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YNHHS CEO Marna Borgstrom to retire in 2022

After more than 43 years of exceptional service, Marna P. Borgstrom has announced her intent to retire as chief executive officer of Yale New Haven Health. Her retirement is effective March 25, 2022.

“There is never a perfect time to retire, but I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to serve this System and the people in our communities for more than four decades,” said Borgstrom. “Words cannot express my pride in and love for this Health System and the extraordinary people who answer the call every day on behalf of our patients and their families.”

Borgstrom began her career at Yale New Haven Hospital as an administrative fellow in 1979. Throughout her tenure at Yale New Haven Health System, Borgstrom took on increasing responsibilities and leadership roles.

“It is impossible to fully quantify the historic and unprecedented impact that Marna has had on Yale New Haven Health since arriving at Yale New Haven Hospital as an administrative fellow in 1979,” said Vince Calarco, chair, YNHHS Board of Trustees. “She has brought an unmistakable blend of commitment and vision throughout her career, and most especially as the chief executive officer of this organization since 2005. In so many ways, Marna has come to define the very essence of Yale New Haven Health.”
In 1994, Borgstrom was appointed executive vice president and chief operating officer for Yale New Haven Hospital. In 2005, she became CEO of Yale New Haven Health and Yale New Haven Hospital.

“Marna has been a true partner. She has long understood the importance of the relationship between the health system and Yale University, and she has fostered vital collaborations with Yale School of Medicine to improve patient care and advance medical and clinical research,” said Peter Salovey, president, Yale University. “Her work has made a positive difference in our home city, across the state and throughout the nation.”

“Marna’s leadership throughout her entire career has been awe-inspiring,” noted Mary Farrell, chair, YNHH Board of Trustees. “As the first woman to serve as CEO of Yale New Haven Health, she was not just a trailblazer, but she became an approachable and compassionate leader for all employees.”

In 2020, Borgstrom faced one of her toughest challenges. Appointed by Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont as a co-chair of the industry’s response to COVID, Borgstrom led both YNHHS and statewide efforts to battle this historic pandemic. Throughout the pandemic, Borgstrom ensured that not a single employee was laid off and that frontline workers received bonuses for their remarkable efforts.

“When I became governor, no one could foresee the enormous impact of COVID-19 on Connecticut,” Lamont said. “In trying to navigate through this pandemic, I knew I had a friend who was an expert in the field to help me and our state respond, and that was Marna. She has been a partner since day one during some of the most trying times our state has ever seen. She offered balanced and thoughtful input and helped us most directly at our toughest moments. I wish her all the best on an extremely well deserved retirement.”

Among the many accolades throughout her career, Borgstrom has received the American Hospital Association Grassroots Champion Award, Anti-Defamation League Torch of Liberty Award and Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce Community Leadership Award. She has also been named Business New Haven’s Business Person of the Year.

“Marna has been an iconic person in the community,” said Erik Clemons, CEO of ConnCORP. “Her early and unbridled support for ConnCAT and so many other community-driven initiatives helped shape and redefine the relationship between Yale New Haven and the community in a real and positive way. She has created a long and lasting legacy here in New Haven and throughout the State of Connecticut.”

“I have encountered very few people with the innate leadership skills that Marna Borgstrom brings to the table. As a trustee and a CEO, Marna has long been a critical voice on the national level, and has the deep respect and admiration of colleagues across the country,” said Rick Pollack, president and CEO, American Hospital Association. “When she speaks, her colleagues listen. She truly understands the essence of strong and lasting community relationships as well, as evidenced by Yale New Haven Hospital being honored with the Foster McGaw Prize in 2017.”

“Marna is an exceptional leader who has shaped and improved health care in Connecticut,” said Jennifer Jackson, CEO, Connecticut Hospital Association. “She is visionary, focused on Connecticut hospitals’ shared commitment to providing the highest quality care throughout our state, and improving the health of our communities. We will miss her gracious guidance and wise counsel.”

Borgstrom has received honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Quinnipiac University, Sacred Heart University and Albertus Magnus College, and a Doctor of Business Administration from the University of New Haven.

She has chaired the boards of the Healthcare Institute and Coalition to Protect America’s Health Care and is the past chair of Vizient, a Dallas, Texas-based healthcare company. She serves on several other boards, including the Connecticut Hospital Association and New Haven Promise, and has served on national healthcare boards such as the American Hospital Association and the Association of American Medical Colleges.

Borgstrom received her undergraduate degree from Stanford University and was awarded a Master’s of Public Health by Yale School of Public Health.

Over the course of her more than 43 years of service, Borgstrom has achieved countless accomplishments, including:

  • Planning and construction of Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital and Smilow Cancer Hospital 
  • Creation of ambulatory facilities in Guilford, North Haven, Fairfield, Stamford and Old Saybrook
  • Collaboration with Federally Qualified Health Centers, and creation of the New Haven Primary Care Collaborative
  • YNHHS growth, including creation of Northeast Medical Group and several key integrations: the Hospital of Saint Raphael with YNHH; Lawrence + Memorial and Westerly hospitals with the health system; and Milford Hospital with Bridgeport Hospital 
  • A strong, mutually supportive relationship with colleagues at Yale School of Medicine and Yale University
  • The initiation of Yale New Haven Hospital’s Neuroscience Center, to be completed in 2027.

Since Borgstrom became YNHHS CEO in 2005:

  • YNHHS’ inpatient volume increased from 82,000 visits to 119,000; outpatient visits increased from 1.3 million to 3.7 million
  • Beds across the health system increased from 1,545 to 2,681
  • Yale New Haven Health revenues grew from $1.4 billion to $5.3 billion
  • The number of YNHHS employees grew from 11,500 to 28,500; Medical Staff grew from 3,476 to 6,911
  • Yale New Haven Hospital was continually ranked among the nation’s best, earning a spot on the U.S. News and World  Report Honor Roll in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2019

As a leader always focused on her team, Borgstrom was asked about her greatest achievement in an interview in 2015. She responded that she is most proud of the people she’s recruited and the success of the leadership team, not just one or two individuals. She said:

“They move the organization forward magnificently well. One of my predecessors told me that one of the hardest things about becoming the CEO is you move from being a player to being a conductor. Rather than playing first violin really well, you decide who is the best at each instrument and then help them play together to produce beautiful music. That's the challenge of leadership: finding the right people, encouraging them, expecting them to work together and then letting them go and do their thing.”