Meet The Team
Board Director & Chief Health Policy Advisor
Ramanathan Raju, MD, MBA, FRCS,FACS, FACHE
Former Senior Vice President and Chief Community Health Investment Officer Northwell Health, New York.
Former President and CEO of NYC Health and Hospitals.
Former CEO Cook County Health System Chicago.
Dr. Ram Raju has a distinguished career over 40 years as a healthcare provider, teacher, researcher and community organizer. In his role at Northwell Health, Dr. Raju set the strategic vision to improve population health by finding ways to meet the needs of its most vulnerable communities, by examining the existing programs aimed at improving the health system's response to the community's needs and working with local organizations to address them. Northwell Health is the largest healthcare provider in the state of New York, is a system with 23 hospitals and 830 outpatient facilities that sees 2 million people every year in the New York metro area and beyond.
Prior to joining Northwell Dr. Raju was the President and CEO of NYC health and Hospital Corporation, the largest Public Health System in the country.
Dr. Raju was appointed by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio in January 2014 to lead the 37,000 employees of this $7.3 billion corporation, which includes 11 acute care hospitals, five nursing homes, six large diagnostic and treatment centers, more than 70 community-based health centers, a large home care agency, and one of the New York area's largest providers of government-sponsored health insurance, MetroPlus Health Plan, the plan of choice for nearly half a million New Yorkers. Last year, HHC facilities served 1.4 million New Yorkers – including more than 475,000 uninsured. During his tenure he rebranded HHC, Implemented EPIC EMR, set a new vision for HHC, and successfully managed the Ebola crisis in NYC.
Dr. Raju served as the Chief Executive Officer for the Cook County Health & Hospitals System (CCHHS) in Chicago, Illinois, the third largest public health system in the country from 2011 to 2014. During his tenure there, Dr. Raju turned the financial status of the system around, improving the cash flow by over 100 million dollars. His proposed healthcare delivery model fetched the much coveted 1115 Waiver to the Social Security Act, enabling the creation of CountyCare, an Illinois Medicaid program to provide coverage for low-income adults in Cook County, and leading to health coverage for more than 182,000 Cook County residents. Dr. Raju's further recognition that patients are more likely to use care they can access near their home resulted in the development of a network of more than 130 primary care access.
Senior Executive Director for Research and Development
Kavitha P. Das BDS, MPH, MS
Senior Scientist, Department of Cardiology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, NYC, NY
Emergency Preparedness Chair, Federation of Physicians of Indian Origin
Deputy Editor, Journal of the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin
Chair, Policy and Advocacy Sub-Committee for New York City New York State Public Health Association
Former Director Fixed Prosthodontics, AEGD Residency Program at Lutheran Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY
Former Assistant Professor NYU College of Dentistry, NYC, NY
Dr. Kavitha Das is a public health dentist. She trained as a prosthodontist from Columbia University College of Dental Medicine, New York, NY. Dr. Das also has a master’s degree in public health in Social and Behavioral Sciences and International Health from Boston University and certifications in health management and hospital risk management. She has experience in steering health policy and health management for New York City at the New York state public health associations.
She is a seasoned academic who has worked in infectious and chronic disease mitigation and research at NYU, Columbia University, Yale University and Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
Her projects are related to health disparities, access to care, diabetes, heart disease, oral health, and oral cancer in the NYC populations. She has taught post-doctoral dental residents prosthodontics at NYU Langone and dental students at NYU College of Dentistry students.
Mr. Hemant Wadhwani BA, MS
Mr. Hemant Wadhwani is founder of TranslationCity.com and a social entrepreneur. He is an active board member of the Hindu American Seva Communities (HASC) having organized faith-based conferences with the White House Faith Based Council during President Obama’s administration. His current focus with HASC is development work in Puerto Rico/US Virgin Islands/NY/NJ and running an interfaith weekly vegetarian meal program for the past 20 years in Harlem - New York City with the Manhattan Sai Center.
Hemant also is an active advisor to the Interfaith Assembly of Housing and Homelessness and United Clergy Task Force and currently serves on the Interfaith Advisory Commission for the State of New Jersey - Homeland Security Department.
Hemant Wadhwani graduated with a B.A. in Economics from Manhattanville College and an M.S. in Management with a specialization in International Business from the New Jersey Institute of Technology.
Mr. Wadhwani's company is dedicated to empowering customers with technologies to provide real time solutions for simultaneous interpreting. His company's video conferencing technologies help break barriers for companies and government agencies and aid in expanding into new markets.
Chair, Board of Directors
Mr. David Aviles
Mr. Aviles is the CEO of the United Clergy Task Force. Throughout his career in real estate and finance, Bronx born David Aviles dedicated time and resources to help local faith communities charitable drives, financial education and capacity building programs. To continue this work in a more meaningful way, in 2013, David founded the United Clergy Task Force (UCTF), a 501c-3 non-denominational network of over forty faith-based organizations dedicated to community empowerment through the development of affordable housing. Forging partnerships with community groups, non-profits and organized labor including the AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust, the UCTF is currently developing projects in the New York Metropolitan region and Puerto Rico. Currently, David splits his time between the Bronx and San Juan Puerto Rico, where has been overseeing long-term social and economic recovery projects since the island-wide destruction of Hurricane Maria. In addition to his work with the UCTF, David is proud to serve as an active Board member for several local organizations.