Mark French - Entrepreneur, Stroke Advocate, and MedStar NRH Supporter | MedStar Health

Mark French - Entrepreneur, Stroke Advocate, and MedStar NRH Supporter

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WASHINGTON, D.C., – Mark French, Vice Chair of the MedStar National Rehabilitation Network Board, died on May 3 after a brief illness. “Mark was such an important member of the MedStar NRH family,” says President John Rockwood. “His enthusiasm knew no bounds and in a short time, he made a tremendous impact on the Network’s efforts to serve our patients and the community.”

  1. Just a few months before Mark passed away, his film about stroke survivors A Teachable Moment, became available on Amazon Prime. Click here to learn more about this film, featuring MedStar NRH VP of Research, Alexander Dromerick, MD. 

Mark gave everything he had to all he did, and his hard work paid off with success during his decades-long career in business—and during his recovery from a devastating stroke he suffered in July 2015.  His tenacity and indomitable spirit were rewarded when he received a Victory Award at the MedStar NRH 30th Anniversary Gala in April 2016.

When he received his award, Mark credited the rehab team at MedStar NRH for his remarkable recovery. “After my stroke and before I came to MedStar NRH, my life was a very different—and frightening—place,” he said. “But at MedStar NRH, I became excited because everyone there said I would recover, and I did. Recovery from stroke is the hardest thing I’ve ever done,” French said.  “But with the help of the fabulous doctors and therapists at MedStar NRH, I could see that I was moving forward every day.  I’m so grateful to them all.”

Mark French giving speech after receiving Victory Award in 2016Mark was founder, president, and CEO of Leading Authorities, one of the nation’s most prominent strategic event firms and lecture agencies.  He was well respected—and well loved—by his co-workers and friends.  Accolades poured in following his death and those close to him shared memories of a man who loved life, adored his family and never walked away from a challenge.  As one friend posted online, Mark was a “devoted husband, father, grandfather, brother and colleague. A friend who was beyond loyal and ferocious in his loyalty. An insatiable intellect. A serial entrepreneur. A force of nature. A pioneer.”

Following his stroke, Mark became an advocate for stroke education and rehabilitation.  “He brought his inexhaustible energy and abundant talent to everything he did,” Rockwood says.  “We were so blessed that he shared these with us, and we will miss him dearly.”


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About MedStar National Rehabilitation Network

The MedStar National Rehabilitation Network is a regional system of rehabilitation care that offers inpatient, day treatment and outpatient services in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Northern Virginia.

The Network’s interdisciplinary team of rehabilitation experts provides comprehensive services to help people recover as fully as possible following illness and injury.  Rehabilitation medicine specialists, psychologists, physical and occupational therapists, and speech-language pathologists work hand-in-hand with other rehab professionals to design treatment plans tailored to each patient’s unique needs.  Rehabilitation plans feature a team approach and include the use of state-of-the-art technology and advanced medical treatment based on the latest rehabilitation research.  

The Network provides comprehensive programs specifically designed to aid in the rehabilitation of adults and children recovering from neurologic and orthopaedic conditions such as amputation, arthritis, back and neck pain, brain injury, cancer, cardiac conditions, concussion, fibromyalgia, foot and ankle disorders, hand and upper extremity problems, post-polio syndrome, stroke, spinal cord injury and disease, and sports and work-related injuries.

Inpatient and day treatment programs are provided at MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital located in Northwest Washington, D.C., and at more than 50 outpatient sites conveniently located throughout the region.  MedStar National Rehabilitation Network is fully accredited by The Joint Commission, the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), with CARF accredited specialty programs for Amputations, Brain Injury, Spinal Cord Injury and Stroke.

For more on MedStar National Rehabilitation Network and to find a location near you, log on to

For Immediate Release:
Media Contact

Derek T.Berry

Director of Communications


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