For love of deliveries

Staff photo by Kevin Sweeney Retiring Dr. Marc Burkhart speaks at a reception in his honor at the New Ulm Event Center Saturday. Burkhart delivered 6,441 babies in his medical career, 4,837 in New Ulm. He originally planned to work as a doctor in his home state of Iowa until his wife Lori found an advertisement for a medical doctor in The Journal in the 1980s.

NEW ULM — Retiring obstetrics and gynecology Dr. Marc Burkhart became audibly choked up when he talked about one or all of the 6,441 babies he delivered in his medical career.

In more than 33 years of service at New Ulm Medical Center, Burkhart delivered 4,837 babies, a number of which were present at a retirement reception dinner/dance in his honor at the New Ulm Event Center Saturday.

Among the most memorable deliveries was his first one–Michael Carlson, born July 6, 1976 in Burkhart’s hometown hospital in Humboldt, Iowa.

Carlson felt strongly enough about Burkhart’s retirement to travel from Pittsburgh, Pa. to New Ulm for the reception.

Burkhart’s final delivery was Abbi Holm, daughter of Rae and Jake Holm on Aug. 24, 2019.

“I guess I’m compulsive. I created tickets for every delivery I did. I kept a log of all my surgeries,” Burkhart said.

He delivered 79 sets of twins, undiagnosed twins, conjoined Siamese twins and a set of triplets.

There were other poignant moments at the event.

Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) Vicki Holm who worked with Burkhart at the New Ulm clinic, sang a song about his retirement to the tune of Billy Joel’s “The Piano Man.”

Melissa Schisel, who worked as an LPN with Burkhart, had the best guess of many many babies he delivered in his career, before the number was made public. She guessed 6,450 deliveries.

Schisel’s prize was a round trip to the Burkhart’s Bailey Island, Maine cabin.

Marc performed his medical residency in Portland, Maine.

Burkhart’s wife Lori was credited with leading him to New Ulm to practice medicine more than 33 years ago.

“I was planning on settling down somewhere in Iowa, between I-80 and the Iowa-Minnesota line. Then Lori found an advertisement in The Journal, we visited New Ulm and moved here,” Marc said.

Burkhart did much more than just practice medicine in New Ulm. He served on the New Ulm Medical Center Board of Directors from 1993-1995 and was involved in four medical center building projects. He served on the New Ulm Chamber of Commerce Board from 1991 to 1993.

Marc and Lori received the New Ulm Hockey Association Outstanding Volunteer Award in 2004. All four of their boys played hockey in New Ulm.

A former New Ulm Cub Scout Master, Marc also served on the District 88 Board of Education. He’s also active at First United Methodist Church and the New Ulm Rotary.

Fritz Busch can be emailed at fbusch@nujournal.com.


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