BOSTON - Lois E. Silverman, who used a nursing scholarship to the Beth Israel Hospital School of Nursing in 1961 to launch a career that includes founding The Commonwealth Institute and CRA Managed Care, has been elected to a three-year term as chair of the board of directors of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
"Lois possesses an entrepreneurial spirit, a passion for service quality, and an inspiring personal story of achievement," said BIDMC President and CEO Paul Levy. "She is the right person to lead Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center at this pivotal time in our growth and development."
Silverman, of Boston, is founding chair of The Commonwealth Institute, an organization that, through peer mentoring, provides women entrepreneurs, CEOs and senior corporate executives with the tools and resources they need to grow successful companies. She is also the founder of CRA Managed Care (now Concentra Managed Care), a provider of services to reduce the costs of workers' compensation, automobile, disability and health insurance claims.
One of the first women in Massachusetts to bring a company public, Silverman served as chairman of the board of CRA from 1994 to September 1997 and as chief executive officer from 1988 to 1995.
While she is well known in Boston for her entrepreneurial and philanthropic initiatives, Silverman began her career in nursing when, in 1958, she received a $300 scholarship from the Jewish Orphans of Rhode Island.
"There is no economic theory or multiplier effect in the world that can quantify the help I got from that $300 scholarship," she said in a 2004 speech to the United Way's Women's Leadership Breakfast. "It was the basis of all good things that subsequently happened in my life. And it was the basis of a life in which giving back has become a lifeblood for me. From a scholarship nursing student, to a trustee, to chair of the board. Who would have thought that was possible?"
"Now, as board chair, I have an opportunity to give back to the hospital where I started," she said upon her election. "My passion for this hospital is very personal, and I intend to focus on enhancing the quality of service we provide our patients and strengthening our medical advances by increasing philanthropic support of research and facilities."
Prior to this election. Silverman was a vice chair of the board of directors and chair of the development committee. She has also served on the governance and nominating, marketing council and patient liaison services committees of the board.
Silverman is a director of Fiduciary Trust Co. and Immunetics, Inc. She is the former chair of the board of Community Servings - a program providing meals to individuals with AIDS, a former overseer at Tufts University Medical School, a corporator at Simmons College, a former trustee at Brandeis University, a member of the chairman's cabinet at the Hebrew SeniorLife and a director of Kramer Senior Services Agency and Morse Geriatric Center in Florida. She is a member of The Boston Club, The Committee of 200, and the International Women's Forum.
Recognized by her peers for her business acumen and leadership abilities, Silverman was named "Businesswoman of the Year" by the New England Women Business Owners Association in 1991. Most recently, The Committee of 200 awarded her the Philanthropic Innovator Luminary Award, and the International Women's Forum has named her among the 10 Women Who Make a Difference for 2005. She has been honored with leadership awards by the New England Council, The United Way of Massachusetts Bay, the South Shore Women's Business Network, The Patriots' Trail Girl Scout Council, and The Colonel Daniel Marr Boys & Girls Club of Dorchester. She was named to the Top 100 Most Influential Women in Boston by Boston Magazine in May 2003. She received her nursing degree from Beth Israel Hospital in 1961 and an honorary doctorate from Babson College in 2003.
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center is a patient care, teaching and research affiliate of Harvard Medical School, and ranks third in National Institutes of Health funding among independent hospitals nationwide. BIDMC is clinically affiliated with the Joslin Diabetes Center and is a research partner of Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center. BIDMC is the official hospital of the Boston Red Sox. For more information, visit www.bidmc.harvard.edu.