Chu to chair AHA board

He brings ‘tremen­dous back­ground’: Umb­den­stock

Modern Healthcare - - The Week in Healthcare - Jessica Zig­mond

Dr. Ben­jamin Chu of Kaiser Fam­ily Foun­da­tion Hos­pi­tals and Health Plan will be­come the 44th physi­cian—and the first doc­tor since 1969—to serve as chair­man of the Amer­i­can Hos­pi­tal As­so­ci­a­tion’s board of trustees, be­gin­ning in 2013.

The AHA last week named Chu as chair-elect des­ig­nate; his term at the helm of the AHA’s board will fol­low that of Teri Fon­tenot, pres­i­dent and CEO of Woman’s Hos­pi­tal in Ba­ton Rouge, La., who will serve as chair­woman of the board from 2012 to 2013. John Blu­ford, pres­i­dent and CEO of Tru­man Med­i­cal Cen­ters in Kansas City, Mo., was in­duct- ed as the AHA’s cur­rent chair­man of the board in April.

“First and fore­most, Ben brings a tremen­dous back­ground in in­te­grated de­liv­ery sys­tems and hos­pi­tal-physi­cian col­lab­o­ra­tion,” AHA Pres­i­dent and CEO Richard Umb­den­stock told Mod­ern Health­care. “Whether you’re a physi­cianex­ec­u­tive or not, that’s a huge area when you think about the fu­ture of care de­liv­ery in the broader, re­formed health sys­tem.”

In his cur­rent role as group pres­i­dent of South­ern Cal­i­for­nia and Hawaii at Kaiser, Chu over­sees 14 hos­pi­tals and 168 med­i­cal of­fices, which serve more than 3.6 mil­lion of Kaiser’s 8.8 mil­lion mem­bers. Chu’s pre­vi­ous ex­pe­ri­ence in­cludes three years as pres­i­dent of the New York City Health and Hos­pi­tal Corp. From 1990 to 1994, he was se­nior vice pres­i­dent for med­i­cal and pro­fes­sional af­fairs for the city’s pub­lic hos­pi­tals, and he also served as acting com­mis­sioner of health for New York City’s health depart­ment. He was se­nior as­so­ciate dean at Columbia Univer­sity Col­lege of Physi­cians and Sur­geons and as­so­ciate dean and vice pres­i­dent for clin­i­cal af­fairs at the New York Univer­sity School of Medicine and Med­i­cal Cen­ter. In 1989 and 1990, Chu was a Robert Wood John­son pol­icy fel­low while serv­ing as leg­isla­tive as­sis­tant for health for then-Sen. Bill Bradley (D-N.J.)

Umb­den­stock re­ferred to Chu as “very thought­ful and very ar­tic­u­late” and said he is well-re­spected in many pro­fes­sional cir­cles in the pub­lic and pri­vate sec­tors.


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