In four-plus decades as a journalist and physician, Dr. Timothy Johnson has more than mastered the difficult task of breaking down complex medical and health care issues into terms the general public can understand. It’s why he received our inaugural Albert Schweitzer Clarion Award for Health Education and Promotion in 2013, and it’s why we’re excited to have him join us at the 2016 SPARK! Leadership Conference, where he’ll lead the session “Election Projection: What’s Next for the Affordable Care Act.”
Dr. Johnson is a Senior Medical Contributor for ABC News and host of WBUR’s “The Truth About Obamacare” podcast series. He is also a longtime member of the ASF Board of Directors.
In 2012, Dr. Johnson retired as Medical Editor for ABC News, where he provided on-air analysis and commentary of medical news for programs including “World News,” “Nightline,” “20/20,” and “Good Morning America.” Joining WCVB Channel 5 Boston in 1972, Dr. Johnson shepherded significant reporting on health care reform as well as the fight against cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease. Upon his retirement he was praised for helping ABC to break the mold on health care reporting.
“I never felt like a television personality, ever, or a ‘TV doctor,’” Dr. Johnson said at the time. “And if I were to use a word to describe what I thought I was doing it would be…a teacher.”
In addition to the Clarion Award, Johnson’s skill as a communicator of health information brought him numerous accolades, including an Emmy Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and two Emmy Awards from the Boston/New England Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. In 1999 he won a Gabriel Award, which recognizes broadcast excellence in the creative treatment of concerns to humankind, for his two-part series on Alzheimer’s Disease.
But Dr. Johnson’s commitment to health education isn’t limited to the airwaves. He is the founding editor of the Harvard Medical School Health Letter and co-editor of the Harvard Medical School Health Letter Book. He is also co-editor of the book Your Good Health, co-author of Let’s Talk and author of Dr. Timothy Johnson’s On-Call Guide to Men’s Heath and Finding God in the Questions: A Personal Journey.
Dr. Johnson graduated in from North Park Seminary in 1963 intending to become a Protestant minister, but his interest in the medicine ultimately led him down a different professional path, and two years later he decided to attend medical school. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Augustana College, he graduated summa cum laude from Albany Medical College and holds a master’s degree in public health from Harvard University. He has had appointments at both Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital.
“I thought I was going to be a family doctor in a small town. That was my dream,” Dr. Johnson has said. “My life took a very different turn.”
It did indeed, and we are grateful for Dr. Johnson’s work helping to decode complex medical mysteries and demystify our complicated health care system for the general public. We’re looking forward to his analysis of the Affordable Care Act’s future at this most critical time in its history at the SPARK! Leadership Conference in Boston Nov. 5. Register today and join us!