Johnese Spisso assumed the position of President of UCLA Health, CEO of UCLA Hospital System and Associate Vice Chancellor of UCLA Health Sciences in 2016. She is a nationally recognized academic healthcare leader with more than 30 years of experience, and oversees all operations of UCLA’s hospitals and clinics as well as the health system’s regional outreach strategy.
Before coming to UCLA, Spisso spent 20 years at UW Medicine, in Seattle, Washington, where she was chief health system officer and vice president of medical affairs for the University of Washington. While there, she played a major role in expanding collaborations with regional hospitals and in the operational integration of two major community hospitals into UW Medicine. She also helped to lead development of a statewide trauma system.
A registered nurse, Spisso rose through the ranks at UC Davis Medical Center to direct critical care; trauma, burn and emergency services; and the Life Flight Air-Medical Program. Before that, she was a critical-care nurse in the medical, surgical and transplant intensive care unit at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Presbyterian.
Spisso received a master’s degree in health care administration and public administration from the University of San Francisco, and a bachelor’s degree in health sciences from Chapman College. She earned her RN at the St. Francis School of Nursing. She has published numerous articles and book chapters on healthcare leadership, and she serves on several national boards, including the American Association of Medical Colleges’ Council of Teaching Hospitals and Health Systems.