"My interest in helping children with complex airway, breathing, and swallowing conditions is one avenue to have a positive impact on some of our most important functions of interactive life. Working in medical simulation has allowed me to find ways to teach others to provide this care in a more effective way. I feel lucky to be at a place like the Seattle Children's and the University of Washington where I can work in all these areas in one amazing place."


Dr. Johnson is the director of the Aerodigestive Center and practices at Seattle Children's main campus and Bellevue Clinic and Surgery Center. He is an associate professor of otolaryngology - head and neck surgery at the University of Washington School of Medicine. He is a native of the northwest, but did his medical school in southern California and residency in Virginia before completing a fellowship in pediatric otolaryngology at Cincinnati Children's Hospital and working there after his fellowship.

He began working at Seattle Children's Hospital in 2013 and started seeing patients for the Aerodigestive Center later that year. The work he began in Cincinnati on medical simulation has continued through his work at the Learning and Simulation Center at Seattle Children's Hospital and the UW Institute for Simulation and Interprofessional Studies.


Undergraduate Education: Seattle Pacific University, Seattle, Wash., 2000

Medical School: Loma Linda University School of Medicine, Loma Linda, Cal., 2004

Internship: Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk, Va., 2005

Residency: Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk, VAa., 2009

Fellowship: Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio, 2011

Board Certification: Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, 2010

Memberships: American Medical Association, American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, Society for Simulation in Healthcare, Association for Surgical Education

Awards and honors 

2010: Unsung Heroes Award Winner, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center
2009: Eunice Baxter Award for Outstanding Chief Surgical Resident at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital
2009: 1st Place, Resident Podium Presentations, Virginia Society of Otolaryngology Annual Meeting
2007: 1st Place, Resident Research Award, Basic Science Category, AAO-HNSF
2004: Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society Member
College Recipient of Servant Scholar of the Year Award
SPU Scholar Award Winner (largest academic scholarship)
College Crew Team Scholar Athlete Award winner, qualified for National Crew Regatta

Academic interests 


Aerodigestive conditions including complex airway, breathing, and swallowing issues, aspiration, laryngeal clefts, airway reconstruction, subglottic stenosis, obstructive sleep apnea, voice, and tracheotomy management. Additional interests include sinus and ear disease, and craniofacial disorders.



Dr. Johnson's primary research interests center on aerodigestive and airway conditions including aspiration and airway evaluation. He also participates in medical simulation research and directs courses aimed at improving medical education and procedural competency.


Recent Publications

Sawyer T, Johnson K. Neonatal Intubation: Past, Present, and Future., Neoreviews 2020 05; 21(5):e335-e341

Parikh SR, Bly RA, Bonilla-Velez J, Dahl JP, Evans SS, Horn DL, Johnson KE, Manning SC, Ou HC, Pattisapu P, Perkins JA, Sie KCY. Pediatric Otolaryngology Divisional and Institutional Preparatory Response at Seattle Children's Hospital after COVID-19 Regional Exposure., Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2020 06; 162(6):800-803

Zenner K, Bonilla-Velez J, Johnson K, Bly RA. Slide Tracheoplasty to Repair Stenotic Tracheal Cartilaginous Sleeve with Advanced Surgical Planning., Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2020 08; 163(2):391-393

Ong T, Liu CC, Elder L, Hill L, Abts M, Dahl JP, Evans KN, Parikh SR, Soares JJ, Striegl AM, Whitlock KB, Johnson KE. The Trach Safe Initiative: A Quality Improvement Initiative to Reduce Mortality among Pediatric Tracheostomy Patients., Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2020 Aug; 163(2):221-231

Zheng H, Iyer RS, Pacheco MC, Soares JJ, Johnson K, Len M, Ambartsumyan L. Respiratory infections and chronic cough due to triple A (Allgrove) syndrome., 2020 Mar; 8(3):437-440