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In February 2013, Marna (left) took a tour of the new Epic electronic medical record system with York Street Campus Surgery/Trauma Unit staff. One of many advances during Marna’s YNHHS career, Epic has helped dramatically improve care quality, safety and efficiency and streamline business operations. It has also paved the way for numerous other initiatives, including barcode scanning, expanded telemedicine, the MyChart patient portal and YNHHS’ Capacity Coordination Center, which improves bed management, staffing and patient flow.  

Innovations in research, treatment and care delivery mark Marna Borgstrom’s YNHHS career

On Oct. 21, 2009, Marna Borgstrom, then YNHHS president and CEO, opened a dedication ceremony for the brand new Smilow Cancer Hospital, saying, “Like most great achievements, this point represents the intersection of ideas and people.”

Throughout her career, Marna has embraced new ideas, and provided leadership and support that allowed people to turn these ideas into innovations that have changed health care and improved countless lives. 

Smilow Cancer Hospital is just one example. Marna is credited with enhancing relationships with Yale University and Yale School of Medicine, helping to make Smilow a national leader for groundbreaking research and treatments for lung cancer, melanoma and many other cancers. A number of discoveries, including those involving genetics, immunotherapies and molecular therapies, are saving lives throughout the U.S. and the world.

Before Smilow, Marna oversaw the planning, design and construction of Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital. Since opening in 1993, YNHCH has played an integral role in numerous advances, including the treatment of pediatric diabetes and other metabolic disorders; Connecticut’s first in-utero spina bifida repair surgery; and a world-class Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. 

Other clinical milestones during Marna’s tenure include Yale New Haven Hospital’s first heart transplant in 1982 and its 500th in 2021; an historic kidney exchange involving eight patients and four donated kidneys in 2015; Connecticut’s first liver transplant in 1983; and the first liver transplant involving HIV-positive patients in 2021.

The health system has also shifted the way care is delivered, to make advanced treatment easily accessible to all. Over the past 43 years, YNHHS has opened dozens of outpatient facilities throughout Connecticut and in Westchester County, NY, and southern Rhode Island. 

In 2008, long before a surge in the use of telemedicine during COVID-19, Yale New Haven Hospital launched its TeleStroke program. Using video and image-sharing technology, YNHH neurologists continue to provide acute stroke consultation to hospitals without the same level of expertise. In 2015, the health system opened the InSight Tele-ICU, which provides remote monitoring and consultation for critically ill patients in YNHHS  and other participating hospitals. When COVID-19 made it difficult for clinicians to see their patients in-person, YNHHS greatly expanded its telehealth capabilities. Telehealth visits skyrocketed, from around 300 a year to more than 5,000 a day at the pandemic’s height. 

There are numerous other examples of how Yale New Haven and its partners have transformed health care, with the support of a leader many have described as “visionary.”

In a 2019 article naming Marna one of 100 Most Influential People, Modern Healthcare Magazine quoted Vincent Calarco, chair, YNHHS Board of Trustees. 

“YNHHS has enjoyed unparalleled success under Marna Borgstrom’s exemplary leadership,” he said. “This honor underscores what all who work with and for Marna already know – she is committed to making health care better and more accessible for all who need it.”