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ABA Health eSource
January 2009 Volume 5 Number 5

Chair's Column
by Vickie Yates Brown, Frost Brown Todd LLC, Louisville, KY

Vickie Yates Brown2009 promises to be an exciting time to be a health lawyer. Like many things in life, law is cyclical. Except for occasional statutory and regulatory changes, the area of health law has been fairly static in the last few years. However, it appears that 2009 is the time that health law issues may again be in the forefront and many of us in the industry are expecting substantial statutory changes, including efforts once again at major healthcare reform. These promise to be tumultuous but exciting times for the industry. Change brings opportunity. I see a lot of opportunity for lawyers in the area of health law.

I was recently interviewed for an ABA publication exploring “hot” areas of the law. This particular publication was geared towards law students. The interview caused me to focus on health law and to predict the opportunity for law students in this niche area of the law. It was this process which made me try to articulate how areas of the law are cyclical in nature and why I thought health law was once again going to become a very “hot” area of the law.

The bleak economic outlook has caused Americans to worry even more about securing and keeping appropriate healthcare insurance and accessing healthcare services. Congress and the incoming Obama administration are assuring the American public that it is listening and will address their concerns by passing comprehensive healthcare reform measures. All of this --- the debates on the issues and the Congressional responses --- will bring changes and opportunity for healthcare lawyers.

One of the things I relish most about practicing in this niche area is that a health lawyer’s practice usually encompasses more than implementing certain statutes and regulations. The area of health law also includes understanding a complex industry, grappling with and determining appropriate health policy and formulating government strategy.

Updates on the upcoming debates and any legislative changes, along with other emerging issues in the health law area, will certainly be an integral part of the upcoming ABA Health Law Section Emerging Issues Conference (“EMI”) to be held on February 18 – 20, 2009 at the lovely Disney Yacht Club Resort in Orlando, Florida. It is hard to believe that this will be the 10 th anniversary of EMI.

EMI was the brainchild of former Health Law Section chair, Howard Wall. Howard had the foresight to envision a live program/conference which would serve several purposes, including the showcasing of cutting edge issues developed from each Interest Group’s expertise, an opportunity for Interest Group members to meet in person and to update members about programming and legislation affecting their particular area of interest and, importantly, an opportunity to bring all Section members together to make personal acquaintances, meet peers and to just have fun!

Howard is chairing the 10 year reunion committee. He, along with former chairs Jay Christensen, Bonnie Brier and Paul Herrington, and Council member Shelley Hubner, promise to provide a good time as we reminisce about the Section’s history, enjoy another Marguerita Cup competition for the golfers in the group or just hang out together and enjoy each other’s company. I look forward to seeing each member of the Section at EMI. Please make reservations to attend, if you have not already done so. This year promises to be a special EMI meeting and we encourage and welcome each member to attend.

I am looking forward to the sunny, warm weather of Florida in about 6 weeks. However, until then, I will continue to battle the cold, wet Kentucky weather by cooking up a big pot of Kentucky burgoo stew. Some in Kentucky like to refer to burgoo as Kentucky’s version of “road kill”. There was a time when burgoo was made by early Kentuckians from whatever meat they were able to kill on that particular day --- squirrel, chicken, groundhog – you name it! Today, we Kentuckians are more refined and we use meats that are more easily acquired (like deer meat acquired by accident). I am sharing with you the burgoo recipe from Keeneland Race Course located in Lexington, Kentucky. www.Keeneland.com. If you have never visited Keeneland, I strongly encourage you to do so. It is one of the most beautiful thoroughbred horse racing courses in America. Time seems to have passed it by. However, at every Spring and Fall meet, Keeneland serves big bowls of burgoo to its guests to ward off the chill of the day. I think you will enjoy this Kentucky stew as we face the cold and snowy days of winter 2009. ( http://www.flavorsofkentucky.com/archives/2005/051026/051026_main.htm).

Burgoo 

  • 1 pound pork shank
  • 1 pound beef shank
  • 1 pound breast of lamb
  • 1 pound veal shank
  • Half of a 4-pound fat hen
  • 4 quarts water
  • 1⁄2 bunch parsley
  • 1 cup cabbage
  • 1 green pepper
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 onions
  • 2 potatoes
  • 1 pint tomatoes
  • 1 cup corn
  • 1 pod red pepper
  • 1⁄2 cup lima beans
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • Cayenne pepper and salt to taste

Boil meats in water until tender. Remove from broth. Cool. Remove meat from bones and dice. Chop parsley, cabbage and green pepper. Peel and dice carrots, onions and potatoes. Combine all ingredients in meat stock and cook until thick (about 2 hours).  Makes 12 servings.


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