December 1999

Meet One of Catholic Health Initiatives’ New Stewardship Trustees


Johnson Photo

Robert B. Johnson
Former Executive Vice President
and Chief Operating Officer
Detroit Medical Center
Detroit, Mich.


"Catholic Health Initiatives has a fundamental belief in improving the health status of the people it serves and in finding creative ways to motivate them to take steps to improve their overall health status. Achieving healthy communities through the work of market-based organizations is an essential part of providing quality, cost-effective care," said Robert B. Johnson. Johnson is former executive vice president and chief operating officer of Detroit Medical Center, Detroit, Mich., and recently became a member of the Catholic Health Initiatives Board of Stewardship Trustees.

"Catholic Health Initiatives articulates its values well," said Johnson. "It is an excellent example of an organization that uses its values to drive decision making and to attract talented individuals to the organization who share in its values."

Johnson continues to work with Detroit Medical Center, the largest health care provider in southeastern Michigan. He currently provides leadership for such projects as the system-wide survey by the Joint Commission for the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, community health initiatives and minority business commitments. Johnson is also overseeing the medical center’s corporate compliance department. He will retire from Detroit Medical Center in January 2000. Johnson’s community interests include community health education, youth development, economic development and issues of social justice.

Prior to joining Detroit Medical Center in 1993, Johnson served as chief executive officer of Grady Health System, Atlanta, Ga.; St. Louis Regional Health Care Corporation, St. Louis, Mo.; D.C. General Hospital, Washington, D.C.; and Kings County Hospital Center, Brooklyn, N.Y.

He holds a master’s degree in hospital administration from the University of Michigan School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, and a bachelor’s degree in biology from Tennessee State University, Nashville. Johnson served six years in the U.S. Air Force, achieving the rank of Captain in the Medical Services Corp.

Johnson has been active in many local, state, national and international health care organizations. He served as a member of the board of trustees of the American Hospital Association and as one of the founding members and chairman of the National Association of Public Hospitals, as well as various positions with the National Association of Health Services Executives.

"Given the challenges of reimbursement and market forces, it is more important than ever for health care organizations to collaborate with each other to reduce the disparity in health status of the poor and minorities," said Johnson. "Catholic Health Initiatives is poised to continue this important work. I am pleased to have the opportunity to contribute to its mission and vision."