Newswise — Johnese Spisso, president of UCLA Health and CEO of UCLA Hospital System, has joined forces with nine other U.S. health system leaders to form the CEO Coalition and set new safety standards for the nation’s health care workers.  

The group issued a Declaration of Principles that expanded and redefined workforce safety to include emotional and psychological well-being, health justice and physical safety. 

“Safety is not an institution-based differentiator; it’s what every health care team member deserves,” said Spisso, who is also UCLA’s associate vice chancellor of health sciences. “Partnering with the coalition will allow UCLA Health to honor our staff’s incredible efforts to enhance patient care during the COVID-19 pandemic and to advance health equity, diversity and inclusion.”  

The coalition will also afford UCLA Health the opportunity to learn from other leading institutions, Spisso observed, and to address areas for improvement with greater speed and confidence.  

“When the pandemic began more than a year ago, none of us could have imagined its duration or toll,” said Spisso. “COVID-19 stretched our emotional capacity and challenged our assumptions. It forced us to bear witness to inequities in our communities and brought to light systemic challenges that we face as caregivers. We learned to be creative, to innovate and adapt to new working conditions.”