The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

Local News

November 15, 2008

Psychiatrist starts practice in Palestine

PALESTINE — Newcomer psychiatrist Dr. Vernon Johnson has jumped in to his job with both feet.

After 14 years at a practice in Sherman, the East Texas native was persuaded to make a move to Palestine by his best friend and local psychiatrist Dr. Brad Brazeal, who was “going it alone” in servicing the mental health needs in the area.

“After Dr. (Roger) Butler left, there was an big need for psychiatric service in the community,” Johnson said. “All Dr. Brazeal said was ’I need help,’ and I decided to come.”

Johnson will join his friend Brazeal at Palestine Regional Medical Center on the adult and geriatric psychiatric units, while working at his full time outpatient practice opening Monday.

“In my own practice, I will be caring for children, adolescents and adults with mental health needs,” he said. “I also work with teens and young adults at Sundown Ranch, a chemical dependency rehabilitation center.”

Johnson also has been visiting with diagnosticians, nurses and special education teachers in county school districts to inform them about his willingness to work with students.

“I have always enjoyed working with schools and directly caring for those with special needs, learning disabilities or who have behavioral problems,” Johnson said. “I want them to know I can be called upon to assist them in working with the students.”

Johnson was born in Nacogdoches and grew up in Center, graduating as valedictorian from Center High in 1980. After completing undergraduate studies at Rice University, Johnson attended medical school at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston.

He completed his internship in general pediatrics at UT Health Science Center in Houston and then returned to UTMB Galveston to complete his residency in general psychiatry.

Also at UTMB, Johnson served at president of the house staff and did two fellowships in child and adolescent psychiatry. He is certified to treat adults, as well as children and teens.

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