Hochang Benjamin Lee, MD was placed as the chair of the Department of Psychiatry at University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, New York. URMC is one of the nation's leading academic medical centers, forming the centerpiece of the university's biomedical research, teaching, patient care, and community outreach missions. The URMC system is anchored by Strong Memorial Hospital, and also includes the School of Medicine and Dentistry, School of Nursing, Eastman Institute for Oral Health, UR Medical Faculty Group, Golisano Children's Hospital at Strong, Highland Hospital, James P. Wilmot Cancer Institute, Del Monte Institute for Neuromedicine, Visiting Nurse Service, Thompson Health, and Jones Memorial Hospital and Noyes Memorial Hospital (recent regional affiliates). The Department of Psychiatry encompasses approximately 100 employed and over 110 community-based voluntary faculty members; 93 certified inpatient beds (including 24 child and adolescent beds); and in excess of 220,000 annual outpatient visits. In his role, Dr. Lee is charged with creating a vision and roadmap for behavioral health programs throughout the URMC enterprise and the communities it serves in western New York, elevating the department's visibility, national prominence, and reputation to further its ability to recruit premier faculty members and build superior clinical, research, educational, and community programs. Through defining population health needs for the region, he will also continue to broaden and improve patient access. Dr. Lee develops and implements strategy and policies, and plans, leads, organizes, and directs the clinical, educational, research, community, and business affairs of the department.
Before joining Rochester, Dr. Lee served as the chief of the Section of Psychological Medicine in the Department of Psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine, where he was also an associate professor. He was charged with developing a state-of-the-art academic behavioral health service to encompass both outpatient and inpatient services, considerate of the department's tripartite mission of clinical care, education, and research. Dr. Lee led a team of 17 faculty clinicians, researchers, and educators, a considerable increase from the five faculty members that were present in the section when he arrived. During his tenure, he successfully renovated the PM training program, which currently has approximately 15 enrolled trainees who are actively involved in clinical service, and a well-respected fellowship that receives 30 to 45 applicants for three or four slots. Dr. Lee's research portfolio has included an RO1, as well as funding from the American Heart Association, the Alzheimer's Association, pharma, and academic institutions, with interests in the area of identifying and preventing neuropsychiatric syndromes in geriatric cardiac surgery patients. He has also served as the primary delirium expert in charge of quality assurance, training, and standardization of delirium assessment for an NIH-sponsored post-surgical delirium prevention trial.
After completing his residency in psychiatry, a post-doctoral fellowship in psychiatric epidemiology, and a senior clinical fellowship in neuropsychiatry at Johns Hopkins, Dr. Lee began his career with that institution, where his roles included serving as an associate professor in the Division of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neuropsychiatry, and as director of research development for the Department of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center.
Dr. Lee is originally from Seattle, Washington. He earned his bachelor's degree in biology, philosophy, and psychology from Cornell University, and his MD from Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University, and is board certified in psychiatry and psychosomatic medicine. Dr. Lee and his wife are the parents of two children. Outside of work, Dr. Lee volunteers his time giving concerts in hospitals and nursing homes for dementia patients, and enjoys following professional sports and reading.
QLK's Sharman McGurn led the search to recruit Dr. Lee to Rochester, where his duties began September 1, 2017.