At a time when health care is at the forefront of national awareness, Fanwood attorney Leslie J. Levinson has stepped up his own longtime engagement with the issue.
He has accepted an invitation to serve on the National Advisory Board of the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute on Bioethics in Baltimore.
Levinson is a partner with Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge LLP, a law firm with offices in Madison and 11 other cities. He described the Johns Hopkins appointment as “very flattering.” He said he was “excited to contribute to the institute’s efforts on issues that will impact our country for generations.”
The Berman Institute, established in 1995, is one of the largest centers of its kind in the world. It conducts advanced scholarship on the ethics of clinical practice, biomedical science, and public health, both locally and globally.
Levinson said the members of the board “offer a good cross-section of views.” As for his own appointment, he described it as “a pretty natural fit.” He said, “As a lawyer, you are constantly confronted with ethical issues. They are part and parcel of our work.”
Levinson has been a practicing attorney for 30 years, and has been handling health-care cases for the past 22. He chairs the firm’s healthcare practice group, and is coauthor of his firm’s publication, Healthcare Update, a series of alerts regarding the ongoing health-care reform debate in Washington, DC.
He described the efforts to achieve health-care reform as a complex process of “horse-trading and deal-making.” Contrary to the impression often given in the media, he said, there is consensus on many aspects of the proposed legislation, and that regardless of one’s political views on the subject, it would bring about “significant change over the coming years as the legislation takes effect.”
Levinson and his wife, Joan, are active in the Central NJ community, she with the Jewish Federation of Central New Jersey and the JCC of Central New Jersey, where she served as president, and Leslie with their synagogue, Congregation Beth Israel in Scotch Plains. He did the legal work for CBI’s first expansion.
“People need to help ensure that there are vibrant synagogues and JCCs and federations as a gathering place for the community, and for the next generation,” he said.
They have engaged their two daughters, Dana and Cara, in community service from early childhood. A keen athlete himself, Leslie taught both girls to ice skate, and even in that arena, found ways to involve them in service. The family sponsored a skating contest prize in honor of his late mother — a passionate fan of her granddaughters’ skating — and Cara, for her bat mitzva project, taught a child with disabilities to skate.