Alex Johnson Receives Highest Honor from ASHA

November 21, 2013
By
Alex Johnson

Alex Johnson

Charlestown resident Alex F. Johnson, PhD, CCC-SLP, FASHA, Provost and Academic Vice President of Academic Affairs and a renowned speech-language pathologist at MGH Institute of Health Professions, received the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s (ASHA) highest honor on November 15 at the organization’s annual meeting.

Dr. Johnson, who joined the MGH Institute in 2008, received the Honors of ASHA award for his contributions to the profession.

The Honors is ASHA’s most prestigious award, given each year to a select few members whose work has “changed the course of their profession.”

“We are proud that Dr. Johnson is being recognized for his many contributions in the field of speech-language pathology,” said MGH Institute President Janis P. Bellack, PhD, RN, FAAN.

In addition to being the chief academic officer at the Charlestown Navy Yard graduate school, Dr. Johnson is also Professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, and on the faculty of the Harvard-MIT Program in Speech and Hearing Bioscience and Technology.

Dr. Johnson, who in 2006 served as the president of ASHA, previously was designated as a Fellow of ASHA.

The co-editor of two textbooks and numerous peer-reviewed articles and chapters, Dr. Johnson has continuing clinical and scholarly interests in medical speech-language pathology and the effects of communication and swallowing impairment of quality of health and life. His interests also include a newer focus on the teaching and scholarly enterprise in higher education, as well as interprofessional education in the health science.

Dr. Johnson joins Director of Research Programs Robert E. Hillman, PhD, CCC-SLP, and Professor Howard Shane, PhD, CCC-SLP, as the third member of the IHP faculty to receive the Honors of ASHA award.

Originally from Ohio, Dr. Johnson completed his BS and Master’s degrees at Kent State University, and his PhD in Speech-Language Pathology at Case Western Reserve University.

After working clinically for several years, he served as Executive Director of the Cleveland Hearing and Speech Center, a university-affiliated comprehensive center at Case Western Reserve.

In 1988, Dr. Johnson was appointed to launch a new division of speech-language pathology in the Department of Neurology at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit Michigan, where he established several subspecialty clinics in Voice Disorders, Stuttering, Pediatric Communication Disorders, Swallowing Disorders, and Stroke rehabilitation.

His funded research while at Henry Ford included studies of communication changes that occurred in the earliest moments after a stroke as predictors of both language and brain recovery. He also participated in the validation of a number of outcomes measures that are now used as qualifiers for payment for speech and language rehabilitation, and was a co-investigator on the development of the Voice Handicap Index, a widely used tool in measuring recovery in persons with voice disorders, the Dysphagia Handicap Index, and the Communication Quality Scale.

In 1999, Dr. Johnson re-entered academia when he was appointed Chair of the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Wayne State University in Detroit. During his tenure, the PhD program was expanded, a new Doctor of Audiology program was established, the speech-language pathology enrollment increased, and the program was relocated to new facilities.

Dr. Johnson is the co-editor of two textbooks and numerous peer-reviewed articles and chapters. He has continuing clinical and scholarly interests in medical speech-language pathology and the effects of communication and swallowing impairment of quality of health and life. His interests also include a newer focus on the teaching and scholarly enterprise in higher education, as well as interprofessional education in the health science.

Dr. Johnson joins Director of Research Programs Robert E. Hillman, PhD, CCC-SLP, and Professor Howard Shane, PhD, CCC-SLP, as the third member of the IHP faculty to receive the Honors of ASHA award.

MGH Institute of Health Professions, founded by Massachusetts General Hospital in 1977, is the only degree-granting affiliate of the renowned Partners HealthCare. A progressive leader in developing compre-hensive models of health professions education, the MGH Institute prepares advanced practice professionals in the fields of communication sciences and disorders, nursing, physical therapy, health professions education, and rehabilitation sciences through a distinctive combination of academic study, clinical practice, and research. Close to 1,300 students are enrolled in graduate level and certificate programs, with an increasing number of courses available online. The MGH Institute is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).