Headshot of Johnese Spisso

Johnese Spisso, MPA

CEO / President / Associate Vice Chancellor

UCLA Hospital System / UCLA Health / UCLA Health Sciences

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. A nationally recognized academic healthcare leader with more than 30 years of experience, she oversees all operations of UCLA’s hospitals and clinics as well as the health system’s regional outreach strategy. Before coming to UCLA, Ms. Spisso spent 22 years at UW Medicine in Seattle, where she was promoted from CNO to COO and to chief health system officer/vice president of medical affairs for the University of Washington. She served in the latter role from 2007 to 2016 and was responsible for two academic medical centers, two community hospitals, a network of community clinics and the Airlift Northwest flight program. While there, Ms. Spisso 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 was instrumental in leading the development of a statewide trauma system.

Prior to UW, as a registered nurse, Ms. Spisso rose through the ranks over 12 years at the University of California, Davis Medical Center and directed the critical care, trauma and burn center, emergency services, and the Life Flight Air-Medical Program. Before that, she began her career as a critical care nurse in the medical, surgical and transplant intensive care unit at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Presbyterian. She received a master’s degree in healthcare 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 credential 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.

Ms. Spisso is also active in community leadership. She has received numerous awards and recognition throughout her career, most recently being named to Modern Healthcare’s “Top 25 Women Leaders” list in 2019; The Los Angeles Business Journal’s “LA 500” most influential leaders in Los Angeles list in 2020; and Modern Healthcare’s “50 Most Influential Clinical Executives” in the U.S. list in 2020.


Hot Topic: Making Your Mark—Environmental, Social and Governance Impact for Healthcare Leaders

Presented by Kadesha Thomas Smith, Johnese Spisso, MPA, Michael Dowling, Wright L. Lassiter, III at 11:30 AM on Monday, April 11th.

From impact investing to advancing health equity efforts to leveraging sustainable energy to run hospitals, health systems are embracing broad strategies to improve the health and well-being of individuals and communities outside the four walls of their institutions. Join some of the most forward-thinking leaders in healthcare as they discuss their efforts to increase access…