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April 22, 2022

Chair's Column: Seize the Moment

Opportunities and Challenges

Clay Countryman

As I write this Chair’s column, I am watching a speed boat and tugboat seemingly race each other upriver on the Mississippi River.  Regardless of the outcome of their race, the tugboat, like the Health Law Section, will continually face many challenges and opportunities, be needed and relevant, and only be as good as its captain and crew.

I am also writing this column the week before the Section’s 23rd Annual Emerging Issues in Healthcare Law Conference (EMI) in Miami, Florida on April 27-30, 2022.   I can remember the first EMI conference that I attended in Miami in February of 2003 at the Eden Roc Resort on Miami Beach.  The 2003 EMI Conference was the 4th Annual Emerging Issues in Healthcare Law Conference.  Some of the presentations included:

  • “HIPAA at the Finish Line”
  • “The Reformation:  Managed Care After the Revolution”
  • “In the Government’s Crosshairs:  Pharmaceutical Kickbacks”
  • “The New EMTALA Regulation:  Implications of a Different Era”

This year’s EMI Conference will be the Health Law Section’s second in-person conference since December of 2019.  I want to personally thank this year’s EMI Co-Chairs and Planning Committee for putting together an outstanding conference that is reflective of the Section’s priorities as well as important and emerging health law issues.  The EMI Planning Committee has been meeting on a weekly basis since last August.

The EMI Co-Chairs are Matt Fisher and Tiffany Santos.  The following are the EMI Planning Committee members:

  • Michelle ‘Missy’ Apodaca, Katten, Dallas, TX
  • Dani L. Borel, Breazeale, Sachse & Wilson, L.L.P., Baton Rouge, LA
  • Joseph Geraci, Husch Blackwell, Austin, TX
  • Denise E. Hanna, Locke Lord, Washington, DC
  • William T. Mathias, Bass Berry & Sims PLC, Washington, DC
  • Kirsten Raleigh, Stevens & Lee, King of Prussia, PA
  • Emely M. Sanchez, Miami, FL

There are two outstanding keynote speakers at EMI this year.  On Thursday morning, former Cabinet Member and Congresswoman Donna Shalala will give a keynote presentation, and Friday morning Warner Thomas, President and CEO of Ochsner Health, will give a keynote presentation

During the Diversity, Young Lawyers & Law Student Networking Reception on Wednesday evening at EMI,  the Health Law Section’s Champion of Diversity and Inclusion Award will be presented, and on Thursday morning there will be a presentation of the Health Law Section’s Emerging Young Lawyers in Healthcare Awards.   Finally, there is a rumor that there will be a cigar roller from “Little Havana” in Miami at the In-House Counsel and Welcome Receptions on Thursday evening at EMI.

The title of this column also includes the phrase “Seize the Moment” to emphasize the Health Law Section’s opportunity to be leaders on critically important healthcare legal issues that affect our communities, clients, and friends.

The following are some pictures of co-chairs and planning committee members from previous Health Law Section conferences, and the last Margarita Cup in 2019:

Image from the Margarita Cup 2019

Image from the Margarita Cup 2019

Past EMI

Past EMI

See you in Miami at EMI! 

Clay Countryman

Breazeale, Sachse & Wilson, L.L.P., Baton Rouge, LA

Clay Countryman is a partner in the healthcare group in the Baton Rouge office of Breazeale, Sachse & Wilson, L.L.P. Mr. Countryman represents clients in all areas of the healthcare industry, with a focus on healthcare corporate transactions, fraud and abuse compliance, development of healthcare provider networks and alternative healthcare payment approaches.

Clay has primarily served as legal counsel to several different types of healthcare providers and provider organizations, ranging from national and regional hospital systems, physician organizations, specialty physician groups, clinically integrated networks, physician-owned hospitals, diagnostic imaging facilities, ambulatory surgical centers, pharmacies, healthcare management companies, and healthcare trade associations.

Clay is an active member of several healthcare associations and other organizations. Clay has been an active member of the American Bar Association for over 20 years, including vice chair in the Health Law Section, the ABA Veterans Legal Services Commission, Medical-Legal Partnerships and the ABA Young Lawyers Division.

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