Meet Dr. Summer

A life and career dedicated to the needs of children.

Dr. Johnson (better known as Dr. Summer) is a native of Kansas City, Missouri.  She is a strong believer in public education, having completed her K-12 experience with the Grandview Consolidated School District #4 in Grandview, Missouri.  She realized at a very young age that children’s voices are often not heard, being dismissed for those of older, more authoritative figures. She decided to dedicate her life to helping highlight the needs and ideas of children, helping them to assert themselves so that their personal insights are not overlooked.  She took a path toward psychology, attending Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in psychology in 1998. While enrolled, she was active with the student government for the general student body and specifically for African American students. She was also part of the university’s audition only choir.  Immediately upon graduating, Dr. Johnson moved to Atlanta, Georgia, enrolling at the Georgia School of Professional Psychology. While there, she served first as a representative, but then as president for their student government association. Dr. Johnson earned her Master of Arts degree in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in child and family assessment in 2001.  She transferred to the Forest Institute of Professional Psychology in Springfield, Missouri, earning her Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) degree in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy in 2006. She served as representative and eventually president of their student government association as well.

While enrolled at Forest, Dr. Johnson was very involved with the Missouri Psychological Association, serving as chair of the Student Affairs Committee and the State’s representative to the American Psychological Association for Graduate Students.  Upon graduating, she became the chair of the Diversity Committee for the Missouri Psychological Association. Within this capacity, she wrote articles for their publication The Missouri Psychologist, and also traveled the state providing seminars related to workplace diversity.

Dr. Johnson has worked within psychiatric hospitals, where she has provided therapy, consultation, and psychological assessment for severely and persistently mentally ill adults and youth with more acute psychiatric needs.  She moved to St. Louis County in 2008, being employed by a not-for-profit who provided services for children who had been removed from their homes due to child abuse and neglect. Most of her work has been with federally qualified health centers, with her previously working for Affinia Healthcare (formerly Grace Hill Health Centers) in St. Louis City, and now being employed by Compass Health Network (formerly Crider Health Center) in Wentzville, MO.  Dr. Johnson has spent much of her time during the last seven years completing evaluations that would help to determine whether a child has a learning disability or mental health diagnosis (frequently autism evaluation) that might impact functioning in school, and helping parents then advocate for their child to receive accommodations at school that might include either a 504 Plan or Individualized Education Program. This equates to twenty-two years’ experience serving as a child advocate.

Dr. Johnson adopted her eight year old son Dorian when he was a newborn in 2011 as a single parent.  Dorian is a student at Willow Brook Elementary School, having been enrolled since kindergarten. He is active in Cub Scout Pack 769 and loves video gaming.  When he grows up, he would like to be a YouTuber. The family also has a Yorkie Poo named Willoughby. Dr. Johnson has a history of participating in both the Kansas City Symphony Chorus and more recently the St. Louis Symphony, IN UNISON chorus.  She is an active member of her sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha, Sorority, Inc., where she serves on a committee addressing community and political connections, as well as working to bring greater awareness to the arts.