Faulkner to retire as general counsel of Penn State Health

January 30, 2019
Mark Faulkner poses for a professional headshot, wearing a suit and tie.

Mark Faulkner

IMAGE: Penn State Health

R. Mark Faulkner, Penn State Health’s general counsel, has announced plans to retire. His decision brings to a close a legal career that began in 1972, and included providing legal services to Penn State, the Milton S Hershey Medical Center and what evolved during his tenure into Penn State Health.

“It has been my great privilege to work alongside dedicated clinicians, educators, staff and fellow attorneys of the Office of General Counsel in advancing the missions of the University, its College of Medicine and Penn State Health,” Faulkner said. “I am confident that under the committed leadership of the board of trustees and board of directors of Penn State Health the future is in good hands.”

Faulkner will step down when a successor is named in the coming weeks.

A graduate of Juniata College in Huntington, Pennsylvania, and Dickinson School of Law in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, Faulkner began providing legal services to Penn State in 1976. In 1980, he began his work for Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, which continued when he became associate general counsel of the University on May 1, 2010.

Faulkner’s legal advice shepherded Penn State’s health care enterprises and the College of Medicine through nearly a half century. His work touched upon civil rights and First Amendment issues and litigation; employment law matters, health care operations and regulatory compliance, real estate transactions and more.

“It is difficult to over-emphasize the role that Mark has played in the growth of initially the Hershey Medical Center and subsequently Penn State Health,” said Dr. Craig Hillemeier, dean of the College of Medicine, chief executive officer of Penn State Health and senior vice president of health affairs for Penn State. “I have found his counsel and guidance to be thoughtful, perceptive and invariably on the mark. I would offer there are few in the country who have the ability and understanding that Mark has shown in overseeing the growth of our stand-alone university health center into a community-wide regional health system that is so well integrated with the College of Medicine and the Hershey Medical Center. I have been extremely fortunate to work with Mark and wish him and Georgia the best.”

In 2015, Faulkner helped guide the legal process to form Penn State Health and make St. Joseph Regional Health Network and the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center the first and second formal members of Penn State Health, respectively. He subsequently became the health system’s first general counsel.

“Mark’s decades-long contributions to the University and Penn State Health are legendary. In addition to being an outstanding lawyer and leader, Mark has contributed his superb judgment to the well-being of his grateful clients,” said Stephen Dunham, Penn State’s vice president and general counsel. “Mark knows more about the legal history of the University and the development of the Hershey Medical Center and Penn State Health than anyone. He was truly in the room where it happened, helped lead and guide us through many challenges and prepared us well for the future. We will miss him greatly as a colleague, and do not promise to leave him alone in retirement, but we wish Mark and Georgia all the best.”

Faulkner is a member of several professional legal organizations, including the American Health Lawyers Association, the National Association of College and University Attorneys and the Pennsylvania Bar Association.

From 1973 to 2006, he worked as bar examiner with the Pennsylvania Board of Law Examiners. Here he wrote and edited essay questions for the state bar examination on real estate, civil procedure, constitutional law and professional responsibility. Faulkner also taught health law as a part time instructor at Penn State in the early 1990s.

He has been a member of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, an officer and director of environmental organizations, and participated on boards and commissions of local municipalities in the State College region.

Faulkner has no immediate plans after retirement but he looks forward to fly fishing and travel with his wife, Georgia Brown Faulkner, and will remain close to their children and grandchildren in Pennsylvania and California.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated October 17, 2019