Richard W. Johnson, M.D., FACS has been Chief of Neurosurgery at St. Francis Hospital, The Heart Center®, since September 2009, after having been on its staff in the Division of Neurosurgery since 2005. Previously, he was the Chief of Neurosurgery of the four-hospital St. Vincent’s Catholic Medical Center New York-Brooklyn and Queens Division. He is a board-certified neurosurgeon and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. Under Dr. Johnson’s leadership of its Division of Neurosurgery, St. Francis Hospital has been ranked in U.S. News & World Report as one of the top 50 hospitals in the nation for neurosurgery. The Division, as well as Dr. Johnson specifically, was also recognized by Becker’s Spine Review as one of “100 Hospitals With Great Neurosurgery and Spine Programs” in the nation.
Most recently, Dr. Johnson spearheaded efforts to bring the Globus Spinal Robot to St. Francis, making it the first hospital on Long Island to have a spinal navigational robot for both minimally invasive and open spine surgeries. This innovation not only elevates the hospital to the forefront of cutting edge neurosurgical technology but more importantly, the robot allows patients to have a more efficient, and therefore safer, surgical experience.
Dr. Johnson has also been the Director of Spinal Neurosurgery at Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn and has an expertise in neurosurgical trauma, with research in gunshot injuries. He has been asked for his comments on Representative Gabrielle Gifford’s shooting injury, and was the primary surgeon who removed the bullet in the brain of a New York City Police Officer after she was shot in the line of duty.
After receiving his medical degree from SUNY Health Science Center at Brooklyn – where he graduated summa cum laude and was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society – Dr. Johnson pursued his residency and fellowship training also at SUNY Health Science Center at Brooklyn/Kings County Hospital Center. His undergraduate (biology/psychology) and masters’ degrees (physiology) are from Georgetown University.
As one of the earliest neurosurgeons to pursue a fellowship in spinal instrumentation, Dr. Johnson was one of the first in New York State to implant the anterior cervical locking plate in patients suffering from cervical spinal cord compression and herniated disks in the neck. He has also been on the teaching staff at New York Medical College, as well as at SUNY.
At St. Francis, Dr. Johnson is a member of the Executive Medical Board and the OR Committee. He remains a member of several medical societies including the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, the Congress of Neurosurgeons, AO North America, North American Spine Society, the American Medical Association, the American Board of Minimally Invasive Spinal Medicine, the Medical Society of the State of New York, and the Queens Medical Society, and is an honorary neurosurgeon for the New York City Police Department. In June 2018, Dr. Johnson will complete his six-year tenure as a member of the Board of Trustees of Regis High School in Manhattan, of which he a graduate.