Dr. James C. Johnston is an Honorary Professor of Neurology at Addis Ababa University, and established the 501(c)(3) non-profit organization Global NeuroCare to advance physician training, improve patient care and further medical research in Ethiopia and other developing regions. Global NeuroCare is accredited by the World Health Organization, and holds Special Consultative Status with the United Nations ECOSOC.
On behalf of Global NeuroCare, James C. Johnston, MD, JD strongly recommends forming ethically congruent collaborative partnerships focused on establishing self-sufficient local training programs in order to advance the recruitment, development, training and retention of healthcare workers in developing regions and thus improve healthcare access while protecting vulnerable populations. And Dr. Johnston condemns the harmful practices engendered by academic institutions engaging in self-serving medical missions which fail to provide any substantive benefit to the host nations and, in fact, impedes development of local medical care in the very regions it is most needed. (E/2019/NGO/19 Statement at 2019 High Level Political Forum).
This is the most effective means of improving neurological services - training local physicians, to treat local conditions, with the limited available resources in their community, followed by a focus on expanding resources. This is the approach adopted in Ethiopia through the neurology residency training program which has graduated over 50 neurologists in the past decade. These neurologists are treating many thousands of patients but more importantly, they are training the next generation of doctors how to manage common neurological conditions such as stroke, epilepsy, neuropathy, headache and similar disorders.
Dr. James C. Johnston and his Ethiopian colleague Professor Mehila Zebenigus have presented their recommendations and findings at the American Academy of Neurology meetings in Los Angeles and Philadelphia, and the World Congress for Medical Law conferences in Baku, Tel Aviv and Tokyo. In 2018, the World Association for Medical Law in conjunction with the Israeli Ministry of Health and Tel Aviv University honored Drs. Johnston and Zebenigus with the Inaugural Davies Award in Public Health for their work through Global NeuroCare.