For first time, Memorial Hermann names physician as CEO: 10 things to know

Memorial Hermann Health System in Houston has named Benjamin K. Chu, MD, president and CEO, effective June 2016.

Here are 10 things to know about Dr. Chu.

1. Dr. Chu, a national thought leader in the healthcare industry, will be the first physician to lead Memorial Hermann.

2. He has had a four-decade long career as a physician, administrator and policy advocate.

3. Dr. Chu currently serves as executive vice president of Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and Health Plan, and group president of Kaiser Permanente Southern California and Georgia regions. In his role, he directs health plan and hospital operations for 14 hospitals and 237 medical offices, serving more than 4.5 million members in Southern California and Georgia.

4. Dr. Chu has helped set the short and long-term strategies of Oakland, Calif.-based Kaiser Permanente with an emphasis on quality and patient safety, physician integration and population health, hospital officials said.

5. In his career with Kaiser Permanente, Dr. Chu focused on quality, patient safety and service delivery resulting in a number of national accolades. He effectively implemented a fully-integrated EHR system and population health management tools and expanded the network of health plan members to 10.5 million for the program. Notably, he also successfully managed a multi-year, $13 billion capital program.

6. Prior to joining Kaiser Permanente, Dr. Chu was president of New York City's Health and Hospitals Corp., now NYC Health + Hospitals. He also previously served as acting commissioner of health for the New York City Department of Health.

7. Additionally, Dr. Chu was previously senior associate dean at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City, and was associate dean and vice president for clinical affairs at New York University School of Medicine and Medical Center.

8. He is also a policy advocate. In 2014, Dr. Chu was elected chairman of the American Hospital Association Board of Trustees.

9. Dr. Chu earned his medical degree at New York University, his master's degree in public health from Columbia University and a bachelor's degree in psychology from Yale University in New Haven, Conn.

10. "Ben is a proven leader with extensive national experience and a demonstrated ability to elevate an organization to the next level," Will Williams, Memorial Hermann board chairman, said in a prepared statement. "We are confident he will be able to continue our mission of advancing health in Southeast Texas."



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