Leslie (Les) D. Hirsch is the President of Saint Peter’s Healthcare System, New Brunswick, New Jersey having recently joined the organization in August 2015. Prior to joining Saint Peter’s, Mr. Hirsch served for seven years as president and CEO of Saint Clare’s Health System in Denville, New Jersey. He also presently serves as Chairman, Board of Trustees of the New Jersey Hospital Association (NJHA).
Mr. Hirsch previously served as president and CEO of Touro Infirmary in New Orleans, Louisiana, and started at Touro in August 2005, just one week before New Orleans took a direct hit from Hurricane Katrina, the most devastating natural disaster in U.S. history. After the complete evacuation and temporary closure of the hospital, he led Touro’s re-opening and recovery efforts. He has been a national speaker regarding his Katrina experience.
Before joining Touro, Mr. Hirsch served as president and CEO of Saint Joseph Hospital in Denver, Colorado. He also spent fourteen years in Camden, New Jersey, with The Cooper Health System. He joined the organization in 1988 as executive vice president and chief operating officer, and became president and CEO in 1999. His career in health care administration of more than thirty-five years also includes senior leadership positions at Bellevue Hospital Center in New York and Clara Maass Medical Center, Belleville, NJ.
Mr. Hirsch has been an active community leader throughout his career. He was a founding member of The Hospice, Inc., one of the first hospice programs in New Jersey and served as Chairman of the Board. He served for fourteen years on the Board of Trustees of The Ronald McDonald House of southern New Jersey and was the recipient of its Big Heart Award. He served on the Board of Directors of the Camden County (NJ) Chapter of the American Red Cross and was honored as a recipient of its Good Neighbor Award. He is a past president of the Camden County Council, Boy Scouts of America, and was honored as the Council’s Distinguished Citizen, as well as with the Silver Beaver Award, a national award and the highest honor given by a local council. He has served in various leadership roles with the American Heart Association in New Jersey, Colorado, and Louisiana, and received the Torch of Hope Award from the Denver Metro American Heart Association. Mr. Hirsch was a member of the Business Council of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce.
During his tenure in New Orleans, Mr. Hirsch played an active role in the city’s recovery efforts following Hurricane Katrina. He served as a member of the Louisiana Recovery Authority, Public Health Task Force and twice testified before the U.S. Congress to advocate for the needs of New Orleans’ hospitals. He was recognized as a Role Model by the Young Leadership Council of New Orleans, as a Health Care Hero by New Orleans City Business, as (one of the) People to Watch by New Orleans Magazine and was a recipient of the MacEachern CEO Award given by the Public Relations Society of America/Health Care Academy.
Since returning to New Jersey in 2008, Mr. Hirsch was recognized with the Community Service Award by the Assumption College for Sisters (Mendham, N.J), the Distinguished Alumni Award from his alma mater, William Paterson University, the Award of Excellence from the Morris County Organization for Hispanic Affairs and the Distinguished Service Award from the American College of Healthcare Executives-New Jersey. He was also honored by the College of Saint Elizabeth as the first honorary member of its local chapter of Upsilon Psi Delta, a national health care honor society.
Mr. Hirsch has been a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives since 1991. Active with the American Hospital Association, he previously served as a Delegate on the Association’s Regional Policy Board (RPB) 2 and RPB 7. Mr. Hirsch holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in political science from William Paterson University and a Master of Public Administration Degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University.