After Nearly 36 Years of Lifesaving Work, President & CEO Diane Brockmeier Announces Retirement

Published June 14, 2022 in Mid-America Transplant

Diane Brockmeier, president and CEO of Mid-America Transplant, recently announced her plans to retire in early 2023. Known for her passion, talented leadership, and unwavering commitment to the mission of lifesaving organ donation, Diane has grown Mid-America Transplant to become one of the most respected organ procurement organizations (OPOs) in the nation.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve alongside our exceptional board members, wonderfully talented leadership team, our dedicated staff, and our hospital partners over the decades,” Diane said. “We’ve accomplished so much together, working tirelessly every day to ensure that last wishes become lifesaving gifts and reduce barriers for transplant patients. Never could I have imagined all the progress we have made and the many lives we’ve saved.”

Diane joined Mid-America Transplant in 1986 as an organ procurement coordinator, then served in clinical and operational leadership roles until her appointment to president and CEO in 2016. Since taking the helm, the organization has achieved record-breaking numbers of donations, increasing the number of lives saved and healed through organ and tissue donation.

Innovating to Save Lives

Diane believes that when lives are at stake, innovation isn’t a nice-to-have – it’s essential. She was the driving force behind the design and operation of the first on-site surgical suite for organ and tissue recovery in the country, which recently reached a milestone of 2,500 organ donor heroes and 30,000 tissue donor heroes.

She also was responsible for operationalizing the Malcolm Baldrige criteria for performance excellence to improve clinical processes and business operations. These transformations led to a 167% increase in organs transplanted and 385% increase in tissue donors from the beginning of the Baldrige journey in 2005 to 2020. 

“Diane’s passion for the lifesaving mission of Mid-America Transplant and her unwavering stewardship have elevated the organization to a place of strength and service recognized throughout our community and the transplant industry,” said Richard Bucholz, MD, Governing Board Chair of Mid-America Transplant. “She has been an extraordinary leader and mentor to her team, a staunch advocate for organ and tissue donation, and a champion for patients and families in need of these lifesaving gifts.”

Diane has coached other OPOs along their own Baldrige journeys and served the larger industry as the president of the Association of Organ Procurement Organizations (AOPO). In addition, she has become a national voice for organ and tissue transplant, advocating for higher standards and continual improvement among legislators and within the OPO industry.

Serving with Compassion

Diane exemplifies our core values of compassion and stewardship daily as she demonstrates how to answer the call to care for donor families and transplant recipients. She has spearheaded several programs that honor donor legacies, including:

  • Enhancing Mid-America Transplant’s partnerships with grief support organizations, providing healing to those generous families who said yes to donation.
  • Creating the first ever Family House in 2013, a low and no-cost housing option for transplant patients and their families as they receive care in St. Louis.
  • Designing and constructing a new, expanded Family House, doubling the capacity to serve as a home-away-from home for patients and families.

The Mid-America Transplant board has convened a search committee and retained WittKieffer, an executive search firm with both OPO and healthcare experience, to conduct the search for the next president and CEO. In the meantime, the board will work closely with Diane to oversee a smooth transition of leadership in preparation for her retirement.

We are grateful to Diane for her dedication, leadership and impact on Mid-America Transplant, our community and the many individuals and families who’ve been the recipients of organ and tissue donation.