Bechara Choucair | An Island Press author - Photo credit Christopher Meister

Bechara Choucair

Bechara Choucair, MD, is senior vice president and chief health officer for Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. and Hospitals — known as Kaiser Permanente, one of America’s leading integrated health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Dr. Choucair oversees the organization’s national community health efforts and philanthropic giving activities aimed at improving the health of its 12.2 million members and the 68 million people within the communities it serves.

Dr. Choucair comes to Kaiser Permanente from Trinity Health, where he served as senior vice president, Safety Net and Community Health. He worked directly with Trinity Health’s regions to improve the health of populations and impact the community-based social determinants of health. He was responsible for the development of new care delivery models and new relationships with payers, public health agencies, and community organizations. Dr. Choucair and his team led the organization’s community benefit portfolio of approximately $1 billion annually. He also launched Trinity Health’s Transforming Communities Initiative to transform the health and well-being of communities across the country.

For five years prior to joining Trinity Health, Dr. Choucair was the commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health. There, he and his team launched Healthy Chicago, the city’s first comprehensive public health agenda. Since its launch, CDPH has reported historic lows in childhood obesity rates and both teen and adult smoking rates, as well as significant increases in overall life expectancy. Under his leadership, CDPH became the first big city public health agency to be awarded national accreditation.

Prior to his appointment as CDPH commissioner, Dr. Choucair served as the executive director of Heartland Health Centers in Chicago and as the medical director of Crusader Community Health in Rockford, Illinois.

Dr. Choucair serves on numerous boards, including the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, and the Diversity Leadership Committee of the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association. He also has earned local and national awards, including being named one of Chicago’s “40 under 40” by Crain’s Chicago Business in 2012. Most recently, Dr. Choucair was ranked No. 10 on Modern Healthcare’s annual list of the Top 50 Most Influential Physician Executives and Leaders for 2018.

Dr. Choucair, a family physician by training, completed his Family Practice Residency at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. He holds an MD from the American University of Beirut and a master’s degree in health care management from the University of Texas at Dallas.

Recent Island Press Government Appointees

Congratulations to the following Island Press authors and Urban Resilience Contributors called to serve the country in the new administration!