May 2011 Volume 7 Number 9

Chair's Column

By Priscilla D. Keith, Indiana University School of Law, Indianapolis, IN*

AuthorOne of the best ways to become involved with the ABA Health Law Section is to join one or more of the twelve Interest Groups (IGs). When I joined the Health Law Section several years ago, I also joined the Public Health and Policy IG. This turned out to be one of the best decisions I have ever made professionally and personally! I was able to network immensely inside and outside the Interest Group and develop my skills in the specific area of public health. I made life-long friends, as well. I reached out to members of the Section and they took me by the hand and mentored me every step of the way. I encourage you, if you have not done so, to go ahead and join one of the IGs. Membership in the IGs is FREE for Health Law Section members!

The IGs are the engine that drives the Health Law Section. They are the heart and soul of the Section. The IGs keep members informed of new developments in their specific practice areas, provide comments on proposed regulations (through filing written comments as well as in meetings with government officials), coordinate many of the teleconferences that you see advertised and facilitate networking among members.

Equally impressive is the Annual Emerging Issues in Healthcare Law Conference in which IG members work together to bring to fruition. This conference provides a wealth of information regarding current health care and ethics issues, and are well-attended by practitioners and non-practitioners alike! I look forward to this conference every year.

This year, the Health Law Section formed three task force groups, one or more of which ultimately may develop and expand into an IG. They are the Accountability Care Organizations (ACO) Task Force, the Native American Task Force and Long Term Care Task Force. These three task forces have been integral participants in the IG Leadership meetings and have sponsored several CLE teleconferences. We are very pleased to have them on board and looking forward to great things from them!

The IGs and Task Forces are on to some great things. For example, the Medical, Research, Biotechnology & Clinical Ethical Issues IG is preparing a toolkit for legal issues related to medical research, and also is planning several new teleconferences that will focus on legal issues related to advising the local IRB. The Public Health and Policy IG has co-sponsored several webinars with the Public Health Law Network. The eHealth, Privacy and Security IG is hosting a series of focus groups to share information on health information technology. The Employment Benefits & Executive Compensation IG has brought in a speaker for its next IG meeting to address medical tourism.

The Physicians Issues IG is sponsoring its Annual ABA Physicians-Legal Issues Conference on June 16 th and 17 th at Loyola University Chicago School of Law. The conference is being expanded this year to a one and a half-day program, and will focus on the most significant issues and challenges facing physicians and physicians’ lawyers, including discussions of PPACA’s impact on physician practices. We invite you to come and join us this year in Chicago.

I invite you to join the Health Law Section and one or more of the IGs, if you haven’t already. It is a great opportunity to hone your craft, make new friends, network, and learn so much more than you ever expected. Please join us. I promise you won’t be disappointed!

*This month's Chair's Column is written by guest columnist, Priscilla Keith. Priscilla is a member the Section's Governing Council, and the Chair of the Interest Group Leadership Team.

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