NEWS | October 14, 2013

Chicago's public health leader to speak about the power of partnerships in improving health care


Bechara Choucair, a physician and commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, will speak in Sacramento as part of the 2013 UC Davis Health System Snively Visiting Professorship in Family and Community Medicine.

Dr. Choucair
Bechara Choucair

During his address, “Transforming the Health of the Community,” Choucair will highlight his experiences in establishing a coalition of public agencies, private companies, nonprofit organizations, service providers and neighborhood groups to improve health-care access and outcomes for Chicago’s urban residents.

The lecture is Tuesday, Nov. 19, at 5:30 p.m. in the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center auditorium, 4501 X St., Sacramento, with a reception at 5 p.m. Both events are free and open to the public. Reservations are requested by email to

Choucair, who oversees one of the nation’s largest public-health agencies, is recognized for his partnership-based approach to addressing and funding health initiatives. In 2011, he secured more than $60 million — without new burdens to taxpayers — to launch Healthy Chicago, a comprehensive public-health agenda that is transforming the city’s clinical services and establishing new programs targeting obesity, tobacco use and teen pregnancy. Under his leadership, the Chicago Department of Public Health became the first large metropolitan agency to be accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, recognizing the city's strong commitment to protecting the health of its citizens.

Choucair also mentors the next generation of health-care providers as an adjunct associate professor of family and community medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, where he instructs students and residents on the art of community engagement.

“Dr. Choucair has proven that family medicine physicians can lead the way in advancing health for individuals and entire communities by combining a commitment to quality care with creative thinking, advocacy and organizing,” said Klea Bertakis, chair of the UC Davis Department of Family and Community Medicine. “He sets the modern standard for using a systems-change approach to reducing health disparities.”

About the Snively Visiting Professorship
George Snively was chair of the UC Davis Department of Family and Community Medicine during the formative years of the family-practice discipline. The visiting professorship was established following his death to honor his outstanding leadership, passion for training the next generation of primary-care clinicians and dedication to providing the community with opportunities to hear from thought leaders in primary care.

About the Department of Family and Community Medicine
The UC Davis Department of Family and Community Medicine provides comprehensive, compassionate and personal care for patients within the context of family and community. The medical team integrates a humanistic approach to treating the “whole person” with evidence-based care. Special areas of faculty research are health-behavior change, physician-patient communication, chronic-illness care, women's health issues, and reducing racial and ethnic health disparities. For information, visit