Becker's Speaker Series: 4 questions with Yale-New Haven Health System CEO Marna Borgstrom

More than 30 years ago, Ms. Borgstrom started her career at Yale-New Haven (Conn.) Hospital.

Since then, she’s held numerous roles at the hospital. In 1994, she was promoted to executive vice president and COO. Eleven years later, she took the helm as president and CEO of both Yale-New Haven Health System and Yale-New Haven Hospital.Borgstrom Marna Headshot

On Monday, April 17, 2017, Ms. Borgstrom will give a keynote speech at the Becker's Hospital Review 8th Annual Meeting. As part of an ongoing series, Becker's is talking to healthcare leaders who plan to speak at the conference, which will take place from April 17 through April 20 in Chicago.

To learn more about the conference and Ms. Borgstrom's keynote, click here.

Question: After being with Yale-New Haven for 30 years, what's your favorite part of being with the health system?

Marna Borgstrom: My favorite part is to have been able to watch our system's thoughtful, values-oriented evolution in the context of a changing healthcare environment. It has been a special privilege to do that with a truly remarkable team of colleagues and great board members.

Q: What's the last memorable thing you read?

MB: My fun read was Sweet Bitter by Stephanie Danler. I also enjoyed Bryce Hoffman's American Icon, which is about former Ford CEO Alan Mulally.

Q: What is the most significant barrier to female leadership?

MB: I hope there are fewer gender barriers now than there were 40 years ago. To be sure there is some validity to observations that similar attributes in women and men are often characterized less positively for women. For example, men are seen as "assertive" while women with similar characteristics are "too aggressive." But as women, we hold ourselves back sometimes because many of us embrace the "imposter syndrome" and are too willing to step aside rather than advocate for ourselves.

Q: Which women inspire you and why?

MB: My late mother truly inspired me. She never worked outside the home after she had three children, but she was so highly regarded by everyone who came in contact with her because she was so humble, genuinely kind and thoughtful and a wonderful listener.

I've also been inspired by Betsy Bradley, PhD, a Yale professor who has done excellent work on the social determinants of health. Betsy inspires me because she is so creative, innovative and also a genuinely warm and wonderful person.

I was also inspired by former Xerox CEO Anne Mulcahy, who did an extraordinary job of talent development and succession planning.

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