What's Happening at Hart Wagner
- Working in the Midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic Can Be Traumatic for Heath Care Providers
- Hart Wagner Welcomes Attorney Rachel Wolfard
- TAANA Releases Member Position Statement Supporting Our Front Line Providers
- Update: Oregon Board of Nursing Revises Position Statement
- Oregon Board of Nursing Position Statement
A little known point of law was recently highlighted in a Washington Post article. An unfortunate reality of the health care field today is providers almost being expected to be sub human robots, devoid of feeling or emotion. These health care workers may not be able to handle traumatic events without an impact on their mental health. Care providers in this state can be punished for having obtained mental health care years ago, their fitness to practice challenged. Disclosing intimate details of their lives to mental health professionals should not be punitive. We frequently deal with broad and sweeping requests from Board investigators who demand these privileged records from our clients’ mental health care providers, and there is often little we can do to interfere. It is a sad but very real truth. The fact is, providers are human. Each person has their own, unique and personal story to tell. But only they should decide who gets to hear that story. You can read the article here.
Rachel has joined the firm’s preeminent medical malpractice and general liability defense teams. Her work on these teams will include personal injury and wrongful death defense, premises and product liability defense, and regulatory agencies representation.
“Rachel is a great addition to our firm,” said Managing Partner Gordy Welborn. “We look forward to providing her with the opportunity to become an integral part of our practice. Our clients will be well served by her experience.”
Born and raised in Portland, Rachel graduated from Lincoln High School and then attended the University of Oregon as a scholar in the Robert D. Clark Honors College. There, she earned three bachelor’s degrees in English, Political Science, and Spanish. She went on to attend Lewis & Clark Law School, graduating cum laude.
Before joining our team at Hart Wagner LLP, Rachel worked as a certified law clerk at the United States Attorney’s Office, and a law clerk at the Oregon Law Center. During law school, she served as an associate editor for Environmental Law Review. She also published an article on regulatory takings in Florida Law Review. She is admitted to practice law in Oregon State Courts. In her free time, she enjoys traveling and spending time with family and friends.
As a long-time member of The American Association of Nurse Attorneys (TAANA) and nurse advocate, attorney Troy Bundy supports the attached position statement prepared by TAANA. If you need assistance with any issues during this crisis, please contact us.
Please be advised that the Oregon Board of Nursing has posted the following position statement requiring nurses to provide care to all patients, regardless of whether the care facility is compliant with current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or World Health Organization – Person Protective Equipment (PPE) guidelines. As long as the facility is deemed in compliance with Oregon Health Authority PPE guidelines, a Licensee cannot refuse to provide care to any patient. If you are the subject of any disciplinary complaint related to this mandate and need assistance, feel free to contact our compliance and credentialing attorneys.
The following links may help you understand your rights:
- Workers’ Right to Refuse Dangerous Work https://www.osha.gov/right-to-refuse.html
- U. S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration: OSHA: Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19
The HIPAA and COVID-19 Limited Waiver Bulletin was recently released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services providing further exceptions and a waiver of HIPAA sanctions during this Covid-19 pandemic. For assistance with any HIPAA inquiry or concern, please do not hesitate to contact one of our qualified HIPAA attorneys: Troy Bundy and Aaron Potter.
Hart Wagner remains open during this uncertain time as we all respond to COVID-19. We are closely following the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and will adjust protocols as the CDC and other state and local authorities issue new guidance. The health and safety of our employees, clients, colleagues and community remains our paramount concern. Our firm is dedicated to being responsive to our clients’ needs and continuing to offer our legal services during this time. We are fully prepared and able to continue delivering excellent legal services while insuring that the members of our team are in compliance with CDC guidelines. We have processes in place that have allowed our attorneys and staff to continue to work and be available as needed for our clients. This includes working remotely with coordination among our staff. We are honored to be able to assist our clients and will continue to do so during these times while also protecting our most important asset, our people.
As part of associate Jack Scholz’s leadership with the Federal Bar Association, he will be presenting a CLE at the upcoming 2020 Rising Professionals Symposium, which will be held at the historic Watergate Hotel in Washington D.C., in late March. Jack will lead a discussion on well-being and maintaining a healthy lifestyle for young lawyers. This is a hot topic in the legal industry right now, and it’s impressive that Jack has researched this topic and will be ready to share recent data with lawyers from across the country.
More information about the Rising Professionals Symposium is available on the FBA blog: https://www.fedbar.org/blog/emerging-talents-to-take-the-stage-at-2020-rising-professionals-symposium/
Hart Wagner is proud to be one of the sponsors of the 2020 Special Districts Association of Oregon Annual Conference, which will take place in Seaside, Oregon on February 7-9th. The conference offers networking and educational seminars for professionals who work with districts throughout our state. The mission of the Special Districts Association of Oregon is to assist special service districts in providing cost-effective and efficient public services to the people of Oregon.
We’re pleased to announce that attorney Donna Lee has been elected as a Director of the Board of Oregon Association of Defense Counsel (OADC). For over 50 years, OADC has served as a membership organization for defense-oriented civil litigators across the State of Oregon. Donna will serve a three-year term and looks forward to working with other defense counsel to provide a unified voice for defense oncerns across the state and increase the professional skill and knowledge of OADC membership.