NEWS | November 7, 2018

New Josie King Hero Award presented to Lift Team's Johnny Vera


Photo of Josie King Award presentation
From left to right, Gregory Maynard, JoAnne Natale, Brad Simmons, Johnny Vera, Toby Marsh and Sorrel King were part of the new Josie King Hero Award presentation.

UC Davis Health has instituted a new award to honor employees, who have contributed to a culture of patient safety at UC Davis Medical Center, the Josie King Hero Award. Developed by the Quality and Safety Council, this award was presented for the first time last Thursday at the UC Davis Children’s Hospital Symposium. 

Johnny Vera, Lift Team supervisor, was the first recipient for his contributions every day to the patients he serves.

"His actions exemplify the relational and therapeutic practices of attuning, wondering, following and holding that we should all strive to achieve. Johnny is truly an exceptional hero, an inspirational caregiver and a wonderful example for each and every caregiver in our hospital," said Sorrel King, internationally renowned advocate for patient safety after her daughter Josie died at Johns Hopkins Medical Center through medical error. King presented Vera with the award. 

Vera was surprised and honored to receive this new award.

"I just want to say thank you to everyone here, especially to all of my Lift Team for always being my support," Vera said.

The Josie King Award will be presented each month. The following criteria is to be considered when nominating an employee:

• Listening to patient or family concerns, encouraging them to speak up for safety and ask questions.
• Improving communication or teamwork.
• Identifying good catches, near misses and fixing them before patient harm occurs.
• Caregivers that set an example for others every day and inspire positive change.
• Encouraging colleagues to speak up for safety and promoting a psychological safety.

To nominate an employee, visit