Benjamin K. Chu, MD, MPH, MACP, was named group president for Kaiser Permanente’s Southern California and Georgia regions in October 2014. He directs health plan and hospital operations for 14 hospitals and 237 medical offices to serve more than 4 million members in both locations.
Dr. Chu joined Kaiser Permanente as its regional president of 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 Hawaii regions. In July 2013, he was named executive vice president for Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. and appointed to the National Executive Team, which supports the chairman and CEO in setting and ensuring achievement of both the short- and long-term strategies and performance of the Hospitals and Health Plan organizations.
Before coming to 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 1989-1990 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.
In 2015, Dr. Chu was elected to the National Academy of Medicine, widely considered to be one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine. He currently serves as chair of the board of directors for the Commonwealth Fund in New York; is a member of the Advisory Committee to the director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; and is a past chair of the American Hospital Association Board of Trustees.
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.