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Baker Donelson Names New Leaders in Health Law Group

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Baker Donelson has named two attorneys to leadership roles within its nationally recognized Health Law Group. S. Craig Holden has been named co-chair of the Baker Ober Health Law Group, which is one of the largest health law practices in the country. Mr. Holden serves as co-chair of the group alongside Ashby Q. Burks, a shareholder in the Firm's Nashville office. The Firm also named Michelle A. Williams as leader of the Firm's Health Care Regulatory Center of Excellence.

Mr. Holden, a shareholder in Baker Donelson's Baltimore office and a member of the Firm's Board of Directors, recently completed service as president of the American Health Law Association, the nation's largest, nonpartisan, 501(c)(3) educational organization devoted to legal issues in the health care field. Mr. Holden also previously served as the Chair and Chief Executive Officer of the firm of Ober, Kaler Grimes and Shriver, which merged with Baker Donelson in 2017.

"Craig is known in the health law field as a true leader who is dedicated to the idea of service, whether that is to his clients, his Firm, or his profession," said Richard G. Cowart, chair of Baker Donelson's Health Law/Government Relations & Public Policy Department. "He is uniquely suited to help lead the Baker Donelson Health Group in this exciting time as we expand on our foundation as a nationally recognized health law practice to meet the growing needs of our clients in an especially challenging environment."

Baker Donelson recently announced the expansion of its Health Law Group with the addition of a team of six North Carolina attorneys led by prominent health care lawyers Kenneth L. Burgess and Matthew W. Wolfe. The move marked not only an expansion of the Firm's health practice but its geographic reach as well, with these Raleigh-based attorneys establishing Baker Donelson's first North Carolina presence.

Mr. Holden focuses his practice on health law with particular emphasis on matters involving Medicare and Medicaid fraud and abuse, pharmaceutical pricing, Medicare and third-party reimbursement, and compliance. Over the course of his career, he has represented numerous health care providers in high-profile resolutions of False Claims Act investigations involving allegations of billing fraud, as well as Stark and Anti-kickback violations. He has resolved numerous Stark and Anti-kickback issues through the CMS and OIG self-disclosure protocols and has served as the OIG-approved Independent Review Organization under several Corporate Integrity Agreements. Mr. Holden has also served as a trial attorney with the Inspector General Division, Office of the General Counsel, Department of Health and Human Services.

Mr. Holden's numerous recognitions include being listed in The Best Lawyers in America® in Health Care Law and twice being named the Best Lawyers Baltimore Health Care "Lawyer of the Year". He has also been recognized in the prestigious directory Chambers USA as a leading health care attorney both in Maryland and nationally. He was named a "BTI Client Service All-Star" and is listed in Who's Who Legal in Healthcare.

Ms. Williams, a Baker Donelson shareholder, focuses her practice on the regulatory and structuring aspects of hospital mergers, acquisitions, and integrations. Her experience includes obtaining attorney general and federal approvals for complex transactions and/or conversion from non-profit to for-profit status, and issues of successor liability. She also advises on corporate governance and Medical Staff governance. She represents clients undergoing Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act and state surveys, Medicare terminations and regulatory review, and advises on hospital authority law, voluntary disclosures, corporate integrity agreements and qui tam defense.

Ms. Williams was an in-house counsel at University Hospitals of Cleveland and the former Mount Sinai Hospital, has been on-loan in-house counsel to several academic medical centers, and was a commissioner on the Advisory Committee on Childhood Vaccines, advising the U.S. Secretary of Health & Human Services on the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Fund.

"Baker Donelson's health care regulatory practice is among the most preeminent in the country. As the head of this team, Michelle brings a valuable range of experience and recognition as an industry leader. With both regulatory and transactional health care law experience, Michelle exemplifies our health law practice's integrated team approach to solving our clients' complex legal issues. She is exceptionally well suited to build on this team's sterling reputation and continue its growth, as illustrated by our recent expansion into North Carolina with a group of outstanding health law regulatory attorneys," said Mr. Holden.

Ms. Williams has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America® in Health Care Law since 2012 and has been recognized by Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business in the area of health care since 2008. A graduate of Case Western Reserve University School of Law, she is a member of the American Health Law Association, served as president of the Georgia Academy of Hospital Attorneys, and worked as a medical technologist in microbiology prior to law school.

Baker Ober Health Law is comprised of more than 200 attorneys across eleven states and Washington, D.C. and is regarded as one of the premiere health law practices in the country, receiving national recognition by Modern Healthcare, Chambers USA and the American Health Law Association. The group's size, scale and collective experience gives clients a competitive advantage by partnering with a dedicated, multi-disciplinary team that not only has experience in and detailed knowledge of health law, but also understands the complicated ways in which the health care industry operates.

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Johanna Burkett
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