Feb. 27, 2020

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In Memoriam: Dr. Mart McMullan

The Medical Center extends its sympathy to the family of a former faculty member in appreciation for the loved one's contributions to the academic health sciences center.

Dr. Mart McMullan

Dr. Martin "Mart" McMullan, a University of Mississippi School of Medicine graduate and one of the state’s most prominent cardiovascular surgeons, died Feb. 23 in Jackson at age 79.

Services are 2 p.m. Feb. 27 at Northminster Baptist Church in Jackson, with visitation beginning at noon.

A native of Forest, Miss., Dr. McMullan played football as the center for the Forest High Bearcats. He graduated from Mississippi College, where he also played center for the Choctaws football team, in 1962.

Portrait of Dr. Mart McMullan

He received his doctor of medicine from UMMC in 1966, remaining at the Medical Center after graduation and completing a surgery internship and residency under the legendary Dr. James D. Hardy from 1966-1971. Dr. McMullan considered himself fortunate to be one of the "Hardy boys."

McMullan completed his thoracic and cardiovascular surgery residency in 1973 at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., then practiced for 32 years with Cardiovascular Surgical Clinic at Baptist Medical Center in Jackson. He served as chief of the hospital’s medical staff and as chairman of of the Board of Trustees for Mississippi Baptist Health Systems.

Retirement took him, at age 65, back to UMMC, where he served as senior advisor to former Vice Chancellors Dr. Dan Jones and Dr. James Keeton, and for a short period, under current Vice Chancellor Dr. LouAnn Woodward, who began her tenure March 1, 2015. McMullan was tasked with turning around areas that need improvement or even a makeover. That ranged from jump-starting the pediatric congenital heart program to enticing top physicians to join the Medical Center's staff.

McMullan did make his retirement more permanent in June 2015, but he left his mark on the Medical Center after using his decades in private practice and vast people skills to craft solutions to make UMMC a better place for patients and employees alike.

"Mart McMullan spent most of his career fixing hearts in his role as a cardiovascular surgeon. It was the combination of that will to fix things, his strong local and national reputation, and his gentlemanly charm that drew me to recruit him to be a part of our leadership team," Jones, who today serves as director of clinical and population sciences at UMMC’s Mississippi Center for Obesity Research, said in a June .15, 2015 eCV story about McMullan.

McMullan helped to fine-tune the bariatric surgery and wound care programs. And, he played a role in UMMC's establishment of specialty clinics in Tupelo, Grenada, Hattiesburg and Gulfport. He also served on The MIND Center’s Community Advisory Board since its inception in 2010.

Perhaps one of McMullan's greatest legacies to the Medical Center, though, was his recruitment prowess. He attracted "outside cardiologists and other specialties from the community, which had never happened before," Dr. Mike McMullan, professor of cardiology, medical director of the adult congenital heart program, and director of the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, said in the eCV story.

Even in retirement, Mart McMullan worked to make UMMC a better and stronger organization. He assisted the Office of Development in an advisory capacity to encourage members of the community to remember the Medical Center in their wills and estates.

His survivors include his wife, Lyllian Lee McMullan; daughters M'lee McMullan Williams (Kelley) and Misti McMullan Crisler (Bob); son Martin Brian McMullan (Holly); and ten grandchildren, James Kelley Williams, III (Jake), Martin Zachary Williams (Zach), Anna Katheryn Williams, Patrick Luke Williams, Robert Blanton Crisler, IV, John Martin Crisler (Jack), Lyllian Caroline Crisler, Connor Mart McMullan, Samuel Lee McMullan, and William Robert Seymour.

Memorials may be made to Mississippi College; Batson Children's Hospital or The MIND Center at UMMC; Northminster Baptist Church; or a favorite charity.