification Act
  • Indian Health and Nutrition

Box 7 - Subject Series

  • Issues Papers
  • Maximum Allowable Cost (MAC) - Medicare / Medicaid
  • Medicaid
  • Medical Devices
  • Memoranda - Action (1) - (3)
  • Memoranda - Presidential
  • Mental Health and Mental Retardation
  • Michigan Deferred Claims (Welfare - HEW)
  • National Association of Counties

Box 8 - Subject Series

  • National Blood Policy (1) - (6)

Box 9 - Subject Series

  • National Blood Policy (7)
  • National Governors Conference
  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Library of Medicine
  • National Medical Laboratory Week/National Rural Health Week
  • Nursing Homes
  • Nutrition
  • Poverty (1) - (2)

Box 10 - Subject Series

  • President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports (1) - (4)
  • Puerto Rico Commission - Social Security System
  • Questions and Answers (on health and welfare)
  • Rehabilitation Act - Section 504
  • Rural Health
  • Sickle Cell Anemia
  • Social Security (1)

Box 11 - Subject Series

  • Social Security (2) - (5)
  • State of the Union, 1977
  • Swine Influenza - Biweekly Reports from H.E.W.
  • Swine Influenza - Canadian Purchase
  • Swine Influenza - Immunization Program
  • Swine Influenza - Signing Ceremony, April 15, 1976 (H.J. Res. 890)

Box 12 - Subject Series

  • Transitions - Presidential (1976)
  • United Hospital Fund of New York
  • Vocational Rehabilitation
  • Watch (Responsibilities) List
  • Weekly Status Report
  • Welfare (1) - (2)
  • W.I.C. (Program for Women, Infants, and Children)
  • W.I.N. (Work Incentive Program)
  • Correspondence

Box 12 (Continued) - Correspondence

  • February - April 1976

Box 13 - Correspondence

  • May - December 1976
  • Correspondence A - Z
  • Referrals - Pending
  • Referrals - Completed (1) - (3)