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June 21, 2023

Hartford HealthCare names Joanne Berger-Sweeney new board chair

Contributed Joanne Berger-Sweeney.

A renowned neuroscientist and college leader, Joanne Berger-Sweeney, has been appointed chair of the Hartford HealthCare (HHC) Board of Directors.

Berger-Sweeney succeeds Greg Deavens, whose term ended. Deavens will remain a board member.

Berger-Sweeney is the president of Trinity College, and is the first African-American and first woman in the role. She is also a member of the Capital Regional Development Authority.

At Trinity, she has focused on improving strategic academic initiatives, fostering equity and diversity, and cultivating community and global engagement, HHC said in an announcement Wednesday.

“Joanne is a force in higher education with a passion for helping students make a difference in this world,” said Jeffrey Flaks, president and CEO of HHC. “A scientist, researcher, mentor and visionary, she has blazed a transformational trail. I have relied on Joanne’s level-headed approach to critical situations and the way she embraces change with an understanding and appreciation for the evolution of healthcare and science.”

Flaks said Berger-Sweeney shares his view that the healthcare industry must care for all members of the community, and that she has shown a commitment to “dissolving barriers and improving systems for everyone.”

Berger-Sweeney said she was honored to have the opportunity to lead the health system’s Board of Directors.

“The system’s mission to improve the health of all those living in the communities it serves speaks to my heart, and while it is a daunting undertaking, I believe Hartford HealthCare leadership and colleagues are well equipped to make it happen,” Berger-Sweeney said.

Berger-Sweeney has served as Trinity College’s president for nearly 10 years and has worked to strengthen connections with the city of Hartford.

Before Trinity, Berger-Sweeney was dean of the Tufts University School of Arts and Sciences. Her academic career began in 1991 as an assistant professor at Wellesley College.

Berger-Sweeney received an undergraduate degree in psychology from Wellesley, a master’s in public health in environmental health sciences from the University of California at Berkeley and a doctorate in neurotoxicology from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. 

She completed post-doctoral training at the National Institute of Health in Paris, has written more than 60 scientific publications, and holds several scientific patents.

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