Dr. Mark Holterman’s professional experience in the health care industry has lead him to many exciting avenues in his journey through medicine (Markjholterman). Born and raised in Wisconsin on a family-operated farm, Mark became determined to better his life by attending college at Yale University. After graduating with a degree in Biology from Yale, Mark then decided to take his academic career to the University of Virginia where he then started to study medicine. It was at the University of Virginia where he met his future wife and mother of his children, Ai-Xuan Le.(Smith, 2017).
Dr. Mark Holterman is one of the main enthusiasts behind the International Pediatric Specialists Alliance for the Children of Vietnam (IPSAC-VN). This nonprofit was dreamt up by Dr. Holterman, Ai-Xuan, and the chief surgeon of the largest hospital in Ho Chi Min City, Vietnam. Mark and his wife thought of the idea to start IPSAC-VN when they visited Vietnam and got to witness first-hand just how crowded the hospitals are there. This is a project that is very close to Ai-Xuan since she is from Vietnam. Her and her family had to leave the country in 1975 when North Vietnam seized control over Saigon. Ai-Xuan’s experience of living in Vietnam lead her to admit that many families from rural locations have to undergo an extensive amount of travel to seek medical care, which lead her to become passionate about providing health care to her native country (Smith, 2017).
Although IPSAC-VN is still in its infantile stages, there are multiple exuberant plans on how the organization is going to better health care conditions in Vietnam. For example, the organization is working to reduce the number of hospital acquired infections in Vietnam by providing facilities with newer pieces of equipment and medical machinery. IPSAC-VC also plans to start identifying Vietnamese children who are in need of surgery and matching them with a pediatric surgeon within the United States (Smith, 2017). There are many exciting experiences ahead for Dr. Mark Holterman, his family, and IPSAC-VN, but Mark and Ai-Xuan are the perfect innovators to lead the charge.