Years at Firm: 6
What is your favorite part about practicing healthcare law at McDermott?
In short: the people. I have always had a cross-office practice, and as a result have been lucky enough to work with many different attorneys within the Health practice group. I am constantly impressed by the depth and breadth of experience that the group offers, as well as the creativity and thoughtful approach that our attorneys bring to tricky client issues. Being surrounded by talented attorneys (from the senior partner to the junior associate ranks) makes me want to “raise my game” and, I think, brings out the best in each of us.
In addition to the professional qualities, I am grateful for the fact that our attorneys bring a positive attitude each and every day, and create an enjoyable working environment. I have made some great personal connections over the years, and consider many of my colleagues to be good friends.
What is the biggest opportunity and greatest challenge facing clients in your area of focus today?
For the most part, I work with healthcare services providers and those that invest in such providers. I think the biggest opportunity for my clients relates to innovation in healthcare services delivery. Embracing new technologies (including those related to telehealth), optimizing the collection and use of data – these are the tools that will allow providers to improve outcomes and reduce costs of care.
From my perspective, the biggest challenge for healthcare provider clients (and those clients that invest in the healthcare services industry) will be continuing to manage the transition to value-based care. The cost of healthcare in the US has been, and will continue to be, a hot topic for political and economic discussion. The movement away from traditional fee-for-service reimbursement, and towards a model that is based on value and outcomes, is one about which all providers must be thinking carefully.
What kind of client work gets you most excited when it comes across your desk?
I focus much of my time on mergers and acquisitions in the healthcare services industry – particularly those involving private equity firms and public companies. I always get excited when a client brings us into a new “platform” acquisition – particularly where the client is looking to expand into an industry in which it does not currently invest. I enjoy learning about new areas within the ever-changing healthcare industry, and these projects provide us with an opportunity to develop alongside a client in a specific area of the industry (and to navigate the associated regulatory implications).
What is the proudest moment of your career to date?
Earlier this year, I was part of a team (with David Ivill, Steven Schnelle and others) that assisted a large client on a significant national transaction. We were specifically tasked with advising on New York regulatory matters, including on certain issues that had a significant impact on the timing of the transaction. Over the course of a few weeks, we worked with the client to develop a creative strategy to mitigate the potential timing road-blocks, which culminated in our team making a presentation to several decision-makers within the New York State Department of Health. Ultimately, the New York regulators agreed with our position. The client was very pleased with the result and with our efforts; by avoiding these hurdles, the client was spared significant time and expense in this business-altering transaction.
If you were not a lawyer, what career would you pursue?
I would probably pursue a career as a high school teacher, either in history or social studies. I have always enjoyed learning about these subjects (I studied history and political science at George Washington University). I also spent some time as a substitute teacher at a high school, and really liked working with students and watching them engage with the subjects at hand. I would also probably volunteer as a football coach, in a (likely failing) attempt to relive some glory days.