Q: Where do you work and what is your area of health law specialization?
A: I serve as Associate Divisional Chief Legal Officer at AdventHealth, an 82,000-employee healthcare system. I work in the West Florida Division of AdventHealth and represent the medical group and our Carrollwood Hospital. I am responsible for legal counsel on healthcare issues, including physician employment agreements, practice acquisitions, corporate matters, EMTALA, hospital law, physician and credentialing process, and federal and state fraud and abuse laws.
Q: What is your highlight reel? Your career defining moment?
A: I was 10 years old when the Soviet Union collapsed. The world as I knew it turned upside down. Instability and chaos ensued. Prices for the most basic of items, such as food, skyrocketed overnight. Food supply became scarce. Extreme hardship continued for a number of years. That brutal period following the collapse of the Soviet Union, with its lawlessness, corruption, and societal disintegration, took a toll on everyone around me. It was this experience that first ignited my passion for the law. I dreamed of living in a more stable, law-based society, where individual rights could be protected. Many years later, I applied to law school in the U.S. and got accepted. That day changed my life. Upon graduation, I was fortunate to be offered an associate attorney position in the healthcare group of an AmLaw 200 law firm. That position taught me how to practice health law, and I remain grateful. After the law firm, I worked for several healthcare companies in an executive capacity in such industries as dental, primary care MSO, physical therapy and ObGyn. Serving as in-house counsel in those companies truly let me experience health care from the inside. I now serve AdventHealth on the hospital and medical group side. While I didn’t plan on becoming a healthcare lawyer, I feel blessed that my career journey has been focused on health law. It allows me to be as close to patient care and helping people as possible, because I am supporting our physicians and hospitals. I sincerely enjoy representing AdventHealth, an organization that offers a whole person approach to its patients and employees.
Q: What are you doing when you are not working? What is a unique think about you that has nothing to do with lawyering?
A: For the past year ever since the full-scale Russian invasion into sovereign Ukraine, I have been engaged in various humanitarian efforts to help the Ukrainian people. This will remain my focus until Ukraine wins. Additionally, last year, along with 22 other women lawyers, I co-authored an anthology, “Women in Law – Discovering the True Meaning of Success,” which is a book highlighting various career paths available in the legal profession. All proceeds from the sale of the book benefit the non-profit Ms. JD. Also, I am currently training for my first half-marathon, which is scheduled to take place on March 25, 2023. I have been married to my best friend for 21 years. We have two children who keep us on our toes. I love fine-tuning my debate skills with my young daughter. For an extra challenge, I take on my teenage son – and sometimes win.
Q: What do you see as an emerging area/topic?
A: The following three topics are at the forefront of health care for me: (1) continued emphasis on the development of telehealth; (2) the potential ban on all physician non-competition agreements; and (3) emphasis on cybersecurity and prevention of cyber breaches. Cyber breaches can be politically motivated and are becoming part of global cyber warfare.