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January 26, 2022

Chair's Column: Here’s to Finding a Way in 2022

Clay J. Countryman

The year that just ended wasn't quite the year most of us wanted.  The coronavirus made sure of that with yet another variant called Omicron.  And for those of us in Louisiana, especially along the Gulf of Mexico, Hurricane Ida added to our exciting year.

There's nothing good to say about Hurricane Ida that blew through Louisiana earlier this year.  I consider myself lucky that I only lost electricity for five days.

The Omicron variant is frighteningly contagious, and also potentially more manageable than prior strains of COVID-19.  Just this morning I heard there may be a new COVID variant discovered in one of the western states.  The COVID pandemic has taken a huge toll, especially on those families who lost a loved one or close friends.  

Life continues on, and fortunately so does the Health Law Section.  If I could think of one wish for the Section this coming year, it is that we continue to identify and recruit new leaders to continue the great work of leaders before us in being  thought leaders and providing education and advocacy on important health law issues.  

My other wish,  a selfish one, sort of, is that Louisiana is skipped this year for any more hurricanes.  Well, maybe that’s not selfish, because it would be appreciated by the rest of Louisiana, as well.

On a serious note, congratulations to Paul Herrington (aka E. Paul) and David Johnson who both recently announced their retirements!  Paul is also commonly referred to as the “Father of the Section.”  Well deserved to you both and thank you for all of your leadership and commitment to the Health Law Section.

So, here's to continuing to find a way with whatever 2022 brings!

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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.