This is an archived article.

June 21, 2007

Spisso appointed UW Medicine clinical operations officer

Johnese Spisso, chief operating officer for Harborview Medical Center, has been appointed to the new position of clinical operations officer (COO) for UW Medicine and vice president for medical affairs (VPMA) for the UW, effective July 1.


The position was created to provide greater clinical and operational coordination among the clinical components of the UW Medicine system — the medical centers, clinics, and clinically active faculty.


The UW Medicine system includes Harborview Medical Center, UW Medical Center, UW Medicine Neighborhood Clinics, UW Physicians practice plan, and the UW School of Medicine.

In her new role, Spisso will provide executive leadership that supports the vision, mission and values of UW Medicine while fostering effective and efficient UW Medicine clinical program operations, growth and development. She will be responsible for optimizing the operational effectiveness of the various UW Medicine clinical units, while balancing efficiency, quality, safety, cost, and access. She will also serve as chair of the UW Physicians Network (UWPN) Board, the Airlift Northwest Board and UW Medicine Human Resources Steering Committee. In addition, she will work with the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and Children’s University Medical Group. Spisso will report directly to Dr. Paul Ramsey, chief executive officer for UW Medicine and executive vice president for medical affairs for the University of Washington.

Since May of 2000, Spisso has served as Harborview’s chief operating officer. She joined the medical center in January 1994 as the assistant administrator for patient care services. In November 1996, she was promoted to the position of chief nursing officer and associate administrator for patient care services at Harborview. She also holds a clinical faculty appointment in the UW School of Nursing.

Spisso has a master’s degree in health administration/ public health from the University of San Francisco, as well as a bachelor’s degree in health sciences from Chapman College in Orange, Calif. She completed her training as a registered nurse at St. Francis School of Nursing, New Castle, Pa.

In 2006, Spisso was named one of the 20 most influential women in business in Washington state by the Puget Sound Business Journal.