NEW YORK — Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that Dr. Mitchell Katz has been nominated as President and CEO of the NYC Health + Hospitals public healthcare system.
Health + Hospitals has served as a safety net for the most vulnerable New Yorkers, specifically the uninsured and Medicaid patients, who collectively represent 70 percent of patients served.
Dr. Katz is currently the Director of the Los Angeles County Health Agency, a newly created agency that combines the Departments of Health Services, Public Health, and Mental Health into a single entity so as to provide more integrated care and programming within Los Angeles. He is a graduate of Yale College and Harvard Medical School.
“With renewed attacks on our healthcare by Republicans in Washington, it is now more important than ever to put stable leadership in place as we make progress on our plan to expand access to quality, community-based care throughout the city. I thank Stanley Brezenoff not only for his decades of service to the City, but also for preserving Health + Hospitals’ as our safety net,” said Mayor de Blasio. “Dr. Mitchell Katz’s vast experience as physician and public health executive will be an invaluable asset as we work to modernize and save our treasured public hospital system.”
“Under Mayor de Blasio’s leadership, NYC Health + Hospitals has made progress in expanding primary care and addressing immediate fiscal challenges,” said Dr. Mitchell Katz. “I’m committed to continuing these critical efforts to help preserve Health + Hospitals’ essential safety net mission and improve access to healthcare services for all New Yorkers.”
“I am delighted that Dr. Katz has agreed to serve as President and CEO. His extraordinary experience and expertise make him an outstanding choice to lead the transformation moving full-steam ahead,” said Dr. Herminia Palacio, Deputy Mayor Palacio for Health and Human Services. “He always keeps his patients front and center as a practicing physician. This makes him uniquely positioned to keep the transformation focused on patients, families and communities.”
NYC Health + Hospitals Interim President and CEO Stanley Brezenoff said, “Mayor de Blasio has chosen an exceptionally skilled, experienced physician leader to run New York City’s public healthcare system. I will leave this interim assignment knowing we are putting the future of this essential organization in very capable hands. I am confident Dr. Katz is the right person to continue the good work we have achieved to drive organizational excellence, adopt operational efficiencies and build a financially sustainable system that continues to deliver on the fundamental promise of our mission to care for all, without exception.”
The Los Angeles County Health Agency — which Dr. Katz currently leads — has a budget of $7 billion dollars, 28,000 employees, and a large number of community partners. For the past five years Dr. Katz served as the Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services (DHS), the second largest public safety net system in the United States. During this time, he created the ambulatory care network and empaneled over 350,000 patients to a primary care home. He eliminated the deficit of DHS through increased revenues and decreased administrative expenses, and used the new ACA funding to pay for a modern electronic health system, Orchid, which has now been implemented in 90% of DHS clinical sites. He has moved over 1000 medically complex patients from hospitals and emergency departments into independent housing, thereby eliminating unnecessary expensive hospital care and giving the patients the dignity of their own home. Dr. Katz continues to see patients every week as an outpatient physician at Edward R. Royal Comprehensive Health Center and sees patients on the inpatient medicine service at LAC+USC, Harbor-UCLA, and Olive View-UCLA Medical Centers.
Before he came to Los Angeles Dr. Katz was the Director and Health Officer of the San Francisco Department of Health for 13 years. He is well known for funding needle exchange, creating Healthy San Francisco, outlawing the sale of tobacco at pharmacies, and winning ballot measures for rebuilding Laguna Honda Hospital and San Francisco General Hospital. He completed an internal medicine residency at UCSF Medical School and was an RWJ Clinical Scholar.
He is the Deputy Editor of JAMA Internal Medicine, an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences (previously the Institute of Medicine) and the recipient of the Los Angeles County Medical Association 2015 Healthcare Champion of the year.
Mitch was born and raised in Brooklyn. He and his partner have two children.