Marvin Leibovich, M.D., died on October 5, 2015. Preceded in death by his parents, Joseph and Jocelyn, Dr. Leibovich leaves behind his beloved wife of thirty-six years, L. Lee Spindler, M.D.; four sons, Joe (Christiana), Chip (Stacy), David (Jo), Josh (Gail); five grandchildren; and a brother, Louis (Susan) and niece Jocelyn.
Dr. Leibovich was one of the earliest board certified Emergency Medicine physicians in Arkansas and served as Medical Director of the Emergency Department and Chief of Emergency Medicine at Baptist Health Medical Center in Little Rock from 1980-2005. In 1981 he developed Arkansas’ first aeromedical helicopter program by obtaining the support of the Little Rock Air Force Base’s helicopter squadron, Det 437th ARRS, to fly critically ill or injured patients to tertiary care hospitals. In 1984 he began a hospital based EMS helicopter program, MedFlight, which served the entire state of Arkansas. Dr. Leibovich worked closely with Little Rock businessman, David Jones, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Gannett Foundation and numerous elected city officials to present a public utility model for Little Rock’s ambulance system. Once approved by the city’s board of directors, this model, which became MEMS, dramatically improved Emergency Medical Services for Little Rock and the surrounding metropolitan area.
Dr. Leibovich served for twenty-five years as Chair of the Governor’s Advisory Council for EMS, and he and Dr. John Cone were the first co-Chairs of the Governor’s Trauma Advisory Council.
In 2006, Dr. Leibovich became Chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine at UAMS and received a gubernatorial appointment to the Arkansas Department of Health’s Board of Health.
Dr. Leibovich was a Fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and served thirty-two years on its Council. He also served two terms as president of the Arkansas ACEP chapter. He was a member of the American Medical Association, the Arkansas State Medical Society, and the Pulaski County Medical Society and served a term as its president. While treating an injured LRPD SWAT team member in 1991, Dr. Leibovich saw a need for on-site emergency medical personnel during SWAT operations. Shortly thereafter, he began participating in SWAT training and call outs. In May 1996, he graduated from the Little Rock Police Academy and worked with the LRPD SWAT until December, 2014. In 1997 he was awarded the Fraternal Order of Police’s Humanitarian award for saving the life of an officer involved in a motor vehicular accident. He began working with Arkansas State Police SWAT in 2002, training with and providing emergency medical services to their team. During his law enforcement career with LRPD and ASP, Dr. Leibovich participated in joint operations with the FBI, DEA and ATF. In association with the LRPD SWAT, he tried to inspire the next generation of physicians to also participate with law enforcement by offering to UAMS residents a Tactical EMS course. Dr. Leibovich always considered it an honor and privilege to serve those who serve and protect our society.
Dr. Leibovich enjoyed spending time on the beach with family and friends, running the roads of rural Saline County and 30A in South Walton County, FL, and was an avid fan of Jimmy Buffet and other musical artists.
The family appreciates the many friends, LEOs, nurses, physicians, and Arkansas Hospice who showed him love and concern and gave him compassionate care during his illness.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Marvin Leibovich Memorial Fund, UAMS, 4301 W. Markham St., #716, Little Rock, AR 72205, or Arkansas Hospice Foundation, 14 Parkstone Circle, North Little Rock, AR 72116.
Memorial Service will be at 10:00 A.M., Wednesday, October 7, 2015 at Fellowship Bible Church, 1401 Kirk Road, Little Rock, AR 72223. The family will receive friends from 4:00 to 6:00 P.M., Tuesday at Roller-Chenal Funeral Home, 13801 Chenal Parkway, Little Rock, AR 72211 (501-224-3800).