Rita Essaian is Senior Vice President and Chief People Officer for Sharp HealthCare.

Rita Essaian

Senior Vice President and Chief People Officer
Sharp HealthCare

“Our people are the heartbeat of The Sharp Experience. I’m excited about the possibilities of partnering with our talented and caring people to deliver on a future where we create an exceptional experience for all.”

As Sharp HealthCare’s senior vice president and Chief People Officer, Rita Essaian provides leadership oversight to all areas of human resources and talent management, including strategy and operations, data analytics and technology, talent and workforce management, as well as organizational development. She directs and coordinates Sharp’s system strategies and programs to support Sharp’s culture, and helps advance the entire employee workforce so they can best serve patients, community members and their colleagues.

Essaian held various roles in human resources (HR), including the chief human resources officer role at Providence St. Joseph Health, South Division, in Irvine, Calif., where she was responsible for creating measurable value through and for people across the 25,000-employee organization. In her position, she provided a broad range of strategic HR services including talent management, organizational development, employee and labor relations, culture, workforce planning, and talent growth, development and planning for Providence sites throughout the state, which included 17 acute care ministries (hospitals).

Prior to Providence St. Joseph Health, Essaian was an executive leader of human resources at Kaiser Permanente, Southern California Permanente Medical Group. There, she was responsible for the strategic planning and operations of the HR department for one of the largest medical groups in Southern California with an operational budget of $10 billion and more than 10,000 physicians and administrative leaders. She was responsible for an HR staff of 120, providing services to 13 medical centers and over 200 medical office buildings.

She also taught for a decade as an adjunct professor at California State University, Long Beach and California State University, Los Angeles.

Essaian holds a bachelor of science in Business Administration with an emphasis in HR and a Master of Healthcare Administration from California State University, Long Beach. She also earned a doctor of management degree in Organizational Leadership from the University of Phoenix.