Gift of Life honors Sparrow Pathologist as Donation Champion

Published: April 5, 2022

Ann Arbor, MI – Michael Markey, M.D., a Sparrow Hospital physician and chief medical examiner for five counties in Michigan, is one of 17 individuals, four partner organizations and one hospital to receive a 2022 Donation Champion Award from Gift of Life Michigan, recognizing his extraordinary efforts to help fulfill the wishes of donor families.

“Gift of Life Michigan is so fortunate to have so many dedicated partners assist us with our mission of honoring life through donation,” said Dorrie Dils, President and CEO of Gift of Life Michigan. “Every year there are so many worthy nominees and it is always a difficult decision.”

Dr. Markey, who leads the Forensic Pathology Department at Sparrow, serves as the chief medical examiner for Eaton, Ingham, Ionia, Isabella and Shiawassee counties. He was nominated for the award for implementing best practices that ensure Gift of Life staff is notified as soon as possible to ensure donation can occur.

“It’s more about being supportive of the process and making sure that all of the staff knows it’s part of an important mission that the office has,” said Dr. Markey, who has been a forensic pathologist and medical examiner for about 20 years, including 19 at Sparrow.

2022 Donation Champion Award Winner Michael Markey, M.D.

Sparrow’s Michael Markey, M.D., receives his Donation Champion Award from Dorrie Dils, president and CEO of Gift of Life Michigan.

Dr. Markey is among the highly skilled physicians who practice leading-edge medicine at Sparrow, providing compassionate care for Mid-Michigan.

Becoming a medical pathologist wasn’t the Illinois native’s first choice when he entered medical school. He said he initially wanted to study medicine to see patients and treat people, to make people who were sick better and keep people who were healthy, healthy.

More than two decades later, he said he still looks at forensic pathology as a way to help patients, however, and said he thinks organ and tissue donation is a way to do that.

 “For me, it’s one way to be able to fulfill that desire, to help people still to help someone who needs that cornea, or a tissue that will help them get better and potentially save their life,” Dr. Markey said. “It’s that one small thing I can do to have a positive effect on a patient, which I don’t actually get to see or experience in my field very often.” Other Donation Champion winners are:

  • Secretary of State Employee: Sai Jones, Secretary of State Branch Office, Livonia
  • Taking Initiative: Silvey’s Transportation 
  • Advocacy: Susan Hanna, Ascension Borgess Hospital, Kalamazoo 
  • Volunteer: Kenton Kurth, Grand Rapids  
  • Community Partner: Michigan HOSA 
  • Legislative Partner: State Rep. Felicia Brabec, Ann Arbor 
  • Multicultural Difference Maker: Londel Cook, Saginaw 
  • First Responder: Kristen Main, Battle Creek
  • Donation Storyteller: April Morton, CBS 62 
  • Hospital Spiritual Care: Michael Goddard, McLaren Pontiac Hospital 
  • End-of-Life Team: Family Support and End-of-Life Team, Ascension St. John Hospital 
  • Nurse: Victolyn Flemmings, Detroit Receiving Hospital & University Health Center 
  • Physician: Dr. Thomas Gravelyn, St. Joseph Mercy Hospital, Ann Arbor  
  • Donation Liaison: Maureen Bishop, Spectrum Health Lakeland St. Joseph Hospital 
  • Funeral Professional: Sharon Gee-Mascarello, Gladwin 
  • Transplant Center Professional: Joann Brooks, Michigan Medicine, Ann Arbor  
  • Hospital Executive Leader: Dr. Larry Ramunno, DMC Sinai-Grace Hospital, Detroit 
  • Innovation Award: Laboratory, Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak
  • Honoring Life Through Donation Award: Dr. Chandan Mehta, Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit  
  • Donor Hospital of the Year: Beaumont Hospital, Dearborn  
  • Legacy Award: Bill Madek, Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit  


Sparrow is Mid-Michigan’s premier healthcare organization and includes hospitals in Lansing, Carson City, Charlotte, Ionia, and St. Johns, as well as Sparrow Specialty Hospital, Physicians Health Plan, Sparrow Care Network, Sparrow Medical Group, Michigan Athletic Club, and AL!VE. Sparrow is affiliated with Michigan Medicine through the Sparrow Children’s Center and with Michigan State University’s three human health colleges. Through these partnerships and the dedication of our 10,000 caregivers, Sparrow pursues a vision to be nationally recognized as a leader in quality and patient experience. For more information, visit