Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures

Dr. Paul Allan Levine
Cardiologist, Placerita Nature Center Volunteer

Dr. Paul A. Levine, 71, of Valencia, CA, died Sunday, December 27, 2015. Funeral Services will be held on Thursday, December 31, 2015 at 10:00 AM, at Groman Eden Mortuary, in the Eternal Light Chapel. Burial will follow, in Eden Memorial Park.

Dr. Levine was born December 22, 1944, in Brooklyn, NY, to Lawrence J. and Shirley Silverstein Levine, and grew up in Valley Stream, NY. He graduated from Boston University School of Medicine in 1968 and did his internship and first year of residency at the Bronx Municipal Hospital Center (Albert Einstein College of Medicine). After serving in the United States Navy as a general medical officer in the Republic of Vietnam and at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, MD, he completed his medical residency and first year of cardiology fellowship at Georgetown University. Dr. Levine completed his cardiology training at his alma mater, Boston University, where he was invited to stay on as a faculty member.

Dr. Levine was a board certified cardiologist who specialized in pacing and arrhythmias. He entered practice in 1976 on the full-time academic staff of Boston University, where he directed the Pacing Program, the Electrophysiology Lab, and the ECG service, attaining the position of Associate Professor of Medicine. He published two text books, a number of monographs on various aspects of pacing, contributed multiple chapters to books on pacing, authored over one hundred peer-reviewed articles, and is an inventor or co-inventor on over 100 issued patents, all focused on implantable devices. He was a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, American College of Cardiology, and American Heart Association , and had been a member of the North American Society of Pacing and Electrophysiology. In 2006, Dr. Levine was elected Fellow in the Heart Rhythm Society (formerly NASPE) and in 2007 was honored as their Distinguished Teacher of the Year, an award for which he was most proud. He was a member of the Board of Directors of Heartbeat International between 1996 and 2010, when he was honored with the Chairman's Award, and elected Director Emeritus in 2013.

After consulting to Pacesetter Systems, Inc. (now St. Jude Medical-Implantable Electronic Systems Division in Sylmar, CA) from 1977 to 1989, Dr. Levine became Vice President for Medical Services, a position he held until 2010. In addition, while in the full-time employment of SJM, he maintained an academic clinical practice with appointments as Clinical Professor of Medicine at Loma Linda University Medical Center and Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of California Los Angeles. In these capacities, he continued to see patients, participate in clinical research, and contribute to the medical literature. A recognized and respected expert, Dr. Levine was invited to lecture all over the world. Indeed, Dr. Levine's contribution to cardiac pacing has been vast, and on average, two parts in every pacemaker used today were designed by him.

Dr. Levine was Associate Editor for the Device Rounds (Pacing) section of the internationally recognized journal PACE (Pacing and Clinical Electrophysiology). He served on the question-writing committee of the International Board of Heart Rhythm Examiners, for exams administered annually to physicians and allied health professionals, the certifying examination by ANSI and the Federal Government (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services CMS). In August 2014, he became the Deputy Editor of Arrhythmia Grand Rounds, an on-line journal dedicated to pacing and electrophysiology.

By virtue of his expertise, compassion, generosity, commitment to his patients and to teaching colleagues and the next generation of cardiologists and medical professionals, Dr. Levine had a huge positive and material impact on his patients' health and well-being, that of device patients worldwide, and in advancing the science and technology of device therapy.

Dr. Levine's passion, in addition to his family and device therapy, was photographing butterflies. He traveled worldwide in pursuit of this passion and shared his photographs with all who knew him. His interest in the natural world and commitment to teaching brought him to volunteer at Placerita Canyon Nature Center, where he treasured the opportunity to share his interests and deep knowledge with children and adults alike.

Dr. Levine was predeceased by his wife Dr. Lucille Pohley Levine, and is survived by his wife Susan Strassner, stepchildren Paul, Michael, and Julie Strassner, grandchildren Brooke, Ethan, and Mason Strassner, and sister Ellen Levine.

The family is grateful for the compassion, dedication, and expertise of the caregivers from Hospice Care of the Valley and the night-time caregivers who provided Dr. Levine, his wife, and sister, the best of care.

Donations may be made in Paul's memory to Placerita Canyon Nature Center ( and/or Kolot Nashim Hadassa.

SEE ALSO: Butterfly Doctor: Paul A. Levine, M.D., Lepidopterist.

Photo: Wendy Langhans

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