Paul Levy of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center inspires execs, employees to share sacrifice and wins Ribby Award


The leader of a major hospital faced a financial crisis by engaging employees to find solutions when layoffs would have been standard practice.

Paul Levy

Paul Levy

The 2nd Ribby Award recognizes Paul Levy, President and CEO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Brookline, Mass. Rather than keep a veil on economic woes and make backroom decisions, Levy publicly detailed his company’s challenges and engaged his employees in a plan to both avoid operating losses and keep up full employment.

Because Levy has been an accessible, transparent and innovative leader since he joined the hospital in 2002, executives, physicians and workers overwhelming backed his proposal for shared sacrifice to avoid 450 layoffs. Voluntary pay reductions by Levy and other executives saved $1.4 million. Higher paid staff members gave up pay increases and fringe benefits so that the lowest paid employees could keep their jobs.

Levy walks the walk when it come to putting others first. His blog Running a hospital is an off-the-shelf Blogger template. The Beth Israel website barely mentions the president and CEO, but includes detailed profiles of an RN, sonographer, intern, patient transporter, and other staffers.

In March, Ribblog began the monthly recognition of a business leader who steps out of the executive suite, away from armies of assistants and sycophants, to solve critical problems. The 1st Ribby Award recognized Atlanta home builder John Wieland, who has slept in a different unsold home each night for more than a month as he personally helps his sales team respond to the recession. Please send suggestions or nominations for future Ribby Awards to

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.