Vanderbilt professor elected to Institute of Medicine

Kevin Johnson, M.D., professor and vice chair of the Department of Biomedical Informatics and professor of Pediatrics at Vanderbilt University, was elected into the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of The National Academies at the organization’s 40th annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

Election into the IOM is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine. Membership recognizes those individuals who demonstrate outstanding professional achievement and longstanding commitment to service. The IOM was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences and is recognized as a national resource for independent, scientifically informed analysis and guidance on health issues.

With his election, Dr. Johnson joins 14 current Vanderbilt faculty who are also members of this distinguished organization.

A 1983 graduate of Dickinson College, in Carlisle, Penn., and a 1987 graduate of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Johnson taught at Johns Hopkins for 10 years before joining Vanderbilt in 2001. He is also a member of the board of directors of the American Medical Informatics Association and a member of the National Institutes of Health National Advisory Research Resources Council.

Johnson says that he was humbled by the honor, and expressed gratitude for friends and colleagues who aided him as he came to terms---both personally and professionally---with living as a gay man.

"I'm extremely pleased and more than a little bit lucky to have received this honor," Johnson said. "I can't help but think about how challenging my coming out experience was, and how hard it was to view that process as a growth opportunity."

He adds, "With each passing year, I realize how important my husband, my family, and our friends were to keeping me sane, to being my daughter's after school care system, to buoying me up on bad days, and occasionally knocking me down when I was getting too full of myself! So when I received the email from the Institute of Medicine, all I could think about was 'it takes a village...'.Thanks to all of you!"


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