"In a career dedicated to meeting the needs of patients facing a terminal illness, Dr. Johnson's leadership has truly made a difference."
Chief of Palliative Care
Diablo Service Area
A decade ago, Dr. Robert Johnson looked at the care provided to patients facing a terminal illness and wanted more for them - more comprehensive care; more options; more say in their treatment. Today, patients have the care he envisioned thanks to his tireless leadership in expanding inpatient palliative consult services and creating the DSA's first outpatient Palliative Care Clinics.
Dr. Johnson has taken a steady and measured approach to caring for patients with a terminal illness, starting with a campaign to encourage physicians to have a POLST (Physicians Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment) form on file for every appropriate patient. He helped physicians identify patients who would most benefit from conversations designed to help them achieve their goals as their clinical situation advanced. Recognizing that many doctors find it difficult to hold these conversations, he created a support group to guide them.
He and his team then led a major effort to move services to the outpatient arena culminating with the creation of DSA's Palliative Care Clinics, the first opening in 2011 in Antioch/Deer Valley. The clinic was so successful that two more clinics were opened in 2012, in Walnut Creek and Martinez, and two more are slated to open in Pleasanton and Park Shadelands. In a career dedicated to meeting the needs of patients facing a terminal illness, Dr. Johnson's leadership has truly made a difference.