Just months after Dr. Gerald S. Levey began interviewing for the position as head of one of the world's premier academic health centers, Mother Nature rewrote the job description. The 1994 Northridge earthquake damaged UCLA Medical Center beyond repair, and it soon became clear that a significant portion of Levey's mandate would be to oversee the building of a new hospital.
"In one fell swoop, the job I thought I was going to have completely changed," he said.
Levey stepped down nearly 16 years later, having amassed an extraordinary record of accomplishments, including unprecedented fundraising, elite rankings for UCLA's medical school and hospital, and the building of five new state-of-the-art facilities including Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, which was 14 years in the making and which Levey calls "the most challenging thing I have ever done."
Now, the former vice chancellor for medical sciences and dean emeritus of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA shares lessons drawn from his successful leadership experience in "Never Be Afraid To Do the Right Thing: A Leadership Guide in an Age of Change and Challenge," published this month by Second River Healthcare Press.
Levey, a trained internist and endocrinologist who prior to coming to UCLA had served as a senior vice president at Merck & Co., wrote the book as a business memoir intended to provide insights for leaders of all types of organizations.
"The traits I identify are as relevant to business or government as they are to medicine," he said. "Rather than going into details about issues like cost containment, patient satisfaction and quality of care, I wanted to share how a successful leader makes decisions and the role of the leadership team in achieving the institution's goals."
The book takes its title from Levey's favorite piece of business advice. He frequently told members of his leadership team that it was less important whe
|Contact: Roxanne Moster|
University of California - Los Angeles