Johnese Spisso is president of UCLA Health, CEO of UCLA Hospital System and associate vice chancellor of UCLA Health Sciences, overseeing all operations for UCLA’s hospitals and clinics as well as the health system’s regional outreach strategy.
A nationally recognized academic health care leader with more than 30 years of experience, she was previously the chief health system officer for UW Medicine and the vice president for medical affairs at the University of Washington. Spisso worked at UW Medicine for more than 20 years, where she was promoted from associate administrator of patient care services to chief nursing officer to chief operating officer at Harborview Medical Center prior to being promoted in 2007 to chief health system officer for UW Medicine. Before joining UW Medicine, Spisso worked at the UC Davis Medical Center for 12 years. She started her career as a registered nurse at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center — Presbyterian.
She has published numerous articles and book chapters on health care leadership and trauma systems. Spisso is invited to speak nationally on a variety of health care leadership topics and has served extensively as a site surveyor for trauma center designations in other states.
Spisso has received numerous awards and recognition throughout her career, most recently being named to Modern Healthcare’s Top 25 Most Influential Women Leaders in 2019, LA Business Journal’s 500 Most Influential Leaders in Los Angeles in 2020 and 2021, Modern Healthcare’s Top 50 Clinical Leaders of 2020 in the U.S., the Los Angeles Business Journal Women of Influence Award for Health Care in 2021 and Modern Healthcare’s 50 Most Influential Leaders in the U.S. for Health Care in 2021.
Spisso graduated from St. Francis School of Nursing. She earned a bachelor’s degree in health sciences from Chapman College and a master’s degree in health care administration and public administration from the University of San Francisco.