2014 Leaders in Health Care Awards: Outstanding Health Care Executive


Winners (TIE)

Johnese Spisso
Chief Health System Officer, UW Medicine; Vice President Medical Affairs, University of Washington

Making big changes in how an organization runs is never easy, and doing so at sprawling UW Medicine would daunt anyone. There, 25,000 employees care for patients across eight entities that include the University of Washington Medical Center, Northwest Hospital & Medical Center and Harborview Medical Center.

Johnese Spisso, the system’s chief health officer, seems unfazed, displaying the patience of the nurse she once was. During the past six years, she has led the transformation of UW Medicine into an Accountable Care Organization, where care is integrated across the entire system to control costs and improve patient outcomes. 

The transition complies with national health care reform, but Spisso also embraces it as a way to benefit patients, physicians and the public. 

The challenge was to get everyone on board, so Spisso phased in new performance-based systems that measure results, putting patients and their satisfaction at the center. Leadership teams developed goals clearly articulated at every level, with progress and feedback shared across all stakeholders. “It was a huge change,” Spisso says, “and we overcame resistance by showing we could make all boats rise for our system.”


Joyce Jackson

President and CEO, Northwest Kidney Centers

in her time at the helm of Northwest Kidney Centers, Joyce Jackson has watched the need for kidney dialysis become greater. Due to a rise in precursor conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure, one in seven adults in the United States now suffers from kidney disease, up 30 percent in the past decade.

That’s certainly not good news, but Jackson’s steady leadership helped strengthen the nonprofit center to take on the challenge. It now provides dialysis at 15 centers, more than double the number since the start of her 15-year tenure, with more than one-sixth of patients receiving dialysis at home. Survival outcomes, as well as transplant referrals, outperform national averages.

Jackson also drove the creation of the Kidney Research Institute, a collaboration with UW Medicine in which $35 million in federal grants now helps support 46 groundbreaking studies.

In the meantime, education to prevent kidney disease remains a core objective. Free classes to the public on nutrition and lifestyle habits may help reverse a disturbing trend.


Silver Award

Claire Trescott, M.D.
Director of Primary Care, Group Health Cooperative

Dr. Claire Trescott has led Group Health to groundbreaking health care reforms not just once, but twice. As a vigorous advocate of the “medical home” model of integrated care teams, she launched a pilot program that soon spread the patient-centered approach to all of Group Health’s 26 clinics. Trescott also helmed efforts to administer opioids such as oxycodone and hydrocodone more safely. Increased reliance on these drugs for chronic pain management had tripled rates of addiction and overdose. The new care plan would later contribute to a federal action plan to curb opioid abuse. 

The 2016 Washington Manufacturing Awards: Legacy Award

The 2016 Washington Manufacturing Awards: Legacy Award

Winner: Belshaw Adamatic Bakery Group
Legacy Award
Belshaw Adamatic Bakery Group
Auburn › belshaw-adamatic.com
When it’s time to make doughnuts — or loaves of bread, or sheets of rolls — it could well be a Belshaw Adamatic piece of equipment that’s turning out the baked goods. From a 120,000-square-foot plant in Auburn, Belshaw Adamatic produces the ovens, fryers, conveyors and specialty equipment like jelly injectors used by wholesale and retail bakeries.
The firm’s two legacy companies — Belshaw started in 1923, Adamatic in 1962 — combined forces in 2007. Italy’s Ali Group North America is the parent.
It it takes work to maintain a legacy. A months-long strike in 2013 damaged morale and forced a leadership change. Frank Chandler was named president and CEO of Belshaw Adamatic in September 2013. The company has since strived to mend workplace relationships while also introducing a stream of new products, such as a convection oven, the BX Eco-touch, with energy saving features and steam injection that can be programmed for precise times in baking. The company energetically describes it as “an oven that saves time, reduces errors, makes an awesome product, and is fun to use and depend on every day!”
So far, more than 3,000 have been installed in quick-service restaurants, bakeries, cafés and supermarkets in the United States. They are the legacy of Thomas and Walter Belshaw, former builders of marine engines, who began producing patented manual and automated doughnut-making machines in Seattle 90 years ago. They sold thousands worldwide and, today, Belshaw Adamatic is the nation’s largest maker and distributor of doughnut-making equipment.