In-House Counsel – A Cornerstone of Our Business
The role of an in-house general counsel is not limited to managing the legal risks associated with our industry.
The role of legal departments has evolved to become a fundamental cornerstone of every business. More so with those related to healthcare services such as ours.
This month we wanted to feature our fantastic legal department.
The Role of Our Legal Department
Our in-house legal counsel role goes beyond offering legal advice. Our general counsel needs to understand the pressure points, strategy, and objectives of our organization to effectively assess and communicate the risks and legal implications involved in all management decisions.
Their valuable insight enables our management to make well informed strategic choices that operate within the acceptable legal risk profile. These decisions help determine the direction in which our company expands.
Responsibilities of Our In-House Legal Counsel
These are just some of the essential duties, and responsibilities of our legal team are:
- Provide legal counsel on all matters related to our industry
- Represent our organization in courts and before government agencies and regulators
- Research and analyze the organization’s legal issues and build appropriate risk profiles
- Interpret laws, rulings, and regulations and advise our management team on how to proceed
- Prepare and file legal documents (e.g., contracts, suits, and appeals)
Added Value of Our Legal Team
While most wouldn’t associate commercial value with a legal department, the truth is that our team of lawyers adds value to our organization in several ways.
- They deliver expert technical know-how in a way that has a positive impact on the business
- They help provide commercially astute advice
- They contribute to the strategic development of the business, offering a clear direction within the legal frameworks
Wayne Chan – General Counsel & Compliance Director
The talented Wayne Chan heads our legal department. Wayne joined Altus Infusion in 2014 as our General Counsel.
He has vast experience within the healthcare service industry, having represented physicians and clinics in administrative matters before state licensing boards and medical malpractice claims, as well as advising them on related healthcare regulations.
Mr. Chan holds a BA in English and Biology from the University of Texas at Austin and gained his law degree from South Texas College of Law.
Wayne quickly became an invaluable asset to our team; over the years, he has demonstrated a unique ability as a business enabler and has been a pivotal factor in many of our commercially savvy decisions.
Today we wanted to share with you an excerpt of our interview with Mr. Chan.
Q/ What is the most exciting part about your role at Altus Infusion?
A/ Having the privilege to participate in the many moving parts that comprise our company, whether it be directly related to legal and compliance, or to operational, clinical, or other various departments.
Every issue is often a new issue, becomes a new learning experience, and a new challenge.
Q/ Why did you decide to become a lawyer?
A/ I was always interested in life sciences and literature. In college, I kept pursuing both interests, and when it was time to graduate, health law became an obvious choice.
In my early career as a medical malpractice defense lawyer, these interests were always put to the test, having to learn as much as possible about a specific disease, procedure, or treatment to be confident to educate and adapt an explanation to a jury that only has a brief amount of time to learn, understand, and relate to my client’s position, professional judgment, and ultimate decision.
With Altus, the same coordination of these interests continue within the company, rather than in the courtroom.
Q/ What accomplishment have you been most proud of in your law career, and why?
A/Each and every time a patient or physician received the treatment they deserved, whether it be medical in nature or their psyche. During my representation of physicians and healthcare facilities in private practice, I had the opportunity to investigate the lawsuit and determine the merits of the patient’s claim. If that revealed that my client’s actions fell below the standard of care, I could advise and pursue a settlement with the patient and hopefully bring some comfort and solace to their predicament.
If my client’s professional judgment was right, we would fight to the jury trial and hopefully win, achieving vindication for all of the care, competency, and empathy my client had for their patient.
With Altus, it is the same, helping ours and future physicians maintain their independent practices, their care for their patients, and allowing our patients to retain an opportunity to seek and receive the care they desire from the ones they desire it from.
Q/ What are some of your interests and hobbies outside of your career?
A/ I have always loved cars. To me, it instills certain emotions and excitement.
I still have my first car, now over 19 years old, which I care for as if it was brand new.
It represents so many things, the places and accomplishments it took me to and from, the memories it helped me leave behind, the memories I was going to encounter, and just the pure solitude and peace when on the road with no particular destination in mind.
I try to explain this to my two daughters but have been unsuccessful thus far. I haven’t given up hope.
Q/ What advice would you give to your younger self?
A/ Patience and an understanding to take each day as an opportunity to be a better version of yourself from yesterday, irrespective of how small that improvement is.
Q/ If you could have dinner with one historical/influential/inspirational figure, who would it be and why?
A/ I know it will sound sappy, but just having dinner with my wife. She has always inspired me with her pure commitment to everything she devotes herself to, whether it be her academic pursuits, her career, our family, or even just her hobbies. I continue to want to be a better version of myself for her.
The positive contributions of Mr. Chan have created valuable work relationships within our management and legal teams.
We are certain Wayne and his team will continue to help our management make strategic decisions based on both commercial and expert legal analysis that will allow us to continue growing in the years to come.
It’s an honor for Altus Infusion to work with such an esteemed and knowledgeable team of legal experts, and we know everyone in our organization appreciates their valuable work.