Leeba Lessin (1958-2021) was a visionary leader who inspired new ways of thinking about care for the elderly and successfully executed those ideas. A founder of CareMore who served as CEO and President of the company from 2012 to 2015, Leeba reimagined eldercare and created a care model that has since been adopted and adapted by Medicare Advantage plans across the United States. Leeba was a beloved mentor for those who had the privilege to work with her and an exemplary servant leader who cared deeply for the members who entrusted CareMore with their care. The first in her family to attend college, Leeba received a BA degree from Westmont College in Santa Barbara and an MBA from the University of Washington.  Leeba Lessin Obituary In a recent Forbes column about Leeba’s legacy, Jain wrote:  

“Leeba taught me and many others important lessons about healthcare, leadership, and life. Those of us who knew her miss her every day—but every single one of us is better for having known her. As we near the one-year anniversary of her death, I’m working with others to honor her memory in a way that seems fitting, considering how much she taught me and others. We are sponsoring an internship in Leeba’s honor at the National Academy of Social Insurance, so that young people with a passion for improving the lives of others can begin their own journey toward learning, understanding and driving change.” 

Focusing on the “why” was critical to Lessin’s leadership throughout her career, and especially of CareMore, one of the first medical delivery systems in the country to build focused programs to address the needs of sicker patients. Many leaders assume that their purpose is obvious to others from their actions, choices, and self-presentation. For Lessin, making explicit her purpose and, by extension, the organization’s purpose—had the powerful effect of grounding her work in the lofty goal of “making healthcare better” or, borrowing from the organization’s mission statement, “serving as a beacon for others to follow.”     

Donate to the Leeba Lessin Internship launch fund

Learn about the Leeba Lessin Internship on Healthcare and Medicare Policy

Hear from Leeba and her friends and colleagues 

Leeba Lessin discusses how CareMore’s model improves health for seniors (November 2012) (This link takes you to a YouTube video by ThinkAnthem)  MediFuture 2024 Leeba Lessin Interview (September 2014) (This link takes you to a YouTube video by GuideWell)  Leeba Lessin’s Celebration of Life (February 2021) (This link takes you to a YouTube video recording of the event uploaded by Leeba’s family)   

Reflections from friends and colleagues

“It’s my honor to contribute to help launch this internship in memory of Leeba. Leeba was a close friend who is a legend in the healthcare field. She cared deeply about the elderly, her patients and her team—and was a mentor to so many team members. This internship will help support young people with a passion for improving the lives of others and will help us all remember how Leeba supported so many others throughout her career.”

  • Ken Goulet

“Leeba was an inspirational person unlike any that I have met in my life. All of us who were lucky enough to know her were constantly inspired by the breadth and depth of her enormous intellect and her even bigger heart. This internship creates a lasting legacy in her honor.”

  • Sachin Jain

“Leeba was always incredibly kind and generous to me and all she met. It’s a privilege to support the NASI internship in her honor!”

  • Mike Maley

“I’m very pleased to help establish this internship in honor of my dear friend, Leeba. Many of us remember her accomplishments and impact, and we want to help identify and nurture future Leeba Lessins and provide them with unique opportunities early their career.”

  • Richard Merkin

“Leeba was inspirational and motivational. She was caring, intelligent, balanced, and driven. She was the type of leader we all aspire to be.”

  • Dan Peterson, Market President, Alignment Health Plan – Arizona