Kevin Sowers, who started his health care career at Duke University Medical Center as an oncology nurse 32 years ago and rose to president of Duke University Hospital, has been named president of the $8 billion Johns Hopkins Health System in Baltimore.
Sowers, 56, was selected by Johns Hopkins trustees on Friday and will assume his new position on Feb. 1 as president of the Johns Hopkins Health System and as executive vice president of Johns Hopkins Medicine.
Sowers will replace Ronald Peterson, a 44-year veteran of Johns Hopkins, as president of a health care system that comprises six hospitals in Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Florida and includes a staff of more than 40,000.
“It’s an honor to be selected as the CEO of a world-class hospital with such highly skilled and dedicated faculty and staff,” Sowers said in a DukeHealth release. “I’m committed to furthering the hospital’s mission of providing excellence in patient care through the clinical translation of innovative research, while maintaining a healthy operational and financial foundation.”
Paul Rothman, CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine and dean of the medical faculty, called Sowers a “visionary leader” with a deep understanding of academic medical centers. Sowers will work with Rothman in overseeing the hospital system, which includes more than 40 outpatient primary health care sites, managed care plans, and global management and consulting services.
Fresh out of college in 1985 with a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the Capital University School of Nursing in Columbus, Ohio, Sowers joined Duke as an staff oncology nurse and received his first of many promotions, to assistant head nurse, the following year. In 1989, Sowers got a master’s degree nursing from Duke. In recent years he has been an adjunct professor at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health and at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business.
Before he became president of the 957-bed flagship Duke University Hospital, Sowers had been the hospital’s chief operating officer and interim CEO for Durham Regional Hospital. His 43-page resume includes extensive publications, national and international consulting roles, research, honors, presentations and professional affiliations.
Sowers will be joined in Baltimore by his partner, Anthony Evans.