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October 10, 2022 / 2022 Power 25 Health Care

2022 Power 25 Health Care: Christopher O’Connor

As the new CEO of the Yale New Haven Health system, Christopher O’Connor has several priorities he wants to tackle.

They include improving patient care, ensuring the system’s financial stability and growth, attracting talent, and building the system’s partnerships with the Yale School of Medicine and Yale University.

Growing the system’s Greater Hartford presence is also a priority. Earlier this year, O’Connor announced Yale’s plans to purchase three Connecticut hospitals owned by Prospect Medical Holdings, including two in Greater Hartford — Manchester Memorial and Rockville General, in addition to Waterbury Hospital.

The purchase is currently under regulatory review. Yale New Haven Health initially expanded into Greater Hartford in 2015 via a cancer partnership with St. Francis Hospital, which included the opening of the Smilow Cancer Hospital at St. Francis in Hartford.

Yale New Haven Health, which reported $5.8 billion in operating revenue in fiscal 2021, has become the top competitor with the second-largest health system in the state, Hartford HealthCare.

Both organizations have increasingly encroached on each other’s turf in recent years and are battling for market share in Fairfield County.

O’Connor officially took the reins from longtime CEO Marna Borgstrom in late March, and now leads an organization with more than 28,000 employees.

The system includes Yale New Haven Hospital, Bridgeport Hospital, Greenwich Hospital, Lawrence + Memorial Hospital in New London, and Westerly Hospital in Rhode Island.

O’Connor has a lengthy history in health care. Before his promotion, he had various roles, including president, executive vice president and chief operating officer. He previously was president and CEO of the Hospital of St. Raphael before it joined Yale New Haven Hospital.

Most recently, O’Connor has had to deal with some financial issues. The Yale New Haven Health System announced in September that it cut 155 management-level positions due to rising labor costs, inflation, supply chain issues and loss of federal COVID funding.

Looking forward, O’Connor will be overseeing the system’s plans for a new neuroscience center at the St. Raphael campus.

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