“Give Back to the Community What You’ve Taken Out”
Leon L. Levy has vivid memories of the beginning of his Jefferson journey. “I have been a friend and patient for years,” he shares. “I remember Jefferson when I was a child. My mother was hospitalized with a fractured leg and was a patient in a ward.”
Levy’s loyalty to, and affinity for, Jefferson has not waned. He and his wife, Fran, are longstanding and passionate supporters. His family has continued to receive care at Jefferson for all of their medical needs, including the births of all of his children. In addition, he has not only supported the Sleep Center, where he serves as a member of the Sleep Center Advisory Group, but the family also champions deserving medical students through a generous scholarship endowment to Sidney Kimmel Medical College, where his grandson is a student.
Today, the family’s continued generosity, leadership, and partnership are helping to bring the revolutionary Honickman Center to life ahead of its opening in 2024 in celebration of Jefferson’s bicentennial.
Levy appreciates the Center’s high-touch, high-tech, outpatient-focused operating model that will provide convenient, centralized access to care for the majority of Jefferson’s signature medical specialties in one location. “The ease of having the patients go from floor to floor as opposed to building to building to take care of their medical needs is super,” he says. “When you look at it, you couldn’t get any better than that type of care and prevention. It is a great addition to the city, and reinforces Jefferson as a medical center not only for the community, but the whole eastern region of the country.”
To support the Center, Levy is honoring Jefferson physicians that have become important to him, and will be naming two examination rooms, one in the Department of Otolaryngology, and one in the Department of Urology. He shares, “I thought, ‘Where would I do the most good?’ That means naming a room in which they work and function every day. To reward and honor the doctors that I have been affiliated with and known both professionally and personally over so many years is the nicest way I could say thank you to them. It’s my pleasure.”
Giving back is vital to Levy and his family. “I grew up a poor boy with immigrant parents coming from Europe, who learned the culture of being in the United States,” he says. “As the youngest of four, I advanced a little further in education, worked very hard for many years, and created my own successful business.”
Levy sums up his philosophy: “Give back to the community what you’ve taken out.”
He continues, “I think the point is to say thank you—thank you to the community for getting you to where you are. What has the community done for you and how can you give back to it? I took out of this community a great deal. I said to myself, ‘I’ve got to give back through philanthropy wherever I can.’
“Jefferson is a big part of the larger community,” he shares. “It’s definitely been a good cause, and means much to me. When you give back, you see where it’s going, and you see what it’s doing. Thank you, community. I’ve taken a lot out of it; now it’s time to give back.”