USM Foundation

Crystal Watkins Johansson, M.D., PH.D., DF-APA

Chair, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health MedStar Harbor Hospital

Dr. Crystal Watkins is a native of Baltimore. She became the first female Meyerhoff Scholar from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, to earn a medical degree and doctorate (M.D./Ph.D) and one of only a few African-American women to earn a doctorate in molecular and cellular neuroscience from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. In June 2021, she was named the Chief of Psychiatry and Operational Chair of the Department of Behavioral Health Services at Medstar Harbor Hospital.

Dr. Watkins is recognized nationally as a leading clinician and researcher in studies of resilience and coping capacity in the geriatric population. Her research focuses on coping mechanisms and psychiatric interventions for older adults, patients with dementia and caregivers to help manage depression and isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic.

During her career, she has been honored as Physician of the Year and recognized as one of Maryland’s Top 100-Women by the Daily Record, and was named the Johns Hopkins University Young Alumna of the Year and the UMBC Aluma of the Year in Mathematics and Science. In March 2021, she was named a Distinguished Fellow by the American Psychiatric Association, one of the highest honors given by the organization.

Dr. Watkins has positioned herself as an advocate for Baltimore and she is especially interested in closing Baltimore’s socio-economic divide that contributes to health disparities. She helped co-found a literacy program for elementary students and volunteers as a teacher for a school-based adolescent depression awareness program. Internationally, she has participated in medical missions to Ghana, The Gambia, and Guatemala. She previously served on the boards of the Jewish Museum of Maryland and the Maryland Psychiatric Society. She is a member of the 2016 Class of The LEADERship sponsored by the Greater Baltimore Committee.

Dr. Watkins is a member of The Links, Incorporated, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, and Jack and Jill of America. She is married to Nicholas Johansson and they have four children, ages 14, 9, and 3-year old twins.

Crystal Watkins Johansson, M.D., PH.D., DF-APA

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