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Title: Vice President and (General Counsel Location: Abilene Age: 45 Is There a Lawyer in the House? Michael Waters, former CEO of Hendrick Medical Center, doesn’t want to have to ask his lawyer for permission to buy paper clips, which is why he did not consider hiring one in-house. Not, at least, before Rosemaria Levinsky. “I’m not generally a fan of in-house counsel because they can become so possessive and controlling of the organization. I think every CEO has that fear,” says Waters, now a senior consultant for the hospital. Hendrick had always relied on outside firms to handle its legal work. Once Levinsky was on-site, though, having helped build the hospital’s rehabilitation center as a consultant and then taken over the management in 1993, Waters couldn’t help but use her as a resource. When she became uncomfortable advising a Texas institution with her Illinois law license, he suggested she obtain one in Texas. Levinsky did so in 1994, and Waters soon was introducing her as in-house counsel. “In order for me to have agreed to it, I had to have the right person and she was the right person,” Waters says. Tim Lancaster was a senior vice president when Levinsky was hired; he became CEO in 2004. He agrees that she was the right fit, particularly because she already had the respect of her peers. “We needed someone that you could readily go to, and someone that knew a lot about the organization as a whole, someone that was familiar with all the people,” he says. One of Levinsky’s innovations, he says, was bringing risk management under the legal umbrella, which means she is involved early on in any issues. That centralization was Levinsky’s first order of business � moving all legal services and requests, and all corporate documents, into her office. She then examined the hospital’s outside law firms for several months. She has since consolidated the firms Hendrick used for nonlitigation work, brought much of that work in-house and expanded the number of firms Hendrick uses to provide medical-malpractice services. As a result, Hendrick realized significant cost-savings, but Levinsky has added several features that save time, too. Levinsky and her associate have set up a database of all legal files, all of the legal-service requests outstanding, all legal opinions during her tenure and an intranet site: Legal Link. The site has tips, such as “How to review a contract” and read-only forms. Levinsky also brings 17 years of health-care practice to the table. “I have contacts in the health-law industry which are very valuable. I can just pick up the phone and talk to a colleague,” she says. She considers the other hospital managers to be colleagues, but she also remembers that they have operated without her. “Even though we are in-house, we needed to treat Hendrick and its entities as clients, and as clients that could take their business elsewhere,” she says.

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