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Elizabeth Cooney is a health reporter for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
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Friday, March 16, 2007

Why Beth Israel and the Red Sox play ball

Ever wondered why a medical center becomes the official hospital of a sports team?

Today on his blog, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center chief Paul Levy explains why his hospital pays the Boston Red Sox an annual fee for the right to join their names together, inside and outside Fenway Park.

"In our case, finding ourselves engaged in a successful turnaround after almost going out of business because of a botched merger between 1996 and 2001, we were looking to remind people in Boston that we were alive and well," Levy wrote. "We wanted to portray a sense of permanence for our hospital, which had been badly beaten up in news reports and in community perception for several years."

BIDMC offers first aid in the park, sponsors 25 students as Red Sox Scholars and works with the American Red Cross to encourage blood donations.

Levy didn't say in his blog how much the naming rights cost each year and he declined to give up the stat when the Globe asked for it in an e-mail.

"Sorry, that is not public -- unlike our infection rates!"

Posted by Elizabeth Cooney at 04:38 PM
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