ECMO Program Leadership

Joseph Turek, MD

Assistant Professor Joseph Turek, MD, PhD, is the Medical Director of the University of Iowa ECMO program. He succeeds Dr. William Lynch, with whom he has worked extensively on ECMO program development. In addition to his duties as an assistant professor in the departments of cardiothoracic surgery and pediatrics, Dr. Turek leads all aspects—neonatal, pediatric and adult—of the ECMO program.

Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) is prolonged partial heart-lung bypass for selected critically ill patients with severe, but reversible respiratory failure and/or cardiac disease who have failed other intensive care therapies. With the addition of other therapies, UI Hospitals and Clinics is able to provide a full spectrum of advanced extracorporeal support services for adults, children, and infants.

The UI ECMO program is one of a handful worldwide to earn designation as a Center of Excellence for ECMO by the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization (ELSO). Furthermore, we are one of three sites in the nation to offer the ELSO adult ECMO training course, attended by healthcare professionals from all over the world.

Dr. Turek has trained at some of the most prestigious institutions for cardiothoracic surgery in the nation. He completed residency and a fellowship in cardiothoracic surgery at Duke University in Durham, NC, followed by a fellowship in pediatric cardiothoracic surgery at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in Philadelphia, PA.

For more information on the ECMO program, including the criteria for ECMO and how to refer a patient, visit the ECMO Program website.