The Commonwealth Fund today announced the election of New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) president Benjamin K. Chu, M.D., to its board of directors. Dr. Chu was appointed president of HHC, a public benefit corporation that oversees the operation of the largest public hospital system in the country, in 2002. HHC hospitals provide care to 1.3 million New Yorkers through eleven public hospitals, five skilled nursing facilities, six large diagnostic and treatment centers, and scores of community-based outpatient centers. "Dr. Chu's experience, both as a clinician and head of the country's largest public hospital system, will be invaluable to The Commonwealth Fund's work, and we are very pleased to welcome him to our board," said Samuel O. Thier, M.D., chairman of the Fund's board of directors. Dr. Chu, a primary care internist by training, has extensive experience as a clinician, administrator, and policy advocate for the public hospital sector. From 1990 to 1994, he was Senior Vice President of Medical and Professional Affairs at HHC, during which time he also served as Acting Commissioner of Health for the New York City Department of Health and Acting Executive Director for Kings County Hospital. In the 1980s, he directed the Ambulatory Care and Adult Emergency Medical Services unit at Kings County Hospital, where he was instrumental in establishing the emergency medicine training program. "Dr. Chu understands the importance of providing health insurance coverage for all and has implemented practical strategies for improving coverage and access to care, especially for individuals who are eligible for public programs but not enrolled," said Karen Davis, president of The Commonwealth Fund. "The Fund's board will benefit tremendously from Dr. Chu's knowledge of how to provide patient-centered care to an increasingly diverse U.S. patient population, his commitment to quality improvement and high performance within a financially constrained large public health system, and his public policy experience." Prior to joining HHC, Dr. Chu was Senior Associate Dean at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, where he managed the university's Harlem Hospital academic and professional affiliation contract. He also served as Associate Dean and Vice President for Clinical Affairs at NYU Medical Center. As a 1989-90 Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellow, he was Senator Bill Bradley's legislative assistant for health. Dr. Chu received his undergraduate degree from Yale University, a master's of public health degree from Columbia University's Mailman School, and a medical degree from New York University School of Medicine.