Leeba Ruth Lessin bequeaths gift to Eisner Health’s Pediatric Department

Earlier this year, Eisner Health received a very generous estate gift from Leeba Lessin, a former pediatric patient of Eisner Health.  Her gift is dedicated to our pediatric department and a plaque will be placed in our downtown clinic to honor her life and her gift to Eisner Health. 

Leeba Ruth Lessin was 62 when she passed away at her home in Whittier on January 25, 2021 surrounded by family. She was born on November 20, 1958 in Boyle Heights to her parents Joseph & Carol (Mangler). She graduated from Whittier Christian High School before attending Westmont College in Santa Barbara where she majored in History in 1972. Following her time at Westmont, she went on to earn her MBA from Washington State University, before returning to the Santa Barbara area as her early career years began.

Leeba eventually returned to Whittier, CA where she made it her permanent home. Leeba was never married, but devoted her entire life to the service of others. With more than 30 years as a healthcare executive, she transformed health delivery systems and established a proven ability to execute strategic plans from ideation to implementation. Her vision and leadership generated positive results at more than 20 organizations and shaped the model of care delivery for patients throughout the nation. Her career began at the Santa Barbara Medical Society. She went on to become the Executive Director of Monarch Health System then served as the Vice President at PacificCare. Her crowning achievement was as the President of CareMore Medical until she retired in 2016. She regularly gave speeches at industry conferences and even gave interviews through various publications, including the Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, New York Times and Fox Business News. Among her many accomplishments, Leeba received several distinguished accolades, including the Mathias Award for Excellence in Health Care Leadership, awarded by the Partners in Care Foundation.

After leaving the healthcare world, Leeba became a beloved community figure in Whittier – investing her time, talents and resources in the town that she loved. She had a strong commitment to the business enterprise in Whittier, particularly Uptown Whittier, where she was the owner of Four Bricks, Aunties Café and Lift Coffee. She was also a committed supporter of many foundations in Whittier being active with organizations such as, the Whittier Library Foundation; the Whittier Museum (where she donated personal collections of rare postcards to the library which can be viewed online today); and the Uptown Whittier Association. She also was a lover of the arts, supporting artists and musicians. She recently founded the non-profit, Artforms Whittier, which is an art empowerment organization for youth in the community. Leeba was a true philanthropist – giving from the deepest parts of her heart for the betterment of her community and those around her. Her ability to make every person she interacted with feel special, loved and cherished will be her most missed quality. This is what truly made her one-of-a-kind.

Leeba’s extraordinary estate gift to Eisner Health launched the Leeba Lessin Planned Giving Society at Eisner Health.  The Leeba Lessin Planned Giving Society recognizes and honors friends of Eisner Health who have made a financial commitment to Eisner Health’s future through their estate plans. While traditional cash gifts are invaluable to Eisner Health today, planned giving is a crucial investment in our center’s commitment to provide quality care and be responsive and ready for the future. To learn more about how you too can make a planned gift to Eisner Heath, please contact Leigh Stenberg, at development@eisnerhealth.org