There are some big things afoot at Baptist Hospital. President and CEO Mark Faulkner isn’t revealing anything yet, other than to say there are “two really, really good things” brewing on the horizon.
“Just say Baptist Hospital is looking forward to some major unveilings in the coming days,” he said.
Faulkner’s clearly excited about the hospital’s news. But it will have to wait. There are other matters to discuss—like the region’s bleak health outlook.
Northwest Florida is not a healthy place. Repeated studies have concluded such. Escambia and Santa Rosa counties have increased rates of diabetes and asthma, a big problem with sexually transmitted diseases, a high rate of Alzheimer’s disease, breast cancer and more.
As head of one of the area’s major health care facilities, Mark Faulkner is one of the people working toward changing these dismal statistics.
“I think it’s our responsibility,” he said.
Recently, Faulkner attended the Community Health Summit. It was a chance for area stakeholders—members of the health care, business and governmental communities—to get together and forge a path out of the woods.
The Baptist chief walked away from the summit hopeful, calling it a “good launching point.”
“I think the pieces already exist,” he said. “The boxes are there, but the arrows directing us are not.”
In addition to being a key player in the regional health care scene, Faulkner also oversees one of the area’s major employers. On that end, the president plans to continue fostering a culture that encourages community involvement.
He wants his employees to plug-in, become engaged. Maybe coach a T-ball team. Faulkner serves on local committees and teaches Sunday School.
“We’re of this community and for this community,” he explained. “And that’s what our mission is all about, we want to improve the community.”
The president said that the concept of giving back to the community is something the health care corporation places a great emphasis on.
“We keep our true North about ourselves, that’s why we exist,” he said. “We talk about our values, we talk about our vision. It’s constantly in front of us. It’s not just something that hangs on the wall.”
Faulkner is a long time member of the community he now serves. He grew up in Milton, graduated from the University of Alabama and has worked for Baptist since the early 1990s.
“My entire career has been at Baptist,” Faulkner said.
Faulkner landed his position as the head of the hospital a year ago. He has held various positions within the hospital administration and was awarded the 2002 Young Healthcare Executive of the Year by the American College Healthcare Executives.
The president said that, as head of Baptist Health Care, he feels a greater sense of responsibility to the community he serves. His community. He described his promotion as “a humbling experience.”
“I’ve never felt more accountable,” Faulkner said. “My accountability isn’t to a boss, but to a community.”