Michael (Mike) Johnson profile photo

Michael (Mike) Johnson

Managing Director of Behavioral Health


A creative, solutions oriented leader who is passionate about improving quality in behavioral healthcare.






Michael Johnson leading an International Standards Advisory Committee to develop new standards for Medication Assisted Treatment Programs Michael Johnson at The National Council's Hill Day Michael Johnson moderates a town hall session titled: Behavioral Health: A National Perspectives Town Hall Michael Johnson presenting at the 2019 Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention executive committee meeting



Image for vimeo videos on Interview with CARF Behavioral Health Managing Director Michael Johnson



Experienced executive in behavioral healthcare. Expertise in mental health and substance use disorder delivery, strategy, performance metrics, and IT solutions. A dynamic, solutions oriented leader who seeks creative solutions to today's challenges in healthcare.

Areas of Expertise

Office Based Opioid Treatment (OBOT)Certified Community Behavioral Health ClinicsMental Health (Severe Mental Illness) Practice and PolicySuicide PreventionSubstance Use DisordersAddictions CounsellingPerformance ManagementMental illness stigmaAddiction Treatment


Leaders Leading Leaders Award | professional

Inaugural award winner from the Marcus Buckingham Company


Certified Addictions Professional | professional

Certified Addictions Professional, State of Florida



University of Central Florida

M.A., Communications


University of Central Florida

B.A., Interpersonal Communications


Media Appearances

New CARF standards address variability of care in office-based opioid treatment settings

CARF International  online


More than 170 advisory council participants and field review respondents provided feedback to create the first national best-practice framework. “Providers that attain this accreditation will be able to demonstrate to persons served, regulators, and payers that they offer a comprehensive array of services and supports designed to help persons served achieve recovery," says Michael Johnson, CARF’s managing director of behavioral health.

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Ill Treatment podcast

Ill Treatment  online


Michael Johnson was interviewed for the podcast 'Ill Treatment." The mission of Ill Treatment is, "To continuously improve in informing the public, in collaboration with other prominent figures within the field, by evaluating drug and alcohol addiction treatment organizations and inspiring them to safely and effectively make an informed decision on where to obtain the highest quality of care."

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Suicide prevention standards address public health crisis

CARF International  online


“In the United States, someone dies by suicide every 13 minutes. For veterans, that rate is roughly every 70 minutes,” says Michael Johnson, CARF’s managing director of Behavioral Health. “This is happening every hour, 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. But we don’t talk about it; it doesn’t consume our news cycle. We are responding to a crisis. We need to strengthen and mainstream a response that can get traction on a broad scale.”

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Aetna becomes first health insurer to join CARF’s International Advisory Council

CARF International  online


“CARF welcomes the new voice that Aetna offers to the IAC,” says Michael Johnson, CARF’s managing director of Behavioral Health. “Health insurers are integral players in the healthcare ecosystem. They are excellent data aggregators, able to see trends that no one else can see. Aetna brings more than 150 years of experience working closely with providers across a variety of healthcare arenas, learning what works and what does not work from a healthcare management standpoint.”

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Industry trends influence accreditation standards

Behavioral Healthcare Executive  online


According to Michael Johnson, managing director of behavioral healthcare accreditation at CARF, accreditation will make a difference to the whole system, especially as new integrated models progress, such as Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs). Accreditation should indicate that outcomes have been demonstrated, and that there is organizational efficiency. “I don’t think a hospital system that is responsible for managing finances in an ACO will be happy about going into business with an unaccredited behavioral health provider,” he says.

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CARF’s specialty standards for older adults address the coming demographic shift among persons served

CARF International  online


"We recognize that the treatment of older adults with behavioral healthcare needs requires special attention," says Michael Johnson, CARF's managing director for behavioral health. "As people age, they sometimes experience behavioral healthcare needs for the first time in their lives and, although this population is often underserved now, the demographic shift in our population will demand organizations meet their needs. We want to make sure that the needs of this population are addressed through specialty standards that focus on care coordination, training, and attention to their unique family circumstances. Having an Older Adults designation should help both persons served and organizations match up with each other for the benefit of both."

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Baby Boomers Haven't Forgotten How to Get High

Psychology Today  


Michael Johnson, M.A., C.A.P., Managing Director of the Behavioral Health Division at CARF International, stated, “We at CARF International are concerned about the growing substance misuse and addiction in the older population. We will be adding standards for providers to include drug education and assessments more thoroughly when serving older adults.”

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CARF International names Michael Johnson as managing director of the Behavioral Health accreditation area

CARF International  online


Michael W. Johnson, M.A., CAP, has accepted an appointment as the managing director of CARF International's Behavioral Health accreditation area.

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Event Appearances

Translating evidence to practice – Leveraging accreditation standards to promote best practices in suicide care

National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention executive committee meeting  Washington, DC


Measurement-Based Care

Addictions Executive Industry Summitt  Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida


Accreditation and Certification Programs For Medical Homes & Health Homes: Where Are We Now, & Where Are We Headed in the Future?

Open Minds  Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

The Future of Behavioral Healthcare, Keynote Address

Georgia Association of Community Service Boards  Chateau Elan, Georgia



3 reflections from the 2018 Zero Suicide International summit

CARF International


I attended the Zero Suicide International Summit this year to exchange ideas with global thought leaders on how to eliminate the public health crisis of suicide. I came away with many thoughts, but here are some of the highlights.

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Parity and the modern boom time for mental healthcare in the United States

CARF International


As CARF approaches its golden anniversary, we might be compelled to look back at what has been accomplished over the past 50 years. Although there have been many positive developments I could reflect on in the behavioral and mental health fields over that time period, I find myself wanting instead to discuss what is happening right now and what needs to happen moving forward. That is because what we are witnessing now is the most revolutionary period the field has ever seen. Folks in 50 years will be discussing the enormous impact of the events of today in the same way we look back at the deinstitutionalization movement of the 1960s.

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