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Dr. Andy Agwunobi is rejoining UConn Health as CEO of the Farmington campus

Dr.  Andrew Agwunobi was named the new CEO of UConn Health in Farmington on Wednesday.

Dr. Andrew Agwunobi was named the new CEO of UConn Health in Farmington on Wednesday.

Ken Dixon/Hearst CT Media

FARMINGTON – University of Connecticut President Radenka Maric welcomed Dr. Andy Agwunobi back to UConn Health on Wednesday, stating that the new CEO will be “Andy 2.0” as he tries to transform the research and teaching hospital, which has seen a sharp has experienced sales growth, to bring it to the market. , to a higher level.

At a press conference attended by about 250 people on a mezzanine floor of the bustling Tower Building on the medical center’s campus, Maric said Agwunobi, a pediatrician by training, will return this week after two years as president of Home Solutions for Humana . He previously headed the care center for eight years.

Agwunobi, 58, will earn a base salary of $800,000 per year, and could earn an additional $90,000 per year if he meets certain performance criteria, UConn officials said.

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On Wednesday, Maric said Agwunobi already has a “deep knowledge” of UConn Health and the broader university community. “The healthcare industry continues to evolve rapidly and his informed view on the importance of generating new revenue and his vision when it comes to identifying potential collaboration opportunities are both essential,” said Maric.

Maric said the search committee first interviewed 20 people and then invited nine people for interviews. Finally, four finalists met with various UConn officials and Governor Ned Lamont.

“Wow,” Agwunobi said from a podium after an ovation from staff, board members and guests. “I feel like I’ve been on a two-year sabbatical. I believe in the clinical care we provide to the people of Connecticut. I believe in the research. I believe in the education. We’re already great. just to I think I’m back at an important moment in UConn’s journey. This is an important moment where we can build on the foundation that all of you have laid. Not me on that and decide what we want to do going forward.”

His title includes executive vice president for health affairs at the sprawling 209-acre campus off Interstate 84, with about 3,300 employees and revenue that only slightly exceeds $1.57 billion in expenses. Agwunobi previously led the care center between 2014 and 2022.

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Lamont said “after an extensive search we came home” and offered Agwunobi the job. Lamont emphasized the health center’s role in treating underserved communities.

Over the past two decades, the state government has contributed tens of millions of dollars annually to balance the health center’s budget, but Maric emphasized that the facility is changing. She said the state will contribute 13 percent of its operating budget in the fiscal year beginning July 1, up from 27 percent in 2014.

Still, the state’s upcoming budget includes about $100 million for UConn Health, Comptroller Sean Scanlon said. In recent years, a major investigation into the facility has been conducted by the Cain Brothers Company, and Lamont is expected to release that report this week.

Agwunobi returns at a time when federal funding for the pandemic is about to end.

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“The results at UConn Health are amazing,” Agwunobi said. “Whether you’re talking about tripling net patient revenue, reducing costs by hundreds of millions of dollars. The most important thing: quality, patient quality and patient satisfaction. But there are always opportunities to strengthen our finances and I think those opportunities at fall into the realm of scale.” ; growing the organization so that we maximize much of what we can do in a small footprint. So how can we grow at scale? And also by being very innovative and looking at partnerships, looking at technology and looking at different ways we can improve our finances every day.”

After the event, Scanlon, a former state lawmaker who serves as comptroller of Connecticut’s employee benefits and pension programs, said the health center has made great progress in bringing in new revenue in recent years.

“More people are coming here,” Scanlon said. “There’s more money coming in from them, but like all hospital systems, they’re still dealing with challenges like their payer mix. They still have an overwhelming majority of people coming here who are on Medicaid or Medicare. Their rates are no where near what they get from private insurance. We are working with them and doing what we can to improve finances.

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Four years ago, Lamont doubted the viability of the landmark hospital, but on Wednesday he said things have changed. He told reporters that the report of the coming advisor. that will reveal future strategies, compares UConn Health to hospitals with similar services.

“I think given the size of the hospital we have now, it’s doing very well,” Lamont said. “If we need to form a partnership down the road, he’s the man to do it.”

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