After serving as President and Chief Executive Officer of Rady Children’s Hospital and Health Center, Dr. Donald B. Kearns transitioned to President Emeritus in 2019—a newly-created role. Rady Children’s is a 551- bed pediatric care facility providing the largest source of comprehensive pediatric medical services in San Diego, Southern Riverside, and Imperial counties, and the region’s only designated pediatric trauma center. As one of the premier pediatric hospitals in the nation, Rady Children’s is ranked by U .S. News & World Report as one of America’s best surveyed.
Kearns practiced Pediatric Otolaryngology at Rady Children’s for more than 25 years. He was involved in numerous aspects of the hospital’s growth and development, serving in various leadership positions, including Chairman of the Department of Surgery, Surgeon-in-Chief, and Chief Medical Officer of Rady Children’s.
Kearns earned his medical degree from Louisiana State University School of Medicine and completed a Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery residency at Baylor College of Medicine. He pursued fellowship training in Pediatric Otolaryngology at The Hospital for Sick Children Great Ormond Street in London, England. He earned a Master of Medical Management degree from the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California.
With extensive involvement in the medical field, Kearns is a Clinical Professor of Surgery at the University of California, San Diego, and has published and lectured extensively on both clinical and administrative topics. He is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Physician Executives, and a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives.
He previously served as Chair for March for Babies, San Diego, and is a member of Symposiums to End Homelessness in San Diego. He serves on the Board of Directors of The Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute, The Rady Children’s Institute for Genomic Medicine, The San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation, The San Diego Strategic Roundtable, and The Children’s Initiative. He also serves as an emeritus board member for Teach for America, San Diego.