LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Christopher E. Johnson, Ph.D., is the new chair of the Department of Health Management and Systems Sciences in the University of Louisville School of Public Health and Information Sciences. Johnson came to UofL from University of Washington effective January 1, 2015.
“Chris brings incredible energy to the table,” said Craig Blakely, Ph.D., M.P.H., dean of the UofL School of Public Health and Information Sciences. “His expertise in health policy and health services research on cost and access will be an excellent addition to the school. Under his leadership, we will be building both the policy and management sides of the department.”
Johnson is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy and a former infantry officer in the United States Marine Corps. He received his Ph.D. in Health Services Research, Policy and Administration from the University of Minnesota.
At the University of Washington, Johnson served as an associate professor of health services, director of graduate program in health services administration, and the Austin Ross Chair in Health Administration in the Department of Health Services in the School of Public Health. Johnson is best known for work that seeks to understand how health care organizations and communities impact health care outcomes for veterans, underserved populations and the elderly.
Johnson and colleagues at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Rehabilitation Outcomes Research Center of Excellence, studied the impact of nursing home services on the provision of care to residents diagnosed with stroke and the general quality of care for veterans within the long-term care system. Johnson was in the first cohort awarded a VA Health Services Research & Development Merit Review Entry-level Program Career Development Award, a non-clinical Ph.D. highly competitive multi-year grant designed to assist new researchers transition to mid-career success.
“I am very excited about this opportunity to build upon the great work already accomplished by Dr. Esterhay and the faculty in Health Management and Systems Science,” Johnson said. “These are very challenging and dynamic times in the United States for people interested in improving the access, cost, and quality of health care services. We plan to lead efforts in research, education, and community service that will positively impact the lives of Kentucky’s citizens and the nation as a whole.”
Robert J. Esterhay, M.D., chair of the Health Management and Systems Sciences department since the school’s founding in 2002, has assumed a new leadership role in the formation of The Commonwealth Institute. The Institute will be housed in the School of Public Health and Information Sciences to build health policy research, analytics, and advocacy programs.
A program interest of Esterhay’s is in improving policy and practice through innovation in digitally enabled networks for health and wellness. His research focus is in network theory as applied to individuals, organizations, and networks themselves.
“Bob has been at the informatics crossroads of individual health, healthcare and population health for more than 35 years,” Blakely said. “He has laid a solid foundation on which we can continue to build health management and system sciences, and he has the vision to establish the new institute as a national resource for public health policy.”