At a recent board meeting, Israel Rocha Jr. was appointed by the Board of
Commissioners as the next Chief Executive Officer for Cook County Health. His leadership at Cook County Health began on December 7. Previously, Mr. Rocha served as the CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals Elmhurst and Queens hospitals. NYC Health + Hospitals is the largest public health system in the U.S. with a combined annual budget of over $8 billion. Mr. Rocha successfully implemented an operational and clinical improvement plan that turned around financial performance. He also established a patient and quality assurance team that reduced patient length of stay by 1.3 days, reduced ER wait times by almost 30 percent, and improved physician engagement scores by 20 percent in the first year of enactment. Before joining NYCH+H, Mr. Rocha served as the CEO of Doctors Hospital at Renaissance Health System in Edinburg, Texas. He holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the Wagner School of Public Service at New York University and a Bachelor’s of Arts in Political Science & Environmental Science from Columbia University, NY.
The Board extends a heartfelt thank you to Cook County Health interim CEO Debra Carey who took the role in January 2020. Ms. Carey led Cook County Health through the subsequent COVID-19 pandemic.
Under Ms. Carey, CCH worked hard to care for some of the County's sickest patients, ensuring the highest level of care of COVID-19 patients and non-COVID-19 patients alike. Ms. Carey also liaised closely with the County's public health system to expand contact tracing programs and implement mitigation strategies for hospital staff, patients, and visitors.
As Mr. Rocha ushers in a new chapter of Cook County Health’s storied history, Ms. Carey will resume her role as Deputy CEO. She and Mr. Rocha will work together to navigate the health system through the latest COVID-19 surge and continue to improve the patient experience.