Dr. Debra Judelson, PMHS Class of 1969, is a nationally renowned clinical
cardiologist, teacher, policy maker, and political advocate. She is recognized by the
medical community as a “Passionate Proponent of Women’s Heart Health” as well
as a pioneer in patient treatment and the education of medical professionals
focusing on heart disease in women.

Debra grew up in the same house in Patchogue in which her mother was born. She
attended Bay Elementary, South Ocean Middle School, and graduated from
Patchogue High School as her class valedictorian. Some of her fondest memories
are learning to play the accordion and summers at the Patchogue Pool learning
synchronized swimming. She graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology and earned her medical degree from Harvard Medical School. Her
medical training continued at the Kaiser Foundation Hospitals in San Francisco and
Los Angeles, as an internist and cardiologist.

Debra joined the Cardiovascular Medical Group of Southern California in 1981 and
remained there until her retirement in 2016. She has been on staff, on the Boards of
Directors, and a Chief of Staff at several West Los Angeles hospitals. In 1976, her
first year of internship, Debra noticed that women were having emergency
treatments for heart attacks without earlier diagnoses of heart disease, even though
the symptoms were noted in their charts. Championing an increased focus on the
awareness of heart disease in female patients and their physicians is what has
dominated Debra’s professional career. She established a Women’s Heart Institute,
served as president of the American Medical Women’s Association, and in 1995 she created and chaired the American Medical Women’s Association Education Project
on Coronary Heart Disease in Women. For 15 years, this “train the trainer” program
has educated thousands of physicians to be aware of the prevalence of heart
disease in women. Debra has participated in numerous policy panels related to
women’s health, contributed to numerous articles and co-authored The Women’s
Complete Wellness Book (1998). Debra’s contributions in this area resulted in her
receiving the National Institutes of Health “Local Legends” award in 2005 and the
American Medical Women’s Association Elizabeth Blackwell award for the women
physicians who make the most outstanding contributions to women in the field of
medicine (2007).

Debra has held professorial positions at the University of Southern California, the
Western University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine, and UCLA.
In addition to numerous appointments to local, state, and federal medical
organizations and policy panels, Debra has testified before U.S. Congressional
committees and panels on women’s health care issues and reform. Debra’s
persistent advocacy has influenced state and federal legislation and she has
received numerous acknowledgements and awards from federal and state elected

Debra is married to AJ Willmer whom she met at MIT. They have lived in Beverly
Hills, California since 1981 and have two daughters who also attended MIT.