Foundation Donors Find Home Away from Home at Hospital

April 10, 2021

Typically, we photograph everyone appearing in HealthU. Because this story was planned during the COVID-19 pandemic, that contact would have been too risky. Instead, our team took a creative approach and replaced photo shoots with illustrated portraits.

When George Leipsner, M.D., started working at Hackensack Hospital in 1967, fresh out of medical school, he had no idea that it would be a match lasting more than 50 years.

Not long after beginning an externship at the hospital that April, Dr. Leipsner was appointed to the staff in 1968. Attending doctors asked him to open an office in the Hackensack area, so the hospital and busy physicians could refer their patients. So in 1971, Dr. Leipsner opened his family practice office in Maywood. As family medicine evolved, the hospital created the Department of Family Medicine, which Dr. Leipsner later led.

While maintaining the practice, Dr. Leipsner worked in the emergency room and eventually became the head ER doctor. Dr. Leipsner wasn’t alone in the management of the ER: His wife, Sheila Leipsner, took charge of payroll.

Eventually, Dr. Leipsner was elected president of the medical staff in 2000 and chairman of the Medical Board at Hackensack University Medical Center in 2001. The Leipsners hold Hackensack Meridian Health dear to their hearts. “I have lived through the development of Hackensack Hospital to Hackensack Medical Center to Hackensack University Medical Center and now Hackensack Meridian Hackensack University Medical Center. This has been my home,” Dr. Leipsner says.

It’s truly a family affair. “My son, Alan, and each of my six grandchildren were born at the hospital,” Dr. Leipsner says. “The hospital has also provided top-notch care for my parents and Sheila’s parents.”

Following his father’s lead, Alan pursued a career in public health and health care management. Alan, past-president of ACHENJ, has been employed at Hackensack for 20 years and held several leadership roles, including centralized scheduling and administrative director for urology. Currently, he supports the goals of the network’s ambulatory practices. The Leipsners’ daughter, Joyce Davis, is founder and president of Keeping Babies Safe, a nonprofit dedicated to crib safety and safe sleep education, of which Hackensack is a proud sponsor.

Upon Dr. Leipsner’s recent retirement from the hospital, he and Sheila gave a generous gift to support innovative patient care at the new Helena Theurer Pavilion at Hackensack. The hospital’s expansion reflects the deep commitment of Hackensack Meridian Health to better serve the needs of patients and their families for generations to come.

“Dr. and Mrs. Leipsner are beloved members of the Hackensack family,” says Clare Ward, vice president, Development Principal Gifts, Hackensack University Medical Center Foundation. “Dr. Leipsner’s leadership in the hospital, region and state has been recognized by just about every health and community organization. More than that, his patients and our staff know and love him for his compassionate care. He and Sheila are an incredible team. We are thrilled that their name will grace the lobby of the Helena Theurer Pavilion and are grateful for their continued generosity to Hackensack.

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