New Jersey Physician Steps into President Role for the American Heart Association’s Eastern States Region Board of Directors

Leonard Y. Lee, MD, has assumed a two-year term as president of the board of directors for the Eastern States region of the American Heart Association, the world’s leading voluntary health organization dedicated to building longer, healthier lives free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. Dr. Lee served as president-elect from July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023.

Lee joined the Eastern States Region Board of Directors in 2019 and has served as a member of the Northern New Jersey Division of the American Heart Association Board of Directors, chair of the Northern New Jersey Heart Ball and member of the Heart Ball Executive Leadership Team. He previously served as a member of the former Founders Affiliate Board of Directors for the Association. In 2018, Dr. Lee was the recipient of the American Heart Association’s Harvey E. Nussbaum, MD Distinguished Service Award. Currently, Dr. Lee is the chair for the Department of Surgery at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital.

“I am looking forward to serving as president of the Eastern States Region Board of Directors for the next two years and support the lifesaving work of the American Heart Association,” said Lee. “Through research, medical advancements, public education, CPR training and so much more, I’m excited to continue the progress in making sure everyone has the opportunity for a full and healthy life.”

The American Heart Association Eastern States volunteers and staff serve more than 75 million people who live on the eastern seaboard of the United States. The Eastern States region includes 13 states and Washington, D.C., and five of the top 25 metropolitan areas in the U.S. In support of the AHA’s mission to be a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives, the Eastern States region raises revenue to transform the health and well-being of local communities by providing science-based information, health resources, community programs and patient support. As the second-largest funder of cardiovascular research next to the federal government, the Association is also a driver of change through its advocacy efforts, public and professional education and community outreach including CPR services.

In his role as president, Dr. Lee will work alongside other volunteer leaders to advance critical mission and fundraising priorities for the Association, including its 2024 Impact Goal to advance cardiovascular health for all. The American Heart Association enters its centennial year in 2024, and will build on existing efforts around removing barriers to health care access and quality, addressing issues of nutrition and food security, hypertension reduction and more.

“As the American Heart Association nears its 100th anniversary, we are deeply grateful to volunteer leaders like Dr. Lee who will advance our mission into our next century,” said Nicole Aiello Sapio, Ed.D., executive vice president of the American Heart Association’s Eastern States Region. “Dr. Lee is committed to improving medical advances in cardiovascular disease, building a culture of health and sustaining our history of volunteer leadership in the local community. As we head into the next century of our work, I look forward to his continued leadership to champion health equity and bold solutions for a world of longer, healthier lives.”

Dr. Lee received his medical degree from UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School at Camden and cardiothoracic surgery training at Weill Medical College of Cornell University in New York City.