Gratitude Inspires Gift from Cardiologist Dr. William Lee
For more than thirty years, Valley’s top-ranked heart doctors have provided the region with exceptional cardiovascular care. Pairing a personalized patient experience with physicians, nurses, and technicians who are at the top of their field, and an alliance with Cleveland Clinic, Valley’s cardiac program is an established leader whose award-winning care rivals larger metropolitan health systems.
However, things looked different in 1980 when Dr. William Lee arrived at The Valley Hospital to a unique situation: a cardiologist without a cardiac surgery program. “When I joined Valley, I was sending patients first to New York City, then to St. Joe’s. But we didn’t want to have to send out, we wanted to keep patients in-house,” he explains. “Today it’s easy to take these types of programs for granted, but back then, it was not guaranteed.” Dr. Lee was integral to the launch of Valley’s comprehensive cardiac program in 1989, becoming the first Director of Interventional Cardiology.
Today Dr. Lee continues to practice full time, now joined by his son John H. Lee, M.D. (a fourth-generation physician after his great grandfather, grandfather, and father) and partners Dr. David Montgomery, M.D. and Navin Budhwani, M.D.. “Not many people get to have this experience, forty years in one industry, and most of it at one institution,” Dr. Lee says, reflecting. “The Valley Hospital has provided me with an opportunity to provide cardiac care to the community. For this I am grateful.”
It is this feeling of appreciation towards Valley that has inspired Dr. Lee and wife Hwain’s almost forty years of giving to the hospital. “I see it as part of my duty as medical staff. You have to participate as a physician to support the hospital.” The couple are Legacy Society members, having included Valley in their estate plans through a bequest, and recently committed to a $300,000 leadership gift in support of The Valley Hospital in Paramus where they will name the Vascular Ultrasound Suite. For the Lees, it was an opportunity to express their gratitude. “We are so happy to do something for The Valley Hospital, to which I owe so much,” Dr. Lee says. For a doctor whose past is firmly rooted at Valley, he looks forward to what the future in Paramus holds. “The timing for a new hospital is just right. In the next ten to twenty years, major transformations are coming to healthcare. With the new hospital we will be able to innovate and bring new technologies into cardiovascular care. It’s going to be great.”