Ramanathan (Ram) Raju, MD, MBA, FACS, FACHE, is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC), the largest municipal healthcare system in the nation. Dr. Raju was appointed by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio in January 2014 to lead the 37,000 employees of this $6.7 billion corporation, which includes 11 acute care hospitals, five nursing homes, six large diagnostic and treatment centers, more than 70 community-based health centers, a large home care agency, and one of the New York area's largest providers of government-sponsored health insurance, MetroPlus Health Plan, the plan of choice for nearly half a million New Yorkers. Last year, HHC facilities served 1.4 million New Yorkers – including more than 475,000 uninsured.
Prior to accepting the role of President and CEO at HHC, Dr. Raju was the Chief Executive Officer for the Cook County Health & Hospitals System (CCHHS) in Chicago, Illinois, the third largest public health system in the country. During his tenure there, Dr. Raju turned the financial status of the system around, improving the cash flow by over 100 million dollars. His proposed healthcare delivery model fetched the much coveted 1115 Waiver to the Social Security Act, enabling the creation of CountyCare, an Illinois Medicaid program to provide coverage for low-income adults in Cook County, and leading to health coverage for more than 82,000 Cook County residents.
Under his leadership, CCHHS received meaningful use designation for advancement in information technology, specifically the electronic medical record; and improvements in the supply chain management which is expected to yield millions of dollars in savings for taxpayers in the years to come.
A positive patient experience, which was a major focus of Dr. Raju’s leadership at CCHHS, was reflected by the improved Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers (HCAHPs) scores, and in the reduction of wait times in the Emergency Department to less than two hours. The clinical improvements at CCHHS include The Joint Commission accreditation for both Cook County public hospitals as well as its ambulatory clinic network. Dr. Raju's further recognition that patients are more likely to use care they can access near their home resulted in the development of a network of more than 130 primary care access points through partnerships with FQHCs, safety-net and community hospitals, academic medical centers and private doctors.
Dr. Raju began his medical career at Lutheran Medical Center in Brooklyn and went on to serve as the COO and Medical Director at HHC's Coney Island Hospital. Then in 2006, he became the HHC Chief Medical Officer, Corporate Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President. While he served there, HHC continued to climb and reach great heights in quality, patient safety and healthcare data transparency.
Dr. Raju attended Madras Medical College to earn his medical diploma and his Master of Surgery degree. He underwent further training in England and was elected as a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons. Dr. Raju is also a physician executive, having obtained an MBA from the University of Tennessee and CPE from the American College of Physician Executives.
He is Vice-Chair of the Greater New York Hospital Association (GNYHA), and is a member of the Board of Directors at America's Essential Hospitals and the Asian Health Care Leaders Association (AHCLA). In 2015, he will begin a three-year term on the Board of Trustees of the American Hospital Association (AHA).
Dr. Raju is also the recipient of numerous national recognitions. In 2014 he was #37 on Modern Healthcare’s list of the nation’s “100 Most Influential People in Healthcare.” Modern Healthcare also named him one of the “Top 25 Minority Executives in Healthcare” and one of the “50 Most Influential Physician Executives in Healthcare” in 2013 and 2014. In 2013, he was named a Business Leader of Color by Chicago United. Also in 2013, Becker's Hospital Review designated him as one of “20 Hospital and Health System Leaders to Follow on Twitter.”