MUSC Director of Health Promotion Selected as First Sustainability Leadership Initiative Fellow | MUSK

Susan L. Johnson, Ph.D., director of health promotion and assistant professor of graduate studies at MUSC College of Health Professions, has been selected to be part of the inaugural class of the Sustainability Leadership Initiative, sponsored by Sustain SC in partnership with Furman University’s Shi Institute for Sustainable Communities. Johnson was among 23 other South Carolina leaders and professionals approached to participate in the six-month Innovative Leadership Program.

This program brings together leaders focused on identifying pathways and solutions that relate to sustainability. Participants represent industry sectors and governmental and non-governmental organizations, with the aim of discussing and developing strategies for sustainable growth in Palmetto State.

“This experience will give me the opportunity to deepen my knowledge and leadership skills related to climate change, sustainability, resilience and impacts on health equity, disparities, quality of life and outcomes in health,” Johnson said. “Given the recent Grand Challenge on Climate Change and Human Health launched by the National Academy of Medicine, I believe that MUSC is well placed to play a leading role in this effort, and that my participation as SLI membership will allow me to expand my sphere of influence and serve as an engine of positive change within our organization, our community, our state, and our profession.

Johnson leads system-wide initiatives focused on organizational wellness and provides leadership in the development and implementation of health promotion to students, employees, visitors and the community of the three counties.

His many successful initiatives at MUSC have earned him recognition through several prevention awards and his inclusion in numerous publications. She was recently honored by the South Carolina Hospital Association’s Working Well Initiative and the Charleston Healthy Business Challenge. Other awards include SmokeFree Advocate of the Year, awarded by the Smoke Free Lowcountry Coalition; Rising Star winner of Influential Women in Business, by the Charleston Regional Business Journal; Prevention Partners Agent of change; and the Joseph P. Riley Award for Health and Welfare.

The six-month Innovative Leadership Program will consist of six sessions at Furman University from October 2021 to April 2022. Topics that will be covered include What is Sustainability, Systems Thinking, Leadership Across Boundaries, thinking about the future and storytelling of sustainability. Sessions will be led by Courtney Quinn, Ph.D., Director of the Sustainability Leadership Initiative.

“We hope that bringing industry, government and NGO representatives together for engaging discussions will help spur smart, sustainable growth in our state,” Quinn said.

Other inaugural members of the 2021 Sustainability Leadership Initiative include Blair Belk, Coca-Cola Consolidated; Jennifer Calabria, Pacolet Milliken; Trip Chavis, Milliken Advisors; Ashley Demosthenes, Lowcountry Land Trust; Julia Dietz, Audubon; Kristy Ellenberg, SC Department of Health and Environmental Control; Stinson Woodward Ferguson, Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd; Chantal Fryer, SC Department of Commerce; Lilyn Hester, Google; Rob Howell, Avison Young; Danny Kassis, Dominion Energy; Maurie Lawrence, Milliken & Company; Jennifer Mapes, Sage Automotive; Mark Messersmith, SC Ports Authority; Anne-Marie Moehering, Harper Construction; Cassidy Murphy, SC Farm Bureau; Jim Posda, GEL Engineering; Elizabeth Rhue, Sonoco; Susie Shannon, SC Council on Competitiveness; Travis Tarbet, BMW; Dale Threatt-Taylor, The Nature Conservancy-South Carolina; and Pam Vaughn, FujiFilm Manufacturing.

For more information, visit sustainsouthcarolina.org/sli.

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