MTS Welcomes Dr. Gary F. Marklin as Chief Medical Officer

Posted July 9, 2014 in News Category

Marklin’s experience expected to optimize the number of lifesaving organs available for transplant.

marklin-5-300x400Mid-America Transplant Services (MTS) has seen a remarkable 73-percent increase in the number of lungs suitable for transplant over the past several years. The rise, credited to new donor management protocols, is the result of a concerted effort led by Gary F. Marklin, MD, a critical care and pulmonary specialist who has served as an MTS’ associate medical director since 2009.

Because of his collaborative efforts and his skill at identifying and enhancing key clinical processes to improve organ viability, Dr. Marklin has been named as MTS’ full-time Chief Medical Officer, effective July 1, 2014.

“MTS had the foresight years ago to focus on improving the medical management of donors when it added part-time critical care physicians to its team,” says Dr. Marklin, “Because of that, MTS could focus on doing everything it could to optimize the number of donated organs from a donor. With my background in pulmonary medicine, it was a natural fit for me to find ways to enhance lung protocols so that those donations could be maximized.”

The 18-month lung initiative focused on education of MTS nurses on ventilator management and lung physiology. Dr. Marklin collaborated with transplant pulmonologists and others to develop an algorithm focused on improved ventilator use. He also increased the amount of training MTS nurses received to handle bronchoscopies and interpret chest x-rays. The result – the clinical enhancements increased the oxygen levels in donated lungs, improving the potential for transplant. “Before we started this process, the pressure of oxygen in the blood of many lungs was below the optimal level requested by transplant surgeons (PO2 levels < 300). After, we were frequently achieving PO2 levels of 300-450. It was an excellent result.”

“It’s clear that Dr. Marklin has a passion for focusing on the entire process we go through to obtain organs for transplant and has wide-ranging experience in both critical care and pulmonary medicine as well as in educating others,” says Dean F. Kappel, MTS President and Chief Executive Officer. “By adding him full-time to our team, he will be able to collaborate further with our physician and hospital partners to optimize the number of all organs available for transplant.”

Dr. Marklin has a long history of collaborating with regional pulmonary and critical care specialists. As such, additional responsibilities with his new leadership position include working with area physicians and other hospital staff to enhance overall education and awareness of the organ donation process. He also will assist in the development and implementation of a robust curriculum for MTS staff members involved in tissue screening and recovery.

Recognizing the need to keep current with critical care practices, Dr. Marklin will continue to practice one week per month in the critical care unit at St. Anthony’s Medical Center in south St. Louis, where he previously served as the Medical Director of the Department of Respiratory Care and the Intensive Care Unit. He is also a partner at St. Anthony’s Pulmonary Specialists, serving as a consulting physician in pulmonary and critical care medicine at several area hospitals.

Dr. Marklin graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Missouri School of Medicine. He completed his internship and residency in internal medicine at the University of Iowa School of Medicine and then a subsequent two-year fellowship in pulmonary medicine at Washington University School of Medicine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Medicine and Critical Care Medicine by the American Board of Internal Medicine.

In addition to Dr. Marklin, MTS has two other part-time associate medical directors who will continue to provide scheduled call coverage for donor management oversight and guidance.

“This is a great opportunity to bring together education, training, and collaborative care practices to improve organ recovery rates,” Dr. Marklin says. “MTS is an organization that’s innovative and its executives and staff are constantly thinking about improvement. I am excited to be a part of this innovative mindset to help increase the numbers of organs available for transplant so that we can save more lives.”


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