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Kirsten Johnson

Kirsten Johnson

drkirstenjohnson [at] gmail [dot] com (Kirsten Johnson, MD, MPH)

Assistant Professor, Dept. of Family Medicine

In 2011 Dr Johnson was selected as one of the “Top 40 under 40” to honour her for her outstanding achievements by Caldwell Partners International.

Research Interests: Dr. Johnson is an attending staff in the Emergency Department of the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal and is faculty in the Department of Family Medicine at McGill University. She is affiliated faculty at the Institute for Health and Social Policy at McGill University and at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative at Harvard University in Boston. Dr. Johnson is Co-Director of the Humanitarian Studies Initiative for Residents at McGill University: a program designed to train medical residents as professionals in humanitarian response. She is also on the Steering Committee of the Child Soldiers Initiative. Dr. Johnson received her MD from the University of Calgary and specialized in Family Medicine and Emergency Medicine at McGill University. She obtained her Masters in Public Health and a diploma in Humanitarian Studies from Harvard University and a diploma in Tropical Medicine from Cayetano Heredia University in Peru.

Dr. Johnson is one of the leaders in humanitarian professionalization, working on the development and application of competencies for training, education and certification for humanitarian responders globally. In 2012 she received an award from Canada Grand Challenges as one of Canada’s Rising Stars in Global Health to advance humanitarian training and certification using e-Learning accessible on mobile devices.

 Dr. Johnson’s research has focused on genocide, child combatants, sexual gender-based violence and conflict-related mental health and psychosocial support. She has conducted population-based studies to quantify and characterize the conflict-related sexual violence and health outcomes in Liberia, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Kenya. Two of these studies have been published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Her work in the DRC has been presented at over 27 high level meetings including the US Department of Defence, Africa Command (AFRICOM), USAID, the United Nations, Provincial Ministries of Health in the DRC, the International Criminal Court and many humanitarian NGOs. This study has been used to obtain $24 million in funding from USAID to target gaps in sexual violence programming in DRC. It also directed the creation of the United States S. 891 (111th): Congo Conflict Minerals Act of 2009 111th Congress, 2009–2010.  Dr. Johnson’s current research is focused on preventing sexual violence amongst the Inuit population of Canada’s four Northern regions.

Keywords: Humanitarian Education and Training, Humanitarian Competencies and Professionalization, Sexual Gender-Based Violence, Child Combatants, Conflict, Genocide, Human Rights, Mental Health, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Projects: McGill Humanitarian Studies Initiatives (HSI), Canadian Disaster and Humanitarian Response Training Program (CDHRTP)

List of Publications:
(Please note that the access to publications offered via Scopus and Pubmed may not reflect exactly the scope of our researcher's publications, can be overrepresented with same name researchers working in the same field)

Via Scopus

Via Pubmed

  1. K. Johnson, Scott, Jennifer, Rughita, Bigy, Kisielewski, Michael, Asher, Jana, Ong, Ricardo, Lawry, Lynn. Gender Based Violence and Human Rights Violations in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC): The Health Consequences on Individuals, Families and the Community. JAMA. 2010;304(5):553-562.
  2. K. Johnson, Guinea Worm. In: Spector JM. and Gibson TE. eds. Atlas of Pediatrics in the Tropics and Resource-Limited Settings. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics; 2009.
  3. Employment of a livelihoods analysis to define genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan. M. VanRooyen, J. Leaning, K. Johnson, K. Hirschfeld, D. Tuller, A. Levine and J. Hefferman. J. Genocide Research 2008:10(3):343-358.
  4. A population-based assessment of health, mental health and social functioning of post-conflict communities including former child combatants in Liberia. K. Johnson, S. Rosborough, R. Panjabi, A. Raja, J. Asher, C. Beadling and L. Lawry. JAMA 2008;300(6):676-690.
  5. Darfur Assault on Survival: A Call for Security, Justice and Restitution. J. Heffernan, J. Leaning, M. VanRooyen, D. Tuller, S. Sirkin, K. Johnson, K. Hirschfeld and A. Lowenstein. Physicians for Human Rights, Cambridge MA. January 2006.

Current Research Grants:

Research Grants

Preventing Childhood Sexual Violence in Inuit Communities in Canada. Canadian Institutes for Health Research Institute of Aboriginal Peoples’ Health: Operating Grant: First Nations, Inuit and Metis Health, Principle Investigator, $100,000 (2013)

Advancement of Humanitarian Training Through e-Learning and Mobile Technologies. Canada Grand Challenges: Canada’s Rising Stars in Global Health. Principle Investigator, $113,000 (2012)

Primary care in Pandemics. CIHR Meeting and Planning Award. Principle Investigator, $25,000 (2012)

Training and Education for Andean Community Health (TEACH): A project between McGill Family Medicine and the communities of Cotacachi Ecuador. Institute for Health and Social Policy McBurney Award, Co‐Principal Investigator, $60,000 (2011-)

Population-­Based Assessment of Election-­Related Gender-­Based Violence and Mental Health Outcomes in Kenya United States Institutes of Peace, Principal Investigator, $110,500 (2011-)