Dr. Mark Newman’s kids have grown up in North Carolina, where he has practiced medicine for nearly 20 years.
But when Newman talks about home, there’s no mistaking what he means.
“When I say let’s go home,” Newman said recently, “it has always been about going to Kentucky.”
Coming home has taken on even more importance to Newman as he recently assumed the pivotal leadership position of the University of Kentucky’s executive vice president for health affairs.
Newman now leads Kentucky’s largest health care system, a sprawling, $1.5 billion enterprise that will discharge nearly 40,000 patients this year, includes the state’s only nationally recognized cancer center, and is forging partnerships throughout the Commonwealth to provide advanced, subspecialty care to those who need it most.
“I think when you see the kind of trajectory that UK HealthCare has been on, you see the opportunity to continue to drive a difference, to be able to reach out and be the University and the health care for Kentucky,” Newman said. “You see the opportunity to make that difference. What we’ve done has really put us on a firm foundation to continue to build and reach out to improve the health care of Kentucky.”
To that bold vision and direction, Newman brings a distinctive blend of skills, service and background.
He grew up on a family farm near Owensboro, was educated in Kentucky schools and universities and then served in the Air Force, where he says he received “leadership training in an environment where there’s an expectation that you’re going to learn and make mistakes.”
That environment included deployments in operations “Just Cause,” “Desert Shield” and Desert Storm.”
Since 1992, he has served at Duke University, most recently as president of Private Diagnostic Clinic, one of nation’s leading physician practice plans. A former department chair and professor of medicine, Newman has published and practiced extensively as a cardiothoracic anesthesiologist.
It’s a career that has taken him to considerable professional heights and around the globe, serving his country during times of strife and need.
Now, he has been called to serve again – this time at the place he has always called home.
“This seems like kind of a dream come true for me,” Newman said. “At each step, you see the opportunities to reach out and help people. To make a difference. I’m excited to work to create an even greater vision and an even greater tomorrow, not only as part of this university, but for the entire state of Kentucky.”