Karen S. Johnson, PhD

Portrait of Karen Johnson.

Karen is an accomplished leader with experience that spans traditional healthcare boundaries having worked with employers, plans, physicians, and health systems over her 30+ year career. Understanding each of these unique perspectives fuels her work as a translator, bridge-builder and change agent. Her long-standing personal mission is to make healthcare work better for more people at a cost they can afford. Ensuring that primary care is adequately funded, appropriately evaluated, and connected to the broader healthcare system in a patient-centered manner has been the central focus of these efforts for many years.

She possesses a broad understanding of the complex healthcare ecosystem with specific expertise in value-based strategies, advanced provider payment models, primary care transformation, health data exchange/interoperability, healthcare systems, and health policy. She brings deep experience with provider payment models having worked with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City (Blue KC) on its primary care and value-based payment strategies, including shared-risk ACO contracting.

In her role at the American Academy of Family Physicians, Karen’s leadership include the FPM journal editorial staff, the Center for Payment Innovation focused on moving primary care payment toward appropriately funded, prospective models and the Center for Career and Practice with the mission of equipping family physicians to enjoy successful careers in a variety of practice settings and roles.

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