Christopher O’Connor to become president of Yale New Haven Health System
Working in direct partnership with Yale New Haven Health System CEO Marna Borgstrom, Christopher O’Connor will become the new president of Yale New Haven Health System (YNHHS), effective Oct. 5.
O’Connor will succeed Richard D’Aquila, who is stepping down as Yale New Haven Health president after nearly 15 years with the health system. O’Connor has been the executive vice president and chief operating officer for YNHHS since 2012, and served as president and CEO of the Hospital of Saint Raphael before its integration with Yale New Haven Hospital that year.
“Chris is an extraordinary person who is widely recognized for his leadership skills and strategic insights,” said Borgstrom. “He truly is a courageous leader who effectively worked himself out of a job at Saint Raphael’s doing what was right for that organization, its staff and its patients. It was a privilege to be able to attract him to Yale New Haven when the acquisition was complete.”
A New Haven native, O’Connor has had a stellar career. Before becoming president and CEO of the Hospital of Saint Raphael in 2009, he was president of Caritas St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Boston. Before that, he was vice president of clinical operations for Ochsner Clinic Foundation in New Orleans, where his leadership successfully guided that organization though the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.
“I am humbled by the opportunity to take on this leadership role, working directly with some of the most talented people in health care,” said O’Connor. “There is so much opportunity ahead of us, and I appreciate the faith that Marna and the Board have shown in me to get the job done.”
O’Connor will work directly with colleagues from each YNHHS delivery network, as well as Yale School of Medicine, to advance high-quality care throughout the region.
“The Board of Trustees has worked closely with Marna Borgstrom to find the best and most-qualified person to take on the leadership of YNHHS. We have found that person in Chris O’Connor,” said Vince Calarco, Board chair. “I have worked with Chris for many years and know how talented he is and how much his leadership will mean to the continued success of the health system. He is the right person at the right time for Yale New Haven Health.”
As YNHHS chief operating officer, O’Connor has led a number of critical initiatives involving the health system’s growth, including the affiliation with Lawrence + Memorial Health in 2016 and Bridgeport Hospital’s acquisition of Milford Hospital in 2019. O’Connor also serves on the boards of Greenwich Hospital and Northeast Medical Group, and previously served on the Lawrence + Memorial Health Board.
O’Connor received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in hospital administration from George Washington University. He is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives and vice chair of the Connecticut Hospital Association. O’Connor recently served as president of the Board of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation of Connecticut and Western Massachusetts.