Response To Hospital District CEO's Goodbye | New Times Broward-Palm Beach

Response To Hospital District CEO's Goodbye

Just received outgoing North Broward Hospital District CEO Alan Levine's farewell email and though I'd share it with you. Following the email are snippets of some responses from staffers and other recipients:

From: Levine, Alan Sent: Tuesday, January 08, 2008 3:26 PM Subject: Good afternoon. Please take a moment to read the following.

Good afternoon,

Normally, when I email everyone, it's to share great stories or just to connect with you. But today, my email is a little bit different. This afternoon, I submitted my resignation as President/CEO of Broward Health.

I want to thank all of you for the incredible work you do every day. The passion, compassion and sincere affection you have for our patients are what make this place so special and so great. I'm moved by the many stories I hear, and witness, where people give so much of themselves. I have never been more proud to be part of an organization.

As you all know, the state of Louisiana has been dealt enormous challenges, not only as a result of Hurricane Katrina, but also because of the very poor health status of the people of that state. Still today, the public hospital in New Orleans has yet to reopen post-Katrina, and the health care system is in serious need of transformation. They rank 48th in Obesity; 49th in infant mortality; 48th in cancer fatality; 49th in premature death; and they are the worst state in terms of overall health outcomes. Yet, they spend more per capita in Medicare than any other state. The newly elected Governor of Louisiana asked me to help lead the effort to transform the health care system there. After much prayer and a lot of discussion with my family, we decided to accept this challenge. As such, I participated in a press conference today announcing that I will serve as Secretary of Health and Hospitals for the State of Louisiana.

Make no mistake. I love what I do here and I love the people here. But I believe sometimes we have to follow our hearts when we see there is an opportunity to contribute something that has the potential to improve the human condition. Its a huge pay cut for me (so no...I'm not chasing the money), and it will be the first time in my adult life I have lived outside of Florida but its something I feel I need to do.

All I can hope for is that you understand, and that you stay committed to the wonderful goals we have established here at Broward Health. I believe in you and what you do to make lives better, and I will continue to pray for your continued success.

You will be receiving an email from our Board Chairman, Mike Fernandez. Mike is a superb, capable leader who will work with the senior management team as we transition the leadership of the organization. We will do all we can not miss a beat.

Thank you for all you do. God Bless you for choosing the noble field of health care as your passion.


And now some responses. I know that these things are often career-motivated and/or kneejerk suck-up responses, but they sound pretty heartfelt:

From Diana Guayara: I am a firm believer that that good deeds should never be left unrecognized. On that note, I take this opportunity to let you know what a great job you did here. The best way to describe it is that you were a "breath of fresh air." I sincerely wish you the very best. Though your departure is a loss for us, I am just so happy to know that the people of Louisiana will soon start to feel that same "breath of fresh air" that we felt here.

From Ella McCrater: I am sorry that we are losing you as our leader. I could tell by your letters that you are a man that prays, and of compassion. We need more leaders like you. New Orleans will be blessed to have you. I never had the pleasure of meeting you personally but always enjoyed your letters and email. You will be greatly missed. God Bless you and your family in your new life in New Orleans.

From Susan Newton: I enjoyed working under your leadership, and therefore I am very sad to hear you are leaving. You have made the Broward Health System a more proactive, efficient and focused organization. In a relatively short time, you truly impacted the lives of both employees and customers. Your energy and drive to improve things motivated me to also strive for more -- and for that I'm very grateful.

From Debbie Aguilar: While you have never heard from me after reading your many e-mails I want to take a moment to say this was one e-mail bitter sweet to read. While I respect your decision to go where your heart takes you, I have to say that I am very sad to see you leave us. I have been an employee going on 18 years and never have I been more proud of working here then over the last 13 months! You have made such a tremendous impact in the short time you have been here your foot prints will likely remain for many years to come. Louisiana is one lucky state!! Hopefully they will not mind you're a huge Gator fan! I will follow what you do in Louisiana.