Karen Descent


Chief Nurse Executive, Manteca/Modesto Medical Center

Karen Descent was named Chief Nurse Executive for Kaiser Permanente in the Central Valley in July 2020. In her role, Karen is responsible for leadership and oversight of nursing practice for Kaiser Foundation Hospitals in Manteca and Modesto, and the Ambulatory Surgery Unit in Stockton.

Karen is an accomplished nurse executive with more than 30 years of progressive management experience from small independent facilities to large multi-facility health care organizations. She received her Doctor of Nursing Practice from the University of San Francisco in 2023, and holds a Master of Science in Nursing Leadership and Management from Walden University. Karen previously served as the Chief Nursing Officer of Parkview Community Hospital Medical Center in Riverside, CA.

Karen has also held positions at St. Francis Medical Center, Northeastern Nevada Regional Hospital, JFK Memorial Hospital, and here locally at Sutter Health Tracy Community Hospital, and Sutter Health Memorial Medical Center in Modesto.

Throughout her career, Karen led many initiatives that include: Decreased hospital acquired conditions through focused leadership rounding and staff education; Improved patient experience across all measurement categories; Increased quality and financial acumen through nursing leadership development; Improved physician and nursing collaboration through physician-led education huddles; and the development of new grad and specialty training programs.