de blasio

de blasio Credit: De Blasio, center, with Dr. Ramanathan Raju, left, and Maria Torres-Springer (Charles Eckert)

Mayor Bill de Blasio Tuesday chose new heads for the Health and Hospitals Corp. and the Department of Small Business Services to tackle the respective tasks of rescuing the financially ailing hospital system and ending a “punitive” government relationship with small-business owners.

Dr. Ramanathan Raju, CEO of Chicago’s Cook County Health and Hospitals System and a former executive vice president of New York City’s system, was nominated to return as president of the HHC, which has a $6 billion budget and serves 1.3 million patients annually. He requires HHC board approval.

Maria Torres-Springer, executive vice president of the city’s Economic Development Corp., will be commissioner of small business services, the mayor said at a City Hall news conference.

Torres-Springer, 36, is tasked with encouraging the growth of women- and minority-owned and outer borough businesses, de Blasio said.

Raju, 61, would take on a hospital system that is struggling in the wake of physical and fiscal damage caused by Superstorm Sandy and may require millions in subsidies to stay afloat.

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