Chu to chair AHA board
He brings ‘tremendous background’: Umbdenstock
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.