Bechara N. Choucair, MD
Senior Vice President, Community Health and Benefit, and Chief Community Health Officer
Bechara Choucair, MD, is senior vice president, Community Health and Benefit, and chief community 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. Bechara oversees Kaiser Permanente’s national community health and benefit efforts and philanthropic giving activities aimed at improving the health of its 11.7 million members and the 65 million people within the communities it serves.
Bechara comes to Kaiser Permanente from Trinity Health, where he served as senior vice president, Safety Net Transformation and Community Health. He worked directly with Trinity Health’s ministries 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. Bechara and his team led the organization’s community benefit portfolio of approximately $1 billion annually. He also launched Trinity Health’s Transforming Communities Initiative with an additional $80 million investment to transform the health and well-being of communities across the country.
For five years prior to joining Trinity Health, Bechara 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, Bechara served as executive director of Heartland Health Centers in Chicago and as the medical director of Crusader Community Health in Rockford, Illinois.
In addition to serving on numerous boards, including the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, Bechara recently joined the Diversity Leadership Committee of American Heart Association and American Stroke Association. He also has earned a number of local and national awards, including being named one of Chicago’s “40 under 40” by Crain’s Chicago Business in 2012.
Bechara, 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.