Meet the Chairman of the Board
Blending his professional and philanthropic passions, Mr. Mark believes that contributions of “time, experience, and money” can help organizations achieve their missions.
After serving for nearly a decade as a member of the Board of Trustees of New York Medical College (NYMC), Joseph D. Mark has been appointed as chair of its Board of Trustees. A former investment banker and health care executive, Mr. Mark is fueled by his interest in the health science and education fields and his professional accomplishments include investing in and cofounding several health care companies.
What made you interested in the health care industry?
I would love to say it was something planned, but it was a fortuitous chain of events. Twenty years ago, I was at a crossroads in my career after selling a company I had co-founded and of which I was the CEO. I had previously invested in several health care companies through a venture capital fund I had established in Israel. In addition, my wife, Meryl, is a physician and I have always had great admiration and pride in her ability to positively impact so many lives. When a former college classmate, an old friend who had been a very successful entrepreneur and investor in health care, offered me an opportunity to work in the industry—I gladly accepted. Together we acquired, built, and over time successfully sold several health care companies.
What are you most proud of in your career?
With my involvement as an investor, as a senior executive and as a co-founder of a number of health care companies, the common theme has always been trying to make the health care system more efficient and better able to meet the needs of patients at a more affordable cost. When I invest in companies today, that's something I think about a lot. That’s something that makes me exceptionally proud.
What drew you to Touro?
Alan Kadish, M.D., president of the Touro College and University System (TCUS), was my childhood friend—we've known each other for about 55 years. When he told me he was planning on moving back from Chicago to take on a senior leadership position at TCUS, I offered to help in any way I could. When he asked me to join the board of NYMC, I was happy to play an active role as a trustee.
What excites you most about NYMC?
Both professionally and from a philanthropic standpoint, my wife and I have been involved in health care and education. To me, this position at NYMC represents a nexus between those fields—it's combining two areas of interest and passion that I have.
Over the course of its 160-year history, this institution has always prided itself as being at the forefront of change—whether that was admitting the first women physicians, training the first African American physicians or admitting Jewish medical students during a period in history that they were being restricted from other medical schools. That’s the legacy New York Medical College has and this spirit of leadership inspires me.
What excites me most about NYMC is that this institution has carved out a role for itself in providing first-class biomedical education under Jewish auspices. As a practicing Jew, I believe that an institution like NYMC can and should play a magnified role in society. TCUS and NYMC is a beacon in this aspect, and I'm just very proud to be able to be part of it.
What is your vision for the future of NYMC?
For me, health science education needs to evolve to better reflect the changing economics and mission of our health care system. My involvement in health care has been tied to the evolution in transitioning the health care delivery system from a fee for service to a value-based system, as well as a recognition of the impact of health disparities and social determinants. As a result, I believe the way health professionals, scientists and physicians are trained needs to better prepare them for this rapidly changing environment. There is an opportunity, as health care is evolving, for NYMC to be a part of, and, where appropriate, lead this change. Our graduates are trained on how this system is evolving, and we have an opportunity to continue to be a leader in this respect. I am extremely proud to be involved with an institution that has been enormously successful, training tens of thousands of physicians and other health care professionals over the years. After being involved with the College for nearly a decade, I’ve seen an administration and faculty that’s thoughtful and humanistic, which wants to help society improve and flourish. The vision I have is to build on the success that we've had —cautiously and carefully, but in a very focused way—allowing the College to carve out its own path.