Dr. Mark Holterman: Pediatric Surgeon and Philanthropist

Dr. Mark Holterman is a well-respected pediatric surgeon, educator and medical research scientist. He is also a philanthropist. His main focus is the International Pediatric Specialists Alliance for the Children of Vietnam. IPSAC-VIN grew out of a visit to Vietnam in 2007 by Holterman and his wife, Ai-Xuan. The trip was a visit to her homeland, which her family was forced to leave in 1975 when the North Vietnamese took over.


While in Vietnam, they visited a children’s hospital in Ho Chi Minh City. They discovered that the facility was so overcrowded that some patients had to sleep three to a bed. The overcrowded conditions resulted in frequent infections (http://weeklyopinion.com/2018/01/dr-mark-holterman-compassionate-dedicated-innovator/). The situation stemmed from a severe shortage of medical facilities and doctors in the country. IPSAC-VIN was created in 2009 to tackle these problems. The organization attempts to link American doctors to their Vietnamese counterparts, and it works to improve sanitary conditions in existing hospitals. In addition, the nonprofit helps find children who need medical treatment and get them the help they need. Future projects include opening rural clinics in the country.


Mark Holterman is also a co-founder of the Hannah Sunshine Foundation. This nonprofit works to improve access to advanced regenerative treatment for children who suffer from rare diseases.


Holterman earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Yale University in 1980. He then studied medicine at the University of Virginia, focusing on pediatric surgery. Holterman later did his residency at the University of Virginal Medical School, where he trained at the University of Virginia Medical Scientist Center. Holterman then moved To Seattle to join the staff of the University of Washington Children’s Hospital as a research associate and practicing pediatric surgeon.


Dr. Holterman now lives in Illinois where he is a full professor and faculty advocate at the University of Illinois College of Medicine. His research concentrates on the use of ethically secured fetal stem cells to develop regenerative techniques. Specifically, he has contributed to the use of regenerative therapies to treat injuries, cancer, and diabetes. He was honored by the American Diabetes Association with its Innovative Research Award. Dr. Holterman is also the author of a number of scientific papers and textbooks.