CEO of Mid-America Transplant, Kevin Lee, Named Baldrige Leadership Award Recipient

Published January 24, 2024 in Press Release

ST. LOUIS (Jan. 24, 2024) – Mid-America Transplant is proud to announce that Kevin Lee, President and CEO, has received a Foundation Award for Leadership Excellence from the Foundation for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. The recognition honors those in business, nonprofit, healthcare, and other sectors who help to promote the positive impact of the Baldrige program in achieving organizational success.

Since joining Mid-America Transplant in 2015, Lee has embraced performance improvement through the Baldrige framework by:

  • Optimizing how the organ procurement organization (OPO) operates to make more lifesaving transplants available, leading to a 30% increase in organs transplanted and 80% increase in tissue donors from 2015 to 2023. 
  • Championing a business analytics department to provide deep data insights into the organization’s performance on a daily basis.
  • Leading Mid-America Transplant to become the first OPO in the nation to win a second Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.
  • Participating in the 2020-2021 prestigious Baldrige Fellows program and serving for two years as a member of the Baldrige Board of Examiners, helping other organizations on their own performance improvement journeys.   


“Our mission is to save lives through excellence in organ and tissue donation, and Baldrige has given us the framework and guidance to enhance how we work so we can impact more patients and families,” said Kevin Lee, President and CEO of Mid-America Transplant. “Every employee knows we are driven by data and on a continuous improvement journey, and the Mid-America Transplant way of doing things has become synonymous with the Baldrige way. I am grateful that my predecessor Diane Brockmeier and colleague Linda Martin introduced Baldrige at Mid-America Transplant over 20 years ago, and I will continue to champion this model within our organization and the broader healthcare community as a means for improving health outcomes and saving more lives.”

Mid-America Transplant first integrated the Baldrige Excellence Framework into the organization in 2003 to formalize performance improvement. Mid-America Transplant was the first OPO to receive the recognition (2015) and the only OPO to win twice (2021).

Lee joined Mid-America Transplant in 2015 as the executive director of the Mid-America Transplant Foundation and advanced to hold roles as vice president of community engagement, chief organ operations officer, and chief operating officer. He was promoted to president and CEO in January 2023. 


About Mid-America Transplant

Mid-America Transplant enables adults and children to receive lifesaving gifts through organ and tissue donations. For nearly 50 years, it has facilitated and coordinated organ, tissue, and eye donation, and now serves 84 counties covering eastern Missouri, southern Illinois, and northeast Arkansas that together are home to 4.7 million people. It saves lives by providing expert and compassionate care for organ donors, recipients, and families, and transforms the clinical processes required to recover and transplant organs and tissues. Mid-America Transplant was the first such organization in the U.S. to use an in-house operating room for organ recovery and pioneered innovative models of increasing donor registry enrollment to provide organs and tissues to those in need. It is federally designated as one of 56 such organizations in the U.S. and is the first organ procurement organization (OPO) to be recognized as a recipient of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award for Performance Excellence, and the only two-time recipient. For more information, visit