The Academy For Eating Disorders Awards Dr. Craig Johnson Their Lifetime Achievement Award For Contributions To The Eating Disorder Field
Each year, the AED honors those who have made significant contributions to the treatment, scientific understanding, and awareness of eating disorders. As a leader in the field for more than 40 years, Dr. Johnson’s list of significant contributions is substantial. In addition to the AED, he is a founder (and past president) of the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), co-founder of the International Conference of Eating Disorders, a founding member of the Eating Disorders Research Society and the Founding Editor of the International Journal of Eating Disorders. He has also held faculty appointments at the University of Chicago, Northwestern University and University of Oklahoma medical schools.
This award from the AED marks Dr. Johnson’s receipt of all three of the field’s most prestigious Lifetime Achievement Awards. He received the honor from NEDA in 2003 and the International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals in 2018.
“Dr. Johnson’s career is what lifetime achievement awards were created to recognize,” said Elissa Myers, Executive Director and CEO of the AED. “His multitude of contributions to the field, whether research, training or clinical achievements, have all had a positive impact on the patient care we collectively provide.”
Dr. Johnson considers himself first and foremost as a clinician. As the Chief Clinical Officer at Eating Recovery Center (ERC) from 2010-2014, he was responsible for leading all clinical staff, including nursing, dietary, psychotherapy, case managers and behavioral health counselors, as well as clinical research. He then transitioned to Chief Science Officer, overseeing all research efforts at ERC. As the largest national healthcare system for treating eating disorders at higher levels of care, ERC’s research is vital to understanding patients and enhancing quality care across the field. Further, Dr. Johnson has authored over 100 research articles and book chapters and three books. He has been a National Institute of Mental Health funded researcher on topics ranging from genetics to family therapy.
Family therapy and involvement, in fact, are a cornerstone of ERC’s treatment. Its Family Institute, which Dr. Johnson co-directs, is dedicated to ensuring that ERC is engaged in a collaborative relationship with families regarding education, treatment, support and research. ERC has developed an integrated program to engage families in the recovery process, which is especially critical for ERC’s youngest patients.
“I benefited from two decades of mentorship from Dr. Johnson followed by the opportunity to work together to build Eating Recovery Center over the last decade,” said Ken Weiner, Founder and Executive Chairman of ERC. “Dr. Johnson’s legacy is unmatched for the knowledge he’s shared, the clinical advancements he’s accomplished and the lives he’s saved.”
In addition to his work at Eating Recovery Center, where he continues to work as a Senior Consultant, Dr. Johnson has built four internationally recognized inpatient treatment programs regarded as Centers of Excellence, particularly for more severe forms of eating disorders. He founded and directed the Eating Disorders Program at Laureate Psychiatric Hospital in Tulsa, OK, and was instrumental in establishing the Laureate Institute for Brain Research there.
Dr. Johnson’s contributions to the field have been so impactful that he also inspires awards in his honor. In 2011, NEDA created the “Craig Johnson Award for Excellence in Clinical Practice and Training”, recognizing top eating disorders professionals who have distinguished themselves in the field through their contributions to eating disorders knowledge, training and treatment.
“It has been my greatest honor to work with the brilliant doctors and clinicians in the eating disorders field for more than four decades,” said Dr. Johnson. “It is only through collaboration that I’ve been able to accomplish what I have in my career. And I look forward to all the advancements and achievements yet to come for patient treatment in eating disorders as the next generation builds on the work we’ve done.”
About Eating Recovery Center
Eating Recovery Center (ERC) is the only national behavioral health care system dedicated to the treatment of eating disorders and related conditions at their more serious stages. ERC offers best-in-class treatment programs for all patients, no matter their age or gender, struggling from: anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, eating and weight disorder, unspecified eating disorders, as well as co-occurring and dual diagnoses. Led by the world’s leading experts, ERC provides behavioral health recovery services through an unmatched network of over 30 locations across eight states as well as virtual programming. ERC treats adults, children and teens and offers multiple levels of care, including Inpatient, Residential, Partial Hospitalization, and Intensive Outpatient programs. For more information, please visit eatingrecoverycenter.com.