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Beth Israel Deaconess CEO Levy to Step Down

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, January 7, 2011

Story updated 1/10/2011

Paul F. Levy, the beleaguered CEO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston and an outspoken champion for healthcare transparency, announced his resignation on Friday, eight months after he admitted to "lapses in judgment" in reference to a relationship with a subordinate.

"Last night, I informed the Chair of our Board that I will be stepping down as CEO," Levy said Friday morning in an open letter to BIDMC employees, which he posted on his blog, Running a Hospital. "We will work out an appropriate transition period, and things will continue to run smoothly here. I leave confident that the Board will find many able candidates to succeed me."

Eric Buehrens, BIDMC's COO, was named interim president/CEO by the hospital's board of directors on Friday. The board will meet again on Monday January 10 to begin a national search to find Levy's replacement.

In May, the BIDMC board reprimanded Levy and fined him $50,000 for an inappropriate relationship with a female subordinate. Neither Levy nor the hospital would detail the relationship which Levy nevertheless acknowledged and apologized for.

However, the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office in September issued a report that chastised the executive leadership and the board at BIDMC for years of inaction before addressing Levy's relationship with the employee. Investigators determined that while no laws had been broken, the reputation of the prestigious Harvard-affiliated teaching hospital had suffered a blow.

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