Selkirk Mental Health Centre
Keeping Our History Alive!
Doctor   Edward   Johnson,   MD ,   graduated   from   the   Manitoba   School   of Medicine in 1928. He   joined   the   staff   of      SMHC   as   a   psychiatrist   in   1928   and   completed   post- graduate   studies   in   psychiatry   at   the   Harvard   University   in   Boston   and   the John Hopkins Clinic in Baltimore. He    was    initially    the    Assistant    Medical    Superintendent    and    eventually appointed   Superintendent   of   the   Institution   in   1943;   a   position   he   held   until   1959 when    he    was    appointed    Provincial    Psychiatrist    for    Manitoba.    In    1953    Doctor Johnson   was   awarded   by   the   American   Psychiatric   Association   a   special   merit   for administration.   Under   Dr   Johnson’s   guidance,   the   SMHC   received   the   first   ever award   granted   by   the   American   Psychiatric   Association   for   the   advancement   of care and treatment of patients in mental hospitals. Dr   Johnson   was   also   the   pioneer   of   the   open   ward   policy.   It   is   interesting   to   note that    in    1939,    Dr    Johnson    wrote    a    paper    for    the    Canadian    Medical    Journal highlighting     the     tremendous     benefits     for     Insulin     Shock     Treatment     for Schizophrenic   patients.   This   paper   can   be   read   on   the   Archive   web   site   under “articles   &   links.   From   1958   to   1959   he   served   as   President   for   the   Manitoba Medical Association. During   his   stay   at   Selkirk   he   was   an   active   Rotarian,   he   bowled,   took   figure skating   lessons   and   along   with   his   wife   Eleanor   was   a   member   of   a   square   dance club. Over   the   years,   his   droll   sense   of   humour   served   him   well.   At   the   age   of   ninety-two he   was   admitted   to   the   hospital   with   a   suspected   hip   fracture.   Eleanor,   his   wife   of sixty   years   sat   at   his   bedside   while   the   students   assessed   his   “mental   acuity.”   He answered   all   their   questions,   then,   aware   that   his   wife   was   without   her   hearing   aid, responded   “I   never   saw   her   before   in   my   life,”   to   the   final   question   as   to   his knowledge of who she was. After   a   long   and   distinguished   career   Dr   Johnson   retired   in   1967,   worked   in   private practice in Winnipeg and died in October 1994 at age 92 years. As    a    note    of    interest;    Dr.    Mary    Anne    Johnson,    the    niece    of    Dr.    Johnson,    is continuing in the family footsteps and works at SMHC as a psychologist.