Honoree Headshot

Gary F Marklin MD

Chief Medical and Research Officer
Mid-America Transplant

Location: St. Louis, MO
Founded: 1984
Industry: Organ Procurement

Embracing change is the only way to remain influential in any field, said Dr. Gary F. Marklin.

“If you are complacent and not willing to change, you will never improve,” he said. As the chief medical research officer for Mid-America Transplant, Dr. Marklin has found that adapting to change as a leader is essential to growth.

“I have found that if you want to have people change their behavior, you must explain the reasons for the change, ask for their feedback, discuss it and come to a consensus and physically be willing to do or help them with the change,” said Dr. Marklin. “If the changed behavior has the intended positive result, once the employees realize it, they will automatically continue to do the new behavior.”

Change is inevitable within the healthcare industry and especially among organ procurement organizations, such as Mid-America Transplant.

Mid-America Transplant is one of 57 non-profit organ procurement organizations in the U.S. and is responsible for all organ and tissue donation in eastern Missouri, southern Illinois and northern Arkansas. The organization’s mission is to save lives through excellence and tissue donation.

Since 2008, following a 30-year career practicing pulmonary and critical medicine in St. Louis, Dr. Marklin has been a key part of the success at Mid-America Transplant. Upon arriving, he developed a donor lung management protocol that increased the rate of transplanting lungs from donors from 20% to 34%. In 2014, Dr. Marklin became the full-time chief medical and research officer.

“He is an excellent clinician, has great bedside manners and is a wonderful teacher,” said his staff. As an industry leader in donor management research, Dr. Marklin has published more than 10 peer-reviewed articles concerning his research involving organ donation and managing the organ donor. He has been recognized as a Best Doctor in St. Louis by St. Louis Magazine and is a fellow of the American College of Physicians and American College of Chest Physicians.

He leads by example, striving to promote change and mentor others. His advice to other leaders showcases his open and honest philosophy: “Be humble and listen to all of the suggestions for change from the silly to the esoteric, from the simple to the extravagant and from the front-line staff to the PhDs,” said Dr. Marklin. “Somewhere in there will be a major breakthrough and you don’t want to miss it.”

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Honoree fun fact

Dr. Marklin is a skilled woodworker and enjoys making furniture for his children and grandsons.

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