Yale New Haven Health System’s Commitment to Being Good Neighbors

Executive vice president and chief strategy officer Gayle Capozzalo explains how the health system's employees can better serve their patients and each other

“Partnerships are not transactions,” Gayle Capozzalo says. “They are collaborative relationships that depend on a culture of trust and openness.” This statement sums up Capozzalo’s approach to much of her work as executive vice president and chief strategy officer at Yale New Haven Health System, as well as her passion for it.

Creating, instilling, and enhancing a culture of trust across Yale New Haven’s 100 sites and 24,200 employees is one of the organization’s highest priorities. “To do so, employees must trust each other and organizational leadership,” Capozzalo says. “Our communities must also trust our employees and the organization itself.” This is only possible through plentiful communication at every level: leaders walking the halls, ready to listen, and regular employee surveys that measure feelings of engagement and safety. “We believe it’s management’s job to cultivate that culture and we take it seriously.”

Accountability is equally important at Yale New Haven—within partnerships, internal teams, and the community. One example is the organization’s large diversity and inclusion initiative, which encourages people to speak up against any kind of discrimination. Another is the staff-wide letter that CEO Marna P. Borgstrom wrote following the United States presidential election, reminding employees that they are a team and to continue to support each other and their patients no matter what.

Yale New Haven even takes their dedication to accountability to the streets. Organizational leadership is held accountable for their individual involvement in their communities, whether it be on a local board, chamber of commerce, or as a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity. “Whatever the community tells us it needs, we are committed to helping,” Capozzalo says. She emphasizes that following through on this commitment is as essential as the commitment itself. “We have a real desire to be part of the solution and ensure that we are good neighbors and citizens.”

All of this is evidenced by the way Yale New Haven does everything. Whether exploring a new partnership, building a team, working with a patient, or serving the community, Yale New Haven is clear: it’s never a transaction, always a relationship.