Beth Israel Deaconess CEO Levy to Step Down

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media , January 7, 2011

The 11-page report by the AG's Non-Profit Organizations/Public Charities Division was requested by the BIDMC board, and focused on whether charitable funds were used inappropriately as a result of Levy's indiscretions, and whether the board acted appropriately in its handling of the matter.

On Friday, Levy in his letter to employees once again apologized. "Over the last nine years, I have certainly made mistakes of degree, emphasis, and judgment. I have apologized to you directly for some of those, but I do so again, in the hope that such errors will not overshadow the many accomplishments and contributions of our hospital to the community and the healthcare industry," he wrote. "On the personal level, if I have slighted any one of you in any way or given you any cause for concern about my warm regard and respect for you, I doubly apologize.

Levy said the decision to leave the hospital came to him while he was "biking through the Atlas Mountains" in Africa and contemplating his 60th birthday. "While I remain strongly committed to the fight for patient quality and safety, worker-led process improvement, and transparency, our organization needs a fresh perspective to reach new heights in these arenas," Levy said in the letter.

BICMC Board Chairman Stephen Kay said in a statement that the board accepted Levy's resignation "with deep regret."

"Paul has significantly strengthened the medical center during his tenure, including making improvements in quality and patient safety, and has led BIDMC into a new era of accountability and excellence," Kay said.

BIDMC lost $50 million in 2001, the year before Levy arrived, Kay noted. Under Levy's leadership, however, the hospital's net worth increased nearly 300%, long-term debt was reduced, volumes for inpatient and emergency department volumes grew by more than 11%, and ambulatory clinic visits nearly doubled.

"The board is profoundly grateful to Paul for bringing to our hospital qualities that are uniquely his own," Kay said. "When the situation demanded a bold vision, Paul delivered. When austerity was the order of the day, Paul answered with compassion, so much so that our employees and patients became our ambassadors."

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