CDR Anthony L. Johnson, PhD EDCN Interview
My present operational detail is the Department of Homeland Security functioning as a behavioral health administrator and senior policy advisor managing staff, clinical operations, and service consultation at 6 federal and over 100 contract healthcare facilities serving over 20,000 persons of the global noncitizen underserved communities. The career journey has been guided by communication building, continual education and development, being other-centered, and steps of humility in collaboration knowing that unity with others enhances capacity and achievement in all endeavors. As a result, arrival at my present operational role evolved through needs assessment and outlining gaps in services which morphed into a white paper proposal. I often challenge myself beyond the norm as the status quo of what is present can always exist, but untapped potential is often trapped in the unknown. The continual pursuit of excellence sets me on the path of enhanced operations as an executive liaison for congressional affairs and the expansion of public health initiatives in diversity, equity, and inclusion which can further global operations and partnerships. The efforts accentuate my “ah hah” moment that “cultural awareness is not limited to demographic traditionalism but is a mindset, conceptual framework, and collaborative state of being which holds no limitation.”
It must be noted one of my greatest moments came in receipt of the advice of a U.S. Ambassador to be consistent, remain goal-oriented and predictive in measurement, and realize the journey to the executive level will be challenging. The encounter over twenty years ago helped to forge my path forward as I live to maximize each moment for growth, learning and advancement. The plethora of knowledge must remain accessible with a leader’s engagement in professional societies. My engagement in the Association of Military Surgeons of the United States (AMSUS) and Commissioned Officers Association (COA) have equipped me in public health research and implementation and served as a bridge builder to public health mission capacity with opportunities to conduct multiple national presentations on clinical ethics, leadership, communication dynamics, diversity, equity, and inclusion, just to note a few. Additionally, mentorship remains key to navigating the career journey and overall life journey which I have leveraged insight gained to hone my personal and professional skills and improve effectiveness.
The future is present and my desire for healthcare leaders highlights my passion to collaborate for relevant systematic change and healthcare service enhancement, to engage in people-oriented research to enhance healthcare quality for all communities, to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion as vital elements to elevating healthcare leadership, empowering people, and improving healthcare outcomes.