Dr. Andrew Agwunobi to Return as UConn Health CEO

Dr. Agwunobi led UConn Health from 2014 to 2022 during a transformative phase of growth

headshot of Dr. Andrew Agwunobi

(Paul Horton/UConn Photo)

After an extensive national search, President Radenka Maric announced Wednesday, May 29 that Dr. Andrew Agwunobi has agreed to return to UConn Health as Executive Vice President of Health Affairs and CEO after spending two years as president of Home Solutions for Humana.

“I’m thrilled that Dr. Agwunobi has chosen to return to lead UConn Health during its next phase of transformation,” said President Maric. “Andy’s extensive experience leading complex academic, and private health systems, serving as a senior healthcare consultant, and working in the payer industry, combined with his deep knowledge of UConn Health and the broader university make him the perfect leader to take UConn Health to the next level. The health care industry continues to evolve rapidly and his informed perspective on the importance of new revenue generation and vision when it comes to identifying potential partnership opportunities are both essential. There is no one person who has been more instrumental in bringing about UConn Health’s extraordinary growth over the last decade and no one who is better equipped to lead it into the future.”

Dr. Agwunobi led UConn Health from 2014 to 2022 during a transformative phase of growth, which included doubling patient net revenues, overseeing an $800 million campus infrastructure renewal, implementing a comprehensive Electronic Health Record, and working with the deans, chairs, and employees, to achieve record quality, patient satisfaction, research growth, and medical and dental school class sizes.

“Over the last few years, UConn Health has significantly increased its reputation as a national leader in accelerating process in science and medicine, as well as student success and faculty retention, and that is in large part because of the guidance and commitment of Dr. Agwunobi,” Gov. Ned Lamont said. “UConn Health is one of the most highly regarded academic medical centers in the country, and I want to grow its standing as an international hub of innovation where advancements and cutting-edge research are being made. I am particularly interested in partnering with Dr. Agwunobi and the university’s leadership on initiatives that will expand the scale of the medical center’s clinical operations through strategic initiatives, while also reinforcing its financial sustainability. I thank him for agreeing to return to UConn Health and take on this important leadership responsibility.”

Thanks to Agwunobi’s leadership and that of his team, between 2014, when he began, and this year, clinical care revenue generated by UConn Health rose by 154%, from $371.5 million in 2014 to $944.0 million today. This self-generated revenue now accounts for 60% of the institution’s budget, with the state contributing 13% in the coming fiscal year, down from 27% in 2014.

Dr. Agwunobi is a pediatrician with an MBA from Stanford Business School and served as interim President of the University of Connecticut.

He will begin at UConn Health on May 31.

“I am honored to return to an organization that I deeply care for,” said Dr. Agwunobi. “I believe strongly in UConn Health and its tripartite mission of research, education, and clinical care, and I am excited to work with stakeholders at UConn Health, the university, and the state to advance UConn Health to the next level of excellence including academic stature, scale, partnerships, innovation, and financial strength.”

The choice was applauded by the chair of UConn Health’s Board of Directors, Sanford Cloud, Jr., who also announced he would be stepping down from the Board of Directors later this year after nearly 20 years as a member, including 13 years as chair.

“UConn Health is incredibly fortunate to be able to welcome back a leader of Dr. Agwunobi’s caliber,” said Cloud. “His eight years as our CEO were transformational in terms of raising the bar and dramatically increasing clinical care revenue while at the same time ensuring that we maintained exceptional quality in the care we provide to our patients. We as a board look forward to him returning to lead this institution into the future alongside the outstanding leadership team he built.

“Serving as the chair of this board and as a member of UConn’s Board of Trustees has been a great privilege,” said Cloud. “The opportunity to work closely with so many others, including my fellow directors, trustees, and the members of the University’s leadership team to advance the mission of this outstanding public academic medical center on behalf of our patients, faculty, students, and the people of Connecticut has been an honor. UConn Health is integral not only to our patients, but to the causes of education, research, discovery, and innovation in Connecticut and beyond. It is an essential part of the fabric of our state. I know I’m leaving it in good hands.”

“We are grateful that Sandy Cloud will be staying on for the next few months to help with the transition for Dr. Andy and help UConn Health find a new Chair of the Board of Directors,” said Lamont, who said he would make new appointments to the Board of Directors and Board of Trustees in the near future.

UConn Health and its John Dempsey Hospital have earned numerous recent accolades, including its seventh consecutive ‘A’ rating for patient safety excellence. It was also recognized as one of America’s Best-In-State Hospitals and as one of the World’s Best Hospitals.

Dr. Bruce Liang, who has served as interim CEO of UConn Health since 2022, will continue as Dean of the School of Medicine.

“Both Chairman Cloud and I would like to thank Dr. Bruce Liang for his steadfast dedication and commitment to UConn Health as he has served as interim CEO for the last two and a half years,” said Maric. “Under his leadership our patient revenues continued to reach new heights, we are deeply appreciative for all he’s done, and grateful to have him as a colleague.”