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Kiersten Johnson

Research Public Health Analyst


PhD, Psychology, North Carolina State University
MS, Psychology, North Carolina State University
BS, Psychology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Kiersten Johnson, PhD, is a public health researcher at RTI. Dr. Johnson’s research centers on the effectiveness of behavioral health services to enhance the well-being of individuals and communities, including underserved and marginalized populations. She leads implementation and outcome evaluations across various treatment modalities, such as crisis care, telehealth, and outpatient treatment.

Dr. Johnson, who joined RTI in 2016, currently leads multiple studies on behavioral health crisis services, including a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)-funded study to design an evaluation of 988 and the crisis continuum. She is co-investigator on a National Institute of Justice (NIJ) grant focused on the delivery of telehealth services for trauma-exposed victims of crime, as well as a Centers for Disease and Prevention (CDC)-funded cluster randomized controlled trial to test the effectiveness of a novel intervention on substance use, overdose, and adverse childhood experiences.

Dr. Johnson’s work also includes a focus on substance use, including roles as lead of RTI’s outreach and dissemination team for the Bureau of Justice Assistance’s (BJA’s) Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant, and Substance Use Program (COSSAP) and assistant project director for the Opioid Response Network, as a subcontractor to the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry.

Previously at RTI, she led a SAMHSA-funded national evaluation of assisted outpatient treatment programs and was co-investigator on a National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)-funded R01 study of violence and victimization among adults with mental illness.

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