Bechara Choucair, MD, is senior vice president and chief health officer for Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc., and Hospitals.
Dr. Choucair oversees the organization’s efforts to address the social health of its 12.6 million members and the 68 million people who live in the communities it serves. This work includes the creation of the nation’s largest social health network, integrated with Kaiser Permanente’s health care services, to meet the housing, food, and transportation needs of its members.
As chief health officer he also is accountable for the care of over 1 million Kaiser Permanente Medicaid members and those dually enrolled in Medicaid and Medicare.
Additionally, Dr. Choucair manages Kaiser Permanente’s community health portfolio, including medical financial assistance and charitable care as well as grants and community health initiatives. He is also responsible for the organization’s environmental stewardship work leading to Kaiser Permanente becoming carbon neutral in 2020.
Dr. Choucair reports directly to Kaiser Permanente’s chair and chief executive officer and is a member of the National Executive Team.
From January through November 2021, Dr. Choucair served as the White House national vaccinations coordinator. In that role he focused on coordinating the timely, safe, and equitable administration of COVID-19 vaccinations for the U.S. population, in close partnership with relevant federal departments and agencies, and state and local authorities, health systems, and community-based organizations. During his tenure as vaccinations coordinator, more than 450 million doses of the vaccine were administered nationwide. He returned to Kaiser Permanente in December 2021.
Dr. Choucair is the author of Precision Community Health, a guide for public health innovation in policy, big data, media, and community partnerships to improve health for all.
Before joining Kaiser Permanente in 2016, Dr. Choucair was at 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 developing 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 5 years prior to joining Trinity Health, Dr. Choucair was Chicago Department of Public Health commissioner. He and his team launched Healthy Chicago, the city’s first comprehensive public health agenda. Since the 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 served on numerous boards, including Change Lab Solutions, National Healthcare for the Homeless Council, Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, Futuro Health and other organizations.
Dr. Choucair has earned a number of local and national awards, including being named by Modern Healthcare as one of the 50 Most Influential Health Executives in the United States, one of the Most Influential People in Healthcare, one of the Top 25 Innovators in Healthcare, and one of the Top 25 Minority Healthcare Executives. He was named one of Chicago’s 40 Under 40 by Crain’s Chicago Business in 2012.
Dr. Choucair, a family physician by training, 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. He completed his family residency at Baylor College of Medicine.