Benjamin K. Chu, MD, MPH, MACP, was appointed regional president of Kaiser Permanente Southern California in February 2005. In January 2011, he was given the added responsibility of overseeing the Hawaii Region as a group president responsible for both the Southern California and the Hawaii regions. He directs Hospital and Health Plan Operations for 14 hospitals and 168 medical offices, serving more than 3.6 million members in both locations. As a group president, he joins the Programwide Operational Leadership group with oversight responsibility over the entire program.
Before he joined Kaiser Permanente, Dr. Chu served for three years as president of New York City’s Health and Hospitals Corp., the largest public hospital system in the country. A primary-care internist by training, Dr. Chu possesses extensive health care experience as a clinician, administrator and policy advocate. He was senior vice president for Medical and Professional Affairs for HHC in New York from 1990 to 1994. During that period, he also served as acting commissioner of health for the New York City Department of Health.
Dr. Chu also has experience as an academic health center leader. He was senior associate dean at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons from July 2000 to February 2002. He also served at the New York University School of Medicine and Medical Center as associate dean and vice president for Clinical Affairs from April 1994 to May 2000. He was a 1989 to 1990 Robert Wood Johnson Policy Fellow, serving as legislative assistant for health for New Jersey Sen. Bill Bradley.
At both Kaiser Permanente and New York City, Dr. Chu has been a strong proponent of the use of the electronic health record as a powerful tool for improving quality and outcomes for patient care.
Dr. Chu currently serves on the boards of the Commonwealth Fund in New York and the American Legacy Foundation, based in Washington, D.C. He is a member of the advisory committee to the director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and is the chair-elect of the American Hospital Association. He will assume the chairmanship of the association in 2013.
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.