Judy Faulkner is the founder and CEO of Epic Systems, which she began in 1979 in the basement of an apartment house with $70,000 in startup money and two part-time assistants. Epic has since grown to become the leading provider of integrated healthcare software.
Epic’s clients include many of the country’s top hospitals and health systems, including the Cleveland Clinic, Johns Hopkins, Cedars-Sinai, Kaiser Permanente, CVS Health, and Walgreen’s. With more than 9,500 employees, Epic is the largest tech-based firm in Wisconsin, and more than half of the U.S. population has its medical information in an Epic system. Faulkner has kept the company privately held and has built a sustainable corporate campus in Verona.
Faulkner earned her BS in mathematics from Dickinson College in 1965 and her MS in Computer Sciences from UW–Madison in 1967. She previously taught computer science for the UW System, and worked as a healthcare software developer, creating one of the first databases organized around a patient’s record.
In 2013, Forbes Magazine called her the “most powerful woman in health care.” Faulkner received honorary doctorates from UW–Madison and from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York. Faulkner has pledged that 99 percent of her assets will go to philanthropy.
For nearly five years, Faulkner served on the Health Information Technology Policy Committee, a U.S. federal advisory committee that helps to shape IT-related healthcare policy, and its Privacy & Security subcommittee. She is a member of the national Academy of Medicine’s Leadership Roundtable. She also serves on the board of visitors for the UW–Madison department of computer sciences, and Epic has endowed three faculty positions within the department.