Lea earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Gannon University in 2000. She went on to earn a Master of Science in Nursing at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA as a Hillman Scholar.  Following graduation, she went on to work at New York-Presbyterian in Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant and Cleveland Clinic in Cardiovascular Surgery. She joined the Center in 2014 after relocating to Houston. Her clinical interests include Advanced Heart Failure and Left Ventricular Assist Devices.

Lea is a member of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners and the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation.