Sonja LaBarbera was appointed the Chief Executive Officer and President of Gaylord Specialty Healthcare in January 2019. She is the first woman and Gaylord employee to hold this position in the organization’s 118-year history and is the first clinician to achieve this rank in nearly 40 years.
With 25 years in the healthcare industry, Ms. LaBarbera is experienced in clinical operations, strategic planning, business development, leadership development and philanthropy. She works with healthcare systems, academic and research institutions to foster collaborative efforts to support superior patient outcomes.
Ms. LaBarbera earned her Master of Science in Organizational Leadership from Quinnipiac University and her Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology from State University of New York at Fredonia. She serves on the Board of Directors of Gaylord Hospital/Gaylord Farm Association Inc., which oversees all services offered by the organization’s care continuum. She is an active member of the International Women’s Forum of Connecticut, American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE), Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO), Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) and American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). LaBarbera was the 2019 Quinnipiac Chamber of Commerce Woman of the Year. She was named to the Hartford Business Journal list of Power 25 in Healthcare in both 2020 and 2021. She is the 2020 recipient of the New Haven Biz Women Who Mean Business award and was in their 2019 List of Power 50. Just recently she was identified as the Top Leader in the Large Employee Category by Hearst Media of CT for 2021.