Forever on the Forefront: The Careers and Passions of Dr. Mark Holterman

Forever on the Forefront: The Careers and Passions of Dr. Mark Holterman

Dr. Mark Holterman has always been involved in a multitude of projects, and at many points in his life, he’s held several jobs at the same time. He’s long devoted himself to treating patients, expanding access to healthcare, and opening up new avenues for medical researchers.


Chicago’s Hometown Medical Hero


For decades, home for Dr. Mark Holterman has been Illinois. At one time, he was a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Today, he teaches at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria.


In addition, he serves as a pediatric surgeon at the OSF Children’s Hospital of Illinois and other hospitals in the area. His medical offices, meanwhile, are located in Peoria and Maywood.


Mark has received many accolades as a physician. They include the Patients’ Choice Award, an honor that the healthcare data company Vitals bestows. In fact, he’s won it three times so far. Not to mention, between 2008 and 2017, Mark was named one of America’s Top Doctors an astounding seven times. Castle Connolly, a leading medical research company, names its Top Doctor winners every year.


In short, in his roles as surgeon, clinician, and teacher, Dr. Mark Holterman has improved thousands of lives in and around Chicago.


Making a Mark in the Business and Nonprofit Spheres


Dr. Mark Holterman has affected countless more lives in more indirect ways (Doctor.WebMD). He’s the leader of Mariam Global Health. The team at Mariam studies medical startup companies, looking for those that show exceptional potential. Mariam supplies funding to those breakthrough companies and gives them expert managerial assistance.


Indeed, Mark is an expert at reining in costs wherever possible. Controlling expenses is crucial for a medical startup. That way, when investors fail to provide the money they’ve pledged — which has happened to Mark’s own companies in the past — the missing funds won’t send the company into a financial tailspin.


As a result of Mariam’s aid, startups can perfect their inventive products and services. They can also expand at a faster rate. Thus, they’re more equipped to tackle the most fearsome diseases and more likely to transform medical care as we know it.


Over the years, Mark has co-founded a number of other firms that finance medical research and the development of new treatments. He’s been especially interested in stem cell advancements. He firmly believes in the power and promises that stem cells hold.


Mark is adept at identifying talented medical researchers as he’s a researcher himself. In 2001, he won the Innovative Research Award from the American Diabetes Association. He’s also studied the causes and prevention of obesity, among other topics, and his articles have appeared in esteemed medical publications.


Some of Mark’s professional endeavors have been in the not-for-profit sector. One example is the Alliance for the Advancement of Cellular Therapies, an organization that he co-founded. This nonprofit strives to convince doctors across the globe to provide patients with safe cellular treatments.


Furthermore, Dr. Mark Holterman is a key organizer and donor of the International Pediatric Specialists Alliance for the Children of Vietnam (IPSAC-VN). It’s a unique charity, one that could serve as an inspiration to doctors around the world.


In recent years, IPSAC-VN has been working to strengthen the healthcare system in Vietnam in various ways. Some of its volunteers perform free surgical operations throughout the nation, and its members bring pieces of donated medical technology to hospitals and clinics. A special goal of IPSAC-VN is to set up high-quality medical facilities in some of Vietnam’s rural regions, places where good healthcare can be dangerously scarce.


Above all, IPSAC-VN is an educational organization. It helps train surgical students in Vietnam, and it boosts the skills of surgeons who are already practicing there. It achieves these goals by running medical classes. It also brings Vietnamese doctors to the U.S. for up to two months at a time. Those who take part in this exchange program get the chance to tackle research projects in America and interact with medical professionals here. They can exchange ideas and discuss their approaches to numerous medical issues.


A Long and Exciting Personal Road


Dr. Mark Holterman is a Chicagoan through and through. Some people are surprised to learn, then, that he didn’t grow up in this city. No, Mark was actually a farm boy. As a youth, he did farm chores all the time in Wisconsin, which no doubt instilled in him a strong work ethic. After his high school graduation in 1976, Mark was off to Connecticut. To be more precise, he was headed to the campus of Yale University.

A National Merit Scholar at Yale, Mark went on to graduate from the University of Virginia School of Medicine. His residency in general surgery took place at this university as well.


Seattle and Montreal were the next two cities where Mark would reside. The University of Washington in Seattle was the site of his fellowship in pediatric surgery. After that, Montreal was the place where he worked as a clinical research associate in immunology.


On his journey of life, Mark found love. He ended up marrying a fellow University of Virginia medical student: pediatric surgeon Dr. Ai-Xuan Holterman. By the way, Ai-Xuan wasn’t planning on specializing in pediatrics. However, when she saw how much fulfillment it gave Mark to save the lives of children, she knew that she wanted to pursue this path as well. And, over the years, this happy couple would have three children of their own.


Since he was a young man laboring on a picturesque farm in Wisconsin, Dr. Mark Holterman has been putting in long hours and dreaming of what the future could bring. These days, his dreams include a society in which every child can see a skilled doctor and receive the latest forms of medical treatment, including cellular therapies. For sure, Mark has done more than his fair share to make those dreams a reality for people all over the world.


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