hospitalNew York City’s new Mayor Bill de Blasio has named Ramanathan Raju, a respected Indian-American doctor, as commissioner of Health and Hospitals Corporation, the nation’s largest public hospital system.

The mayor announced Chennai native Raju’s appointment Tuesday along with Maria Torres-Springer, as Commissioner of the Department of Small Business Services, with a pledge to deepen each agency’s connections to neighbourhoods across the city’s five boroughs.

“As public servants with deep expertise at their respective agencies, both Torres-Springer and Raju are poised to aggressively implement progressive, community-based reforms,” de Blasio said.

“We sought out progressive, proven leaders who are committed to serving diverse communities across this city. And in Maria and Raju, we found them.”

“I am excited to return to the Health and Hospitals Corporation,” said Raju. “Under my leadership, the HHC will continue its mission of ensuring New Yorkers have access to quality health care options-from major hospitals to neighbourhood clinics-no matter where they live.”

Raju, who received his medical degree from the Madras Medical College, is currently CEO of the Chicago’s Cook County Health and Hospital System.

He is a respected physician who has led some of the nation’s largest and most complex health care systems.

As President of the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation, he will work to raise standards of care at HHC hospitals and deepen the agency’s approach to providing primary and preventative care at the neighbourhood level.

Raju’s appointment must be ratified by the HHC board.

Raju, who brings more than 30 years of experience in public and not-for-profit hospital systems, began his medical career at Lutheran Medical Centre in Brooklyn, where he ascended to the positions of Director of Surgery, Director of Medical Education, and Senior Vice President.

He went on to serve as the COO and Chief Medical Officer at Coney Island Hospital, and then as Chief Medical Officer, Corporate COO and Executive Vice President at the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation.

Most recently, he has served as CEO of Cook County Health and Hospitals System, the third largest health system in the US.

He is credited with improving CCHHS’s quality of care, increasing revenues, and cutting costs by leveraging federal resources, restructuring the system’s operation, and utilising technology to increase efficiency and make the health care system more accessible to patients.

Raju was a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of England in the United Kingdom. He received his Masters in Business Administration from the University of Tennessee.