Beth Israel Deaconess to Pay $7M in High-Profile Gender Discrimination Suit

To resolve a gender discrimination lawsuit filed by its former chief of anesthesia, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston has agreed to a $7 million settlement and to name its pain clinic in the plaintiff's honor, according to a Boston Globe report.

Employment lawyers have called the settlement one of the largest for a gender discrimination suit in Massachusetts, according to the report.

Carol Warfield, MD, assumed her post as chief of anesthesia in 2000. She alleged Beth Israel Deaconess' former surgery chief, Josef Fischer, MD, engaged in gender-based discrimination by lobbying for her to be removed from her job and ignoring her in meetings, according to the report.

When Dr. Warfield complained to the hospital's former CEO, Paul Levy, she claimed both men retaliated against her and forced her out of her position. She sued the hospital, Dr. Fischer, Mr. Levy and Beth Israel Deaconess' physician group in 2008, according to the report.

The parties announced the settlement agreement yesterday. Along with its monetary settlement and vow to name the pain clinic after Dr. Warfield, Beth Israel Deaconess has also agreed to sponsor an annual lecture series on women's health and the academic contributions of women in surgery.

Dr. Warfield will also keep her endowed professorship with Harvard Medical School in Boston, which is affiliated with Beth Israel Deaconess. She continues to see patients on a part-time basis at the hospital's pain management center, according to the report.

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