Courtesy Yale New Haven Hospital

Richard D’Aquila SPH ’79, president of Yale New Haven Hospital, has been appointed to simultaneously lead Yale New Haven Health, the hospital system that includes Yale New Haven Hospital, Bridgeport Hospital, Greenwich Hospital and Lawrence + Memorial Hospital.

Yale New Haven Health  announced the leadership change in a Nov. 10 press release. D’Aquila joined Yale New Haven Hospital in 2006 as executive vice president and chief operating officer and was named president in 2012. According to the release, D’Aquila led the hospital during a period of “dramatic clinical program growth,” and oversaw the integration of Yale New Haven and the Hospital of Saint Raphael in 2012.

As president of the Yale New Haven Health system, D’Aquila will collaborate with local health care providers and hospitals to enhance access to specialty medical care in local communities across Connecticut, the release said.

D’Aquila told the News that when he began working for YNHH 10 years ago, he found it distressing, particularly as a Connecticut native, that many patients were unable to obtain specialty care within the state and therefore had to travel to New York or Boston for treatment. He added that through a partnership with the Yale School of Medicine, YNHH was able to develop much needed specialty clinical programs, including the Smilow Cancer Hospital, solid organ transplantation services and pediatric specialty care in New Haven.

According to D’Aquila, the partnership eliminated the need for Connecticut residents to leave the state in order to obtain care and also provided YNHH with a platform to extend its reach throughout New England and the tri-state area.

“In my expanded role as president of Yale New Haven Health, one of my goals is to bring many of the specialty programs we developed in New Haven directly to local communities by partnering with local health care providers and hospitals,” D’Aquila said. “This will help us enhance access and make care delivery more convenient and patient centric.”

Prior to working at YNHH, D’Aquila served as the chief operating officer at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center for six years.

Marna Borgstrom, chief executive officer of YNHH and the Yale New Haven Health System, said that over the last 10 years he has led the effort to build a “destination medical center in New Haven.”

She added that through his partnership with the Yale School of Medicine, D’Aquila has recruited clinical leaders and invested in infrastructure to support “great program enhancements” in cancer, heart and vascular treatment, pediatrics, neurosciences and musculoskeletal care.

“[D’Aquila] truly understands the value each member of our system brings to our mission and he is excited about working with other leaders across the system to achieve our shared vision,” Borgstrom said.

Dean of the medical school Robert Alpern also praised D’Aquila for his work and expressed enthusiasm for the future of the hospital system under his leadership.

“Now, when [he] wants to roll out a new system, in something like cancer care, for instance, he can do that across the entire system,” Alpern said.

He added that a number of programs rolled out at YNHH are frequently expanded to cover the entire health system and D’Aquila’s new position will allow him to play a proactive leadership role in this expansion.

Yale New Haven Health employs over 6,300 physicians, including a 600-member multispecialty physician foundation, and more than 20,000 other workers, according to its website.