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Harris Health System Hires New Chief Health Officer to Lead its Population Health

HOUSTON (March 9, 2023) — Harris Health System welcomes Chethan Bachireddy, MD, MSc, FACP, AAHIVS, as its new senior vice president and chief health officer, to lead population health efforts to improve outcomes and reduce inequities among the county’s most vulnerable residents. In particular, his work will focus on applying evidence-based practices and accelerating health equity through transformative partnerships with academic, business, community and government entities. 

Bachireddy brings more than a decade of progressive leadership experience in care delivery transformation. As a physician, he holds board certifications in internal medicine and addiction medicine, and is an HIV specialist. He has dedicated his career to improving care and advancing equity for marginalized populations including those with HIV, substance use disorders and justice involvement as well as veterans and low-income patients. 

“As a proud product of East Texas, I’m happy to be back in my home state and be able to lend my training, experience and passion to an organization making tremendous strides in the area of population health,” Bachireddy says. “The team at Harris Health understands their patients and communities well and the social and economic forces that impact their health. They are committed to ensuring that everybody has the opportunity to be healthy and to flourish. I am honored to join them in this essential work.” 

Prior to joining Harris Health, Bachireddy worked as chief medical officer and chief clinical innovation officer at Virginia Medicaid, serving more than two million low-income residents in Virginia. He also served as an associate clinical professor in internal medicine and psychiatry at Virginia Commonwealth University where he cared for patients with substance use disorders. He has deep commitment to and expertise in healthcare delivery as reflected in his extensive service on national quality improvement and care transformation committees, including the Center for Health Care Strategies’ Better Care Playbook Advisory Group, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s Person-Centered Preventive Healthcare Project and the national Medicaid Medical Directors Network Steering Committee. 

“He is a physician, researcher and public servant who has dedicated his career to improving health for those most in need, and he’s excited to learn from and collaborate with our patients, families and the broader Harris Health community to advance our population health initiatives,” says Steven Brass, MD, executive vice president and chief medical executive, Harris Health.

While at Virginia Medicaid, he drove a suite of evidence-based policies that successfully expanded access to treatment for opioid-use disorder and Hepatitis C, launched a statewide community doula benefit to address racial inequities in maternal health, implemented comprehensive telehealth reform and supported the largest coverage expansion in the program’s history. He also led initiatives to address the HIV epidemic and helped shepherd the state’s safety-net system through the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“His extensive care delivery, policy, research and leadership experiences have steeped him in the nuances of healthcare operations and workflows, technology’s impact on care delivery and quality, and the measurement and evaluation required for data-driven decision-making,” Brass says. “These qualifications, coupled with his considerable experience driving change in highly complex organizations, uniquely situates him for his new role with Harris Health.” 

Bachireddy was born and raised in Lufkin, Texas, studied economics and neurobiology at Harvard University, attended medical school at Yale University, trained in internal medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital/Harvard Medical School, and completed a Master of Science in Health Policy Research at the University of Pennsylvania. He is married, has two young children (ages one and four), and is expecting a third later this summer.