Stephen Kay, Chair, BIDMC Board of Directors, sent this memo to the board yesterday in response to the issues raised by SEIU and NOW. (See post below.) In addition to the rally, the campaign features radio spots and full-page ad in the Globe
We have become aware of an advertising campaign sponsored by the SEIU and the NOW (National Organization of Women) attacking the governance of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and urging us to fire Paul Levy. We are told they will run the ads heavily through Thursday evening, the night of our Annual Meeting.
As you know, the BIDMC Board of Directors has completely reviewed all matters relating to Paul and has taken actions we believe are in the best interest of the medical center, including a unanimous conclusion that he is the person we want to continue to lead our hospital. So what is this ad campaign all about?
It has been known for years that the SEIU has mounted a corporate campaign against BIDMC and the Board, in the hope that we will adopt procedures that would make it easier for them to unionize the hospital. This advertising campaign is just the latest step in their action plan. The SEIU is spending tens of thousands of dollars on TV, radio, print ads and billboards.
As for NOW, we admit to being somewhat baffled by their involvement in this crusade against BIDMC and Paul, given that their organizational ideals are so closely aligned with BIDMC’s reputation and Paul’s track record. Women make up 70 percent of Paul’s senior management team and our total employment. We celebrate and serve a diverse population, and are known as a very welcoming care provider for the LGBT community and other minorities. Over the years, Paul has restored this wonderful institution to health, and last year, Paul led the medical center’s efforts to protect the lowest wage health care workers when we went through temporary financial difficulties.
The resolve of our board to do what is best for our patients and staff remains strong and will not be influenced by a high-cost advertising campaign.