SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Sutter Health has named two new hospital CEOs in the Bay Area: Hamila Kownacki as CEO of Sutter’s California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC) in San Francisco; and Darian Harris will serve as CEO of Sutter’s Mills-Peninsula Medical Center (MPMC) in Burlingame and San Mateo, Calif. Kownacki is a 20-plus-year veteran of Sutter Health and CPMC. She was named interim CEO at CPMC in early 2023 and officially began her new role on May 30. Harris is new to Sutter Health and begins his position on July 24.
“We are pleased to elevate Hamila and welcome Darian to their respective chief executive roles,” said Mark Sevco, Sutter Health chief operating officer. “Each will be keenly focused on further integrating CPMC’s and MPMC’s acute care services within the larger Sutter system, so that patients who want and need to see us can easily do so. They will also work to strengthen and grow Sutter’s physician relationships and community partnerships. Additionally, Hamila and Darian are people-first leaders. They share a commitment to investing in people and developing talent, so that our hospitals can continue to deliver high-quality, equitable patient care, while also serving as a place where physicians and other support staff want to work and build their medical careers.”
Meet Hamila Kownacki, R.N., MSHA
Kownacki’s new leadership role caps more than two decades at CPMC, including serving as the medical center’s chief operating officer for eight years. She is the first woman and registered nurse to lead CPMC in the hospital’s more than 100-year history.
Kownacki brings extensive clinical, administrative and strategic experience to the CEO position. In addition to overseeing operations and outpatient services at CPMC’s three hospital campuses (Davies, Mission Bernal and Van Ness), she has driven numerous adult tertiary and quaternary programs, many of which have earned high levels of distinction and excellence in quality under her leadership. Kownacki also oversaw the opening of two new hospitals: CPMC Mission Bernal (2018) and CPMC Van Ness (2019).
“It is my true honor to be able to serve our patients alongside our talented and dedicated care team at CPMC,” said Kownacki.
Kownacki has a heart for building relationships and supporting diverse communities. She is on multiple boards for Sutter Health ventures including the Presidio Surgery Center (co-chair), the San Francisco Endoscopy Center (chair), and California Pacific Advanced Imaging (chair). As a longtime resident of the city, Kownacki’s care for the local community extends to leadership roles beyond Sutter, too. She is a board member for San Francisco’s Meals on Wheels and served as chair of the National Kidney Foundation Walk in 2017.
Most recently, she was board chair of Donor Network West, a nonprofit organ procurement organization in Northern California and Nevada. Kownacki also previously served on the board of the Jewish Vocational Services in San Francisco, an organization whose mission is to assist with improving the lives of refugees and immigrants in the Bay Area. In 2020, the San Francisco Business Times recognized Kownacki as one of its Most Influential Women in Bay Area Business.
Kownacki received her nursing degree from College of the Desert and began her career as a registered nurse with a specialty in oncology and intensive care. She earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration at California State University, Northridge and her Master of Health Administration at Saint Mary’s College. She continues to maintain her registered nursing license.
Meet Darian Harris, MHA
Darian Harris joins Sutter Health as CEO of Sutter’s Mills-Peninsula Medical Center in Burlingame and San Mateo, Calif. He most recently served as the chief executive for Providence St. Joseph Hospital and Providence Redwood Memorial Hospital in Northern California’s Humboldt County where he had accountability for all quality, safety, physician and caregiver engagement, patient experience, strategic and business development, as well as the overall fiscal performance of both facilities. Prior to this role, he served as the chief executive for Providence’s Healdsburg and Petaluma Valley hospitals in Sonoma County. Before joining Providence, Harris held a variety of operational and strategic health care roles at Kaiser Permanente and at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Harris holds a master’s degree in healthcare administration from the University of Washington and a bachelor’s degree in health services management from East Carolina University, where he was as an assistant clinical professor, focusing on health care operations management and patient flow.
Harris was recognized in 2022 by the North Bay Business Journal in their “Forty under 40” recognition series as a leader who has demonstrated unique leadership skills early in his career. He has a track record of working to expand access to quality health care and attract educationally and ethnically diverse young professionals into the field.
“I am thrilled to join the Mills-Peninsula team,” said Harris. “One of my immediate focus areas will be on further strengthening the connectivity between Sutter medical groups, physicians and community partners to create more seamless pathways of care for our patients so that every care experience is a good one.”
About Sutter Health
Sutter Health’s integrated, not-for-profit system of associated clinicians, employees and volunteers support more than 3 million patients in diverse communities across 22 counties. Headquartered in Northern California, Sutter Health provides access to high quality, affordable care through its hospitals, medical foundations, ambulatory surgery centers, urgent and walk-in care centers, telehealth, home health and hospice services.