Our Team

We bring together leading medical institutions, scientists, philanthropists and advocates to raise awareness and promote change.

The Medical Institutions

The Barbra Streisand Women’s Heart Center at Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute, founded in 2012, is playing a leading role in identifying female-pattern heart disease, developing new diagnostic tools and advancing specialized care for women. The Institute is working to correct gender inequalities in heart disease diagnosis and treatment, as well as to educate women on how to recognize female-pattern heart disease symptoms. It provides convenient access to all of Cedars-Sinai’s heart disease diagnostic and treatment resources and is designed to help women reduce their chances of heart disease through a preventive approach, including state-of-the-art screening and testing.


The Ronald O. Perelman Heart Institute at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, led by a renowned medical team, provides patients with the very latest technology and treatment options. The Perelman Heart Institute recognizes that women are largely unaware of their risk for heart disease and is dedicated to bridging the gender gap in heart disease information and medical outcomes. The Institute provides women, and all patients, access to state-of-the-art care, a stellar medical team, an education resource center and a supportive community.


Scientific Advisory Board Co-Chairs

Dr. C. Noel Bairey Merz

Dr. C. Noel Bairey Merz, Scientific Advisor

Dr. C. Noel Bairey Merz, Scientific Advisor

Dr. C. Noel Bairey Merz is Director of the Barbra Streisand Women’s Heart Center and the Linda Joy Pollin Women’s Heart Health Program at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute, where she is a Professor of Medicine. She is currently chair of the National Institutes of Health (NIH)-sponsored WISE (Women’s Ischemic Syndrome Evaluation) initiative and has served on the advisory boards of nonprofit organizations, including WomenHeart and Sister to Sister. Dr. Bairey Merz has an extensive scientific publication record in numerous peer-reviewed journals including the New England Journal of Medicine, the Journal of the American Medical AssociationCirculation, the Journal of the American College of Cardiology and the Journal of Women’s Health.

Watch Dr. Bairey Merz’s TED talk, “The single biggest health threat women face.” Read Dr. Bairey Merz’s op-ed in The Hill.

Dr. Holly Andersen, Medical Advisor

Dr. Holly Andersen, Medical Advisor

Dr. Holly Andersen, Medical Advisor

A leading authority on preventive cardiology, Dr. Holly Andersen is the Director of Education and Outreach at the Ronald O. Perelman Heart Institute at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. In this role, Dr. Andersen serves as Attending Cardiologist and oversees patient education, community outreach and prevention efforts with the goal of reducing cardiovascular disease risk, especially among women. She is also Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College and currently serves on the Boards of Trustees of the International Women’s Health Coalition; Rockefeller University, where she is also a member of the Women and Science Committee; and at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College.

Read Dr. Andersen’s op-ed in The Hill.

Scientific Advisory Board

  • Dr. Bina Ahmed, Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, Santa Barbara, CA
  • Dr. Natasha Altman, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, CO
  • Dr. Giselle Baquero, Adventist Health Castle Medical Center, Honolulu, HI
  • Dr. Helen Barold, Sibley Memorial Hospital, Washington, D.C.
  • Dr. Natalie Bello, Cedars-Sinai Smidt Heart Institute, Los Angeles, CA 
  • Dr. Katie Berlacher, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Dr. Sherry-Ann Brown, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI
  • Dr. Renee Bullock-Palmer, Deborah Heart and Lung Center, Browns Mills, NJ
  • Dr. Lori Daniels, UCSD Division of Cardiovascular Center, La Jolla, CA
  • Dr. Claire Duvernoy, Michigan Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
  • Dr. Eugenia Gianos, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York, NY
  • Dr. Martha Gulati, Cedars-Sinai Smidt Heart Institute, Los Angeles, CA
  • Dr. Sharonne Hayes, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN
  • Jenn Haythe, Columbia University Irving Medical Center, New York, NY
  • Dr. Paula Johnson, Wellesley College, Boston, MA
  • Dr. Michelle Khoo, Khoo Cardiology, Albuquerque, NM
  • Dr. Lillian Khor, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, UT
  • Dr. Karla Kurrelmeyer, Houston Methodist Hospital, Houston, TX
  • Dr. Emily Lau, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA
  • Dr. Jennifer Lewey, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA
  • Dr. Sandra Lewis, Legacy Health, Portland, OR
  • Dr. Gina Lundberg, Emory Clinic, Atlanta, GA
  • Dr. Radmila Lyubarova, Albany Medical Center, Albany, NY
  • Dr. Meena Madhur, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN
  • Dr. Suzan Mahdai, Scripps Mercy Hospital, Chula Vista, CA
  • Dr. Kathleen Mansour, Delta Regional Medical Center, Greenville, MS
  • Dr. Pamela Mason, University of Virginia Medical Center, Charlottesville, VA
  • Dr. Laxmi Mehta, Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Columbus, OH
  • Dr. Marla Mendelson, Northwestern Medicine, Chicago, IL
  • Dr. Jennifer Mieres, Northwell Health, Lake Success, NY
  • Dr. Suzanne Oparil, University of Alabama-Birmingham, Birmingham, AL
  • Dr. Patricia A. Pellikka, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN
  • Dr. Carl Pepine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
  • Dr. Nichole Polin, Ochsner Medical Center, New Orleans, LA
  • Dr. Rita Redberg, University of California San Francisco Medical Center, San Francisco, CA
  • Dr. Judy Regensteiner, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, CO
  • Dr. Harmony Reynolds, New York University Langone Hospitals, New York, NY
  • Dr. Nandita Scott, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA
  • Dr. Audrey Sernyak, Christiana Care Health System, Middletown, DE
  • Dr. Garima Sharma, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, Baltimore, MD
  • Dr. Leslee Shaw, Mount Sinai Blavatnik Family Women’s Health Research Institute , New York, NY
  • Dr. Toniya Singh, St. Louis Heart and Vascular, St. Louis, MO
  • Dr. Ritu Thamman, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Dr. Eric Topol, Scripps Research Institute, San Diego, CA
  • Dr. Patti Vassallo, Northwestern Medicine, Chicago, IL
  • Dr. Annabelle Volgman, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL
  • Dr. Mary Norine Walsh, Ascension Medical Group, Indianapolis, IN
  • Dr. Karol Watson, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA
  • Dr. Nanette Wenger, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
  • Dr. Jenn Haythe, Columbia University Irving Medical Hospital, New York, NY

Program Leadership

  • Barbra Streisand
    Co-Chair, Women’s Heart Alliance
    Activist and Philanthropist
  • Art Ochoa
    Vice Chair, Women’s Heart Alliance
    Senior Vice President, Community Relations and Development, Chief Development Officer Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
  • Margery Tabankin
    Advisor in Strategic Philanthropy, Public Policy and Politics
  • Rupa Balasubramanian
    Partner, Fundamental, and Philanthropic advisor to Barbra Streisand
  • Carolyn Halik
    Director, Vascular Service Line, Heart Failure Services, NYP/CU, New York-Presbyterian Hospital
  • Dr. Holly Andersen
    Director of Education and Outreach, Ronald O. Perelman Heart Institute New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center
  • Dr. Noel Bairey Merz
    Director of the Women’s Heart Center and Professor of Medicine, Cedar-Sinai Smidt Heart Institute

Our Founders

Barbra Streisand

Barbra Streisand, Founder

Barbra Streisand, Founder

Barbra Streisand is the best selling female recording artist in history – and the only artist to ever receive an Oscar, Tony, Emmy, Grammy, Directors Guild of America, Golden Globe, National Medal of Arts and Peabody Award, as well as France’s Légion d’Honneur, the American Film Institute’s Lifetime Achievement Award and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. And in 2008, she became the only female director to receive The Kennedy Center Honors. Ms. Streisand is the only recording artist in history to achieve a No. 1 album in six consecutive decades.

A true Renaissance woman, Ms. Streisand’s civil rights activism and philanthropic pursuits are equally as impressive. Making the movie Yentl early in her career ignited Ms. Streisand’s passion for ensuring that women get the same chances in life as men. And more recently, upon learning that women’s heart disease is often symptomatically and physiologically different from men’s heart disease, yet has been historically under-researched, under-funded and under-diagnosed, Ms. Streisand is again using her voice to bring about change.

In 2008, she gave millions of dollars to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center for the Barbra Streisand Women’s Cardiovascular Research and Education Program and in 2012 she founded the Barbra Streisand Women’s Heart Center at Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute, for which she donated and raised millions of additional dollars. In 2014, Ms. Streisand along with Ronald O. Perelman co-founded the Women’s Heart Alliance (WHA) to raise awareness, encourage action and drive new research to fight women’s heart disease, with a goal of dramatically reducing cardiovascular-related illness and death among women. WHA is the only heart-related organization that looks at the impact of heart disease and stroke on women exclusively. No stranger to Washington, Ms. Streisand has met with senior leaders in Congress and the Executive branch to advocate for equitable representation in medical research to further study the unique impact of heart disease on women.

Read Ms. Streisand’s full biography and her op-ed, “The battle for women’s hearts — and lives,” in The Washington Post.

Ronald O. Perelman

Ronald O. Perelman, Founder

Ronald O. Perelman, Founder

As Chairman and CEO of MacAndrews & Forbes Incorporated, Mr. Perelman is known not only as an accomplished industrialist but also a leading philanthropist and champion of women’s health. In 2008, he established the Ronald O. Perelman Heart Institute at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, and the Ronald O. Perelman and Claudia Cohen Center for Reproductive Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical Center.

He also founded the Revlon/UCLA Women’s Cancer Research Program, which developed the most effective treatment for breast cancer, Herceptin. In April 2014, he made a transformative gift to NYU Langone Medical Center to create the Ronald O. Perelman Center for Emergency Services — tripling the size of the former emergency department in New York City. Mr. Perelman is also a founding patron of the Barbra Streisand Women’s Heart Center.

Read Mr. Perelman’s op-ed, “Taking Women’s Health to Heart” in USA Today.