Where do you want to work?
US Acute Care Solutions serves more than 220 hospitals in 20 states. We want to help you learn about our locations by meeting physicians who practice there.
Dr. Christopher Johnston recently answered a few of our questions to help us learn more about his location in beautiful Westminster, Colorado.
Q. What drew you to your area of Colorado?
Colorado is my home – it’s where I grew up. It’s where my family is, it’s where I trained. I love fly fishing and backpacking in the summer, snowboarding in the winter.
Q. What do you enjoy about the St. Anthony’s locations?
It’s nice to have a partner within Centura who values compassion, respect, integrity, and caring for patients first.
Q. What is unique about your hospital & location that you don’t think you would find anywhere else?
I’m able to rotate between the hospitals – it allows me to have diversity in practice: a Level I Trauma Center as well as truly a community hospital. Variety and diversity of practice is what I like, and I don’t think you get most places.
Q. What are some major health concerns/unique challenges for the specific population you serve?
We do see a lot of trauma, especially coming out of mountains. We’ve also seen a lot of the opioid epidemic head on – we were among the first EDs to start intensive treatments for opioid addicts in the ED.
Q. What kinds of opportunities can a physician expect at St. Anthony’s and at US Acute Care Solutions?
Both have given me great opportunities for me personally and in my career growth development – in my practice, in continuing education. Both the medical staff & USACS administratively have really opened the door for me in my career.
Q. How do you feel that USACS has supported you with challenges or opportunities?
The biggest way has certainly been in my career growth. I took over as medical director three years ago, and it has been great for my career.
Q. What’s the best advice you ever received as a physician?
If you always put patients first and maintain professionalism, you’ll always be okay.
Q. What’s the most important advice you give to new physicians?
Once you get your clinical legs under you; it’s really important to diversify your career in an avenue available to you: education, advocacy, whatever you’re interested in. It’s important to have a healthy, diverse career. We’re lucky enough to have opportunities as physicians, so diversify and seek out opportunities.
Q. What would you say to someone considering a position at your hospital?
This is an amazing place to live & work! If you like the outdoors & playing outside; we’ve got it all.
And here as a doctor, we get to see everything, and stay on the clinical edge of things in terms of medically based assisted treatment, and all the latest technology.
Q. Tell me more about the community you serve and why you stay?
Our community in Western & North Colorado is in a rapidly growing area of Colorado that has its challenges but also exciting opportunities. A lot of trauma comes out of the mountains in terms of injuries. It’s also a little more diverse in our urban community hospital.
Q. What do you do to encourage a quality work environment?
I do my best to maintain openness & transparency – if anyone has questions or concerns we address those up front.
Q. What are some of the reasons you became a physician?
My interest started in college, I was working as an EMT on an ambulance in the Golden community. It lit a fire in me, and carried me through – it took me all the way through college and medical school and into my own ED.
Q. Can you share with me one of your memorable moments as a physician?
Everybody’s got those cases, mine include saving a 14-year-old’s vision and watching a patient walk out of the hospital who I thought might not. Those cases re-energize me and remind me why what we do is important.
About Christopher Johnston
Dr. Christopher Johnston is the ED medical director at St. Anthony’s North Health Campus and the 84th Avenue Neighborhood Health Center, both in Westminster, Colorado. He also works as a staff physician at St Anthony’s Hospital in Lakewood, CO.
Dr. Johnston received his undergraduate degree in biology with a minor in religious studies at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He then went on to receive his medical degree at Saint Louis University School of Medicine in St Louis, MO. Dr. Johnston completed his emergency medicine residency at Denver Health Medical Center as chief resident.
Dr. Johnston completed the Colorado chapter of the American College of Emergency Physician’s leadership Fellowship and now sits on the board for Colorado ACEP. His interests include addressing the current opioid epidemic and wilderness medicine.
In addition to spending time with his wife, Dr. Johnston enjoys snowboarding in the winter and fly fishing in the summer.