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Chair's Column: Innovative Value to Members

By John H McEniry IV, Fagron North America, Fairhope, AL

Happy New Year … and new Decade … from the officers, Governing Council, and staff of the Health Law Section!  I hope your holidays brought a well-deserved reprieve from the grind of 2019 and that you have tackled the first 28 days of this decade with renewed energy and determination.  The Section’s planning committee for the Washington Health Law Summit – including co-chairs Juliet McBride, King & Spalding LLP, Houston, TX and Jeff Wurzburg, Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP, San Antonio, TX and vice-chairs Heather Leigh Baroni, Atlanta, GA, Mitchell S.Y. Cohen, Vituity, Emeryville, CA, Clay Countryman, Breazeale Sachse & Wilson LLP, Baton Rouge, LA, Jennifer Rangel, Locke Lord LLP, Austin, TX, Donald Romano, Foley & Lardner LLP, Washington, DC and Kenya Woodruff, Katten, Dallas, TX – certainly earned a breather following months of hard work planning an innovative, informative, and fun conference.  If you happen to run into one or more of the volunteer leaders listed above, please offer them a hearty “thank you” for their hard work and dedication to the Section.

We now turn our attention to the 21st Annual Conference on Emerging Issues in Healthcare Law (“EMI”), which will be held on March 11-14 in beautiful San Diego, CA. This year, the EMI planning committee is hard at work to make sure that EMI evolves to provide innovative value to attendees.  The planning committee is excited about a few new additions to the program this year, in particular the addition of two “disruption panels.”  One panel will focus on the healthcare industry and will feature representatives working in companies that are shaping the future of how healthcare will be delivered.  The other panel will focus on the legal industry, which is also undergoing change, including how legal services will be delivered in the future and what tools will shape the delivery of legal services.

EMI will also feature a keynote session focused on social determinants of health.  The importance of those factors in delivering healthcare is gaining more traction.  The impact on organizations of gathering and acting upon that information will present legal and operational challenges of which we should all be aware.

Based on the positive feedback received after last year’s EMI, the Section is also expanding the community service project and integrating it into the social and networking aspects of EMI.  The planning committee decided to directly include the project in the EMI schedule with a time dedicated to the project on Thursday afternoon during EMI.  Attendees will work together in groups to assemble activity bags that will be delivered to children in San Diego area hospitals.  The goal is to provide a little bit of sunshine to children in a difficult time.  Outside of doing some good for others, attendees will also benefit from the opportunity to work together while making new connections.

EMI has always provided a perfect mix of education and networking for attendees.  The EMI 2020 planning committee has taken suggestions from past attendees and added its own fresh ideas to create a conference that will build and improve on our past successes.  I hope to see you there.