Dr. Mark Johnson: A 2019 Iowa Hospital Hero

Dr. Mark Johnson, emergency department physician at Cass County Health System in Atlantic, was among 11 Iowa Hospital Heroes recognized at the 2019 IHA Annual Meeting in October.

Dr. Johnson received his medical degree from the University of Iowa College of Medicine in 1984. After completing his residency at the Broadlawns Family Medicine Residency Program, he returned to his hometown of Atlantic in 1987. After many years of working at Atlantic Medical Center and the emergency department (ED), he transferred full-time to the ED in 2012, where he still works today.

During his career, he’s seen more than his fair share of chaos and helped patients and families whose emotions have ranged from joy to sorrow to anger – and everything in between.

“He is the calm in the storm for patients and for the staff,” said Regina Hansen, RN. “He has a way with leading a team through a crisis that kept everyone focused and ready to take it on.”

Whether in the clinic or ED, Dr. Johnson has always gone out of his way to help patients. “He would say ‘There was a reason God put them into my schedule today.’ His attitude was always ‘They need me, we need to fit them in’ even if his schedule was full,” said Regina.

The same passion to serve others and make time for them is echoed by how he interacts with staff, too.

“He takes the time to make eye contact and say good morning or good evening to everyone who is working,” said Judi Nelson, RN. “He’s also not afraid to jump in and do any task. There is never ‘nurse tasks’ or ‘physician tasks.’  It doesn’t matter! He pitches in wherever he is needed.”

Dr. Johnson truly exemplifies what it means to be a hospital hero. It was never about a single moment in his career where he sprinted in to save the day, even though there have been many of those moments. For him, it’s been a steadfast career of service to the patients, families and neighbors in his community. His quiet style of servant leadership is admired by his staff, and his patients praise him for the superior experience he delivers.