Delphine O’Rourke provides healthcare regulatory and governance counsel to a wide range of entities in the healthcare space, including health systems, hospitals, foundations, complex physician practices, hospital associations, research organizations, providers of telehealth and mhealth, vendors, entrepreneurs and investors.  Clients appreciate Delphine’s deep understanding of the health industry and of the forces that are disrupting the business of health and wellness.  Drawing on her experience as general counsel and health care executive, she brings a unique value-add to her clients because she understands the interplay between strategy, operations and the laws that drive health access, delivery and quality.  Traditional and new players in the healthcare industry are strategically looking to carve out their stake and they need trusted counsel who can help them thrive today and in tomorrow’s complex regulatory and governance landscape.   

Healthcare is one of the most regulated industries, and clients rely on Delphine to advise on the multitude of federal and state laws that impact their complex transactions.  She also regularly counsels and presents to boards of directors, the C-suite and leadership on legal issues relating to ongoing good governance as well as in connection with strategic and high-risk matters.  The demands and liability exposure of leaders in the health and wellness industry are greater than they have ever been and require a sophisticated understanding of the growing body of laws and regulations.

Boards partner with Delphine on such matters as to educate new board members, provide updates on major legislation’s impact on their business, advise on best practices in governance – including board composition - and refresh their governance structure and documents.  

Delphine has served as external and internal counsel to hospitals and health systems and improved performance through her dedication to practical, innovative and solutions-driven advice to complex problems. Most recently, she was an executive leader and legal counsel for Ascension, the largest nonprofit healthcare system in the country, with $23 billion in revenue and 165,000 employees in 24 states and the District of Columbia.  In that capacity, she had primary responsibility for legal, regulatory and governance matters for Ascension’s Eastern market and served on the Ascension Legal Senior Leadership Team with oversight of the delivery of legal services to all of Ascension and its subsidiaries.  Delphine also served as managing partner of the Philadelphia office of a national health law firm.

Areas of Practice

  • Governance

  • Health

  • Health Systems and Hospitals

  • Regulatory

  • Crisis Management


  • Pennsylvania
  • New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
  • Supreme Court of the United States


  • Columbia Law School, J.D., 2001
    - Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar
  • Georgetown University, B.S., cum laude, 1996


  • Duane Morris LLP
    - Partner, 2018-present

  • Ascension
    - Vice President of Legal Services and Associate General Counsel, 2018
    - Coordinating Counsel, New York and Connecticut Market; General Counsel & Chief Advocacy Officer, Our Lady of Lourdes Memorial Hospital, Inc., 2010-2014

  • Hall, Render, Killion, Heath & Lyman PC
    - Managing Partner, Philadelphia Office; External Regional Counsel and Hospital General Counsel, Ascension, 2014-2017

  • Hinman, Howard & Kattell LLC
    - Chair, Healthcare Practice & Special Counsel; External Chief Legal Officer, Our Lady of Lourdes Memorial Hospital, Inc., Ascension, 2006-2010

  • Linklaters LLP
    - Litigation Associate and Pro Bono Coordinator, New York Office, 2004-2005

  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
    - Law Clerk to the Hon. Legrome D. Davis, 2002-2003

  • Shearman & Sterling
    - Associate, 2000-2002

  • Council on Foreign Relations
    - Research Associate, 1996-1998

Professional Activities

  • American Bar Association

  • Pennsylvania Bar Association

  • Philadelphia Bar Association

  • New York State Bar Association

  • Columbia Law Women’s Association

  • Georgetown University Alumni Admissions Program

  • Legal Aid of Mid-State New York, Inc.

  • Legal Services of Central New York

  • The Forum of Executive Women

  • Women’s Leadership Council, American Health Lawyers Association

Selected Publications

  • Co-author, "Disaster Preparedness and Response: Five Focus Areas for Hospital and Health System Counsel," AHLA's Hospitals & Health Systems Rx, March 2019

  • Quoted in "HHS Report Card: Attys Grade Health Secretary's 1st Year," Law360, January 29, 2019

  • Guest Commentator: "How can Great Philadelphia's health care industry benefit from gender diversity in leadership?," The Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia, October 6, 2017

  • Quoted in "SCOTUS takes broad view of False Claims Act; watch your non-CMS compliance," Part B News, June 27, 2016

  • Quoted in "State Medicaid Expansion Should Reduce Emergency Room Visits," Health Payer Intelligence, April 29, 2016

  • Quoted in "Sexual abuse and harassment are challenging liability areas to address," Healthcare Risk Management, April 2016

  • "Obama Administration to Announce Plans to Address National Opioid Abuse Epidemic," Hall Render Health Law News Blog, March 29, 2016

  • "Convicts Can Take Care of Pennsylvania's Elderly: Pennsylvania Court Rules that Provision of Older Adult Protective Services Act Unconstitutional," Hall Render Health Law News Blog, January 25, 2016

  • "Department of Justice Scrutinizes Hospitals for Possible Discriminatory Advertising of Podiatric Residency Positions," Hall Render Health Law News Blog, January 6, 2016

  • "Boilerplate Litigation and the False Claims Act," Hall Render False Claims Act Defense Blog, February 19, 2015

Selected Speaking Engagements

  • Moderator, "American Health Lawyers Association Annual Meeting — Women's Event", Boston, June 25, 2019

  • Panelist, "Social Media and Healthcare: Legal Compliance Issues," Healthcare Association of New York State (HANYS) Annual Meeting, June 20, 2019

  • Panelist, "Exercise Your Consumer Power: Spend and Invest Your Money to Advance Women and the Causes that Matter to You," The Forum of Executive Women Leadership Symposium, Philadelphia, May 17, 2019

  • Speaker, "Turning Force Majeure into a Force to Action: Lawyer Perspectives on Protecting and Managing the Health Care Client’s Supply Chain During," American Health Lawyer's Association Boot Camp, April 17, 2019

  • Speaker, “Compliance with CMS’ Hospital Pricing Transparency Law,” New Jersey Hospital Association, General Counsel and Compliance Officer Affinity Group, Princeton, NJ, February 25, 2019

  • Speaker, "A Roundtable Discussion of Key Issues Facing Women Health Care Attorneys," Women's Leadership Series, Physicians and Hospitals Law Institute, American Health Lawyers Association, February 5, 2019

  • Speaker, “Graduate Medical Education: What’s New Again,” NJHA Teaching Hospitals Affinity Group Meeting, December 14, 2018

  • Speaker, "Critical Elements of Effective and Compliant Hospital-Provider Transactions," Providence Health System, June 2018

  • Speaker, "Navigating the Complexities of the Regulatory Framework for Sophisticated Provider Transactions," St. Vincent's Medical Center, April 2018

  • Moderator, "Key Topics of Women Lawyers in Healthcare," Women's Leadership Series, The Medicare and Medicaid Institute, American Health Lawyers Association, October 2017

  • "OIG Resource Guide: Lessons from the Field," New Jersey Hospital Association, August 16, 2017

  • "Changing Liability Landscape for Hospital Board Members," Our Lady of Lourdes Memorial Hospital

  • "What Every Hospital Board Member Needs to Know about the Healthcare Fraud and Abuse Laws," Our Lady of Lourdes Memorial Hospital

  • "Health System and Medical Staff Compliance with the Equal Access to Healthcare Requirements of Section 1557," Providence Hospital

  • "340(B) Compliance: Ensuring Compliance and Effective Auditing," The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania, September 26, 2017

  • "Conversations in the Boardroom: Building the Boardroom Pipeline for the C-Suite," The Forum of Executive Women, October 12, 2017

  • "Building a Community of Engaged Attorneys," Ascension Legal, October 2016

  • "Health Care Reform in PA – Where Are We Now?," 2015 Bench Bar & Annual Conference, Philadelphia Bar Association, October 16, 2015

  • "Growing an Internal Firm Culture: Fostering Personal Vocation & Community," American Health Lawyers Association, Women's Leadership Institute, April 15, 2015