Epilepsy News From: Monday, July 10, 2023
Bernice Martin Lee Brings More than 25 Years of Experience in the Nonprofit and Healthcare Sectors
BOWIE, MD, July 10, 2023 — The Epilepsy Foundation announced today the appointment of Bernice “Bee” Martin Lee as the new president and chief executive officer (CEO), effective July 17. Following an extensive search, Lee was selected based on her personal history with epilepsy, a profound commitment to health equity and social impact, as well as a comprehensive understanding of nonprofit management. She brings more than 25 years of diverse experience in the nonprofit and healthcare sectors, including OhioHealth, the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, American Red Cross, Hands on Network, and the Association for Children and Adults with Learning Disabilities.
“I am excited to lead the Epilepsy Foundation and contribute to creating a world without seizures where everyone, regardless of their background, has access to equitable healthcare and opportunities to thrive,” said Lee. “I look forward to working with the Board and the staff in expanding reach, implementing aggressive growth and outreach strategies, as well as building on our partnerships with affiliates and other related epilepsy organizations. I am confident in my ability to make a positive impact as CEO.”
Throughout her career, Lee has excelled at securing major gifts and driving growth through thoughtful program development, stakeholder engagement, and strong organizational models. Most recently, Lee served as the senior philanthropy advisor at OhioHealth, the largest healthcare system serving Central Ohio. Her priorities included leading fundraising efforts for the historic $400 million Grant Medical Center Transformation Project in downtown Columbus. Lee was also responsible for leading a team of philanthropy advisors supporting care sites and service lines throughout the OhioHealth footprint.
Prior to OhioHealth, Lee supported the Department of Internal Medicine and its divisions at the Ohio State University (OSU) Wexner Medical Center as their senior director of Development. A highlight was her ability to secure a $3.4 million cash gift from an individual donor that helped to sustain lupus research during the pandemic. The gift supported breakthrough T-cell biomarker research and collaboration among R-1 institutions (doctoral universities with very high research activities) to develop treatments for COVID.
“Drawing from her experience at the Red Cross and OhioHealth, where each community has unique needs, Lee will ensure that the Epilepsy Foundation is a reliable and efficient organization that consistently delivers on its promise to improve the lives of families impacted by epilepsy,” said Jeff Parent, chair of the Epilepsy Foundation’s Board of Directors. “Lee’s leadership approach will consider the unique dynamics and nuances of the Foundation’s organizational model and network partnerships. We are delighted to welcome Lee and work with her on advancing our efforts to engage with the medical and research community, emphasize strategic planning, as well as fostering inclusivity and collaboration — all of which are key elements to the future of our organization.”
Lee holds an undergraduate degree in Social Science from Gannon University (Erie, Pa.) and certifications in frontline fundraising and education policy. She and her husband, Philip R. Lee, live in Westerville, Ohio and have three adult children. She is an active board member of the Columbus Discovery District and Ohio Association for Healthcare Philanthropy. Most Recently, the Urban League of Columbus recognized Lee as a HerStory Maker 2023.
According to the World Health Organization, epilepsy is the most common serious brain disorder worldwide with no age, racial, social class, national or geographic boundaries. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) estimates that 3.4 million people in the United States are affected by epilepsy. Epilepsy is the underlying tendency of the brain to produce seizures which are sudden abnormal bursts of electrical energy that disrupt brain functions.
About the Epilepsy Foundation
With a network of partners throughout the United States, the Epilepsy Foundation is leading the fight to overcome the challenges of living with epilepsy. The Foundation connects people to treatment, support and resources; leads advocacy efforts; funds innovative research and the training of specialists; and educates the public about epilepsy and seizure first aid. For more than five decades, the Epilepsy Foundation has shone a light on epilepsy to promote awareness and understanding, and to advocate for laws that matter to people with epilepsy, while also funding epilepsy research and supporting epilepsy investigators and specialists in their early careers. In partnership with the CDC, the Epilepsy Foundation has helped to improve access to care for people with epilepsy, expanded its digital reach and online resources in homes across the country, and trained more than 600,000 people in seizure recognition and first aid. The Epilepsy Foundation continues to focus on serving the epilepsy community through advocacy, education, direct services and research for new therapies. To learn more visit epilepsy.com or call 1.800.332.1000. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, TikTok, and YouTube.# # #