De Blasio Makes Two More Key Appointments

By Yi Yang, Epoch Times
January 22, 2014 Updated: January 22, 2014

NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio made two more key appointments to citywide offices Tuesday naming Maria Torres-Springer as head of Small Business Services (SBS), and Ramanathan Raju as head of the Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC).

Both appointees pledged to focus on outer boroughs and vulnerable communities under the de Blasio administration.

Torres-Springer is a former executive vice president at the New York City Economic Development Corporation. She oversaw more than 100 initiatives designed to support innovation and entrepreneurship across all industries.

As commissioner of SBS, Torres-Springer promised to carry out her duties with the singular focus of combating inequality and rebuilding the middle class.

“As a child of immigrants who strived everyday to make ends meet and provide a better life for me and my siblings, I have an acute appreciation of putting the rights and the needs of struggling families at center of our city’s agenda,” said Torres-Springer.

Ramanathan Raju is the new commissioner of HHC. Raju has over 30 years of experience in public and nonprofit hospital systems. He began his medical career in New York and most recently served as CEO of Cook County Health and Hospitals System in Chicago, the third largest health system in the United States.

“[Raju] is a proud Staten Islander by residence and he has spent much of his professional career in Brooklyn,” said de Blasio. “He understands the need to make sure that every neighborhood in every borough has the finest quality health care.”

As commissioner, Raju will work to raise standards of care at city hospitals and provide more primary and preventative care at the neighborhood level.