Hartford HealthCare names Peter Paul Yu, M.D., Physician-in-Chief of Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute

March 21, 2016 By Hartford HealthCare

Peter Paul Yu, MD (Photo courtesy of Sutter Health)Hartford HealthCare has appointed Peter Paul Yu, M.D., as the first physician-in-chief of the Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute. He is a highly accomplished, internationally respected cancer expert with more than 30 years of experience and leadership. His appointment is the result of an extensive national search.

As physician-in-chief, Dr. Yu will be responsible for working closely and collaboratively with physicians and nurses who practice within the Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute to ensure a single, elevated standard of world-class care for patients with various types and stages of cancer. The institute model of care provides all the types of expert care a patient may need for his or her treatment and overall quality of life in a variety of care settings.

Dr. Yu has earned a national reputation as a physician leader in cancer education and research. In 2015 he served as president of the prestigious American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), which represents nearly 40,000 professionals in all cancer subspecialties. The group promotes advances in cancer care through education, policy, and clinical research.

Dr. Yu, a medical oncologist and hematologist, comes to Hartford HealthCare from Palo Alto Medical Foundation in California, where he has worked since 1989. Since 2008, he has served as the organization’s director of cancer research.

“We are enormously pleased to have someone of Dr. Yu’s stature and ability join us to lead the clinical direction of our Institute. His vast expertise and passion for excellence made him the clear and ideal choice,” said Elliot Joseph, president and CEO of Hartford HealthCare. “The spectrum and quality of care and services that Hartford HealthCare provides to cancer patients across our state already is unparalleled, and with Dr. Yu’s appointment, we are prepared to take our program to the next level.”

Dr. Yu has served as a research fellow and associate at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) in New York City. His distinguished experience makes him well-suited to oversee the Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute’s pioneering membership in the MSK Cancer Alliance, according to Donna Handley, vice president of operations for the Cancer Institute.

“We are looking forward to benefiting in many ways from Dr. Yu’s leadership,” Handley said. “This is a profoundly important moment for our Institute, and we are enormously fortunate to have Dr. Yu in this major role guiding our evolution and our future.”

The Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute is the charter member of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Alliance, and Dr. Yu will serve as the Alliance’s director of health informatics. In that capacity, he will report to Dr. Jose Baselga, MSK’s physician-in-chief and chief medical officer. The Alliance was established as a way to make MSK’s services and research trials available to a broader population of patients within a community setting. The Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute was formally certified as the charter member of the Alliance in September 2014. The Institute has begun to offer MSK clinical trials to patients in the region.

“The doctors who practice within the Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute are among the most knowledgeable and dedicated in the world, and under Dr. Yu’s leadership, they will continue to set the standard for world-class cancer care in Connecticut,” said Jeffrey A. Flaks, who, as executive vice president and chief operating officer of Hartford HealthCare, will supervise and support Dr. Yu’s work on behalf of the Institute.


The Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute offers cancer patients across Connecticut a single standard of world-class care based on superior clinical expertise, compassion and support for patients and access to leading-edge advances in technology, clinical research and protocols. The Institute is the charter member of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Alliance, a pioneering partnership established to bring the very latest advances in cancer research and treatment to broader populations of patients and communities. The Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute includes the cancer centers at Backus Hospital, Hartford Hospital, MidState Medical Center, The Hospital of Central Connecticut and Windham Hospital.

Meet Dr. Peter Yu