Published on January 11, 2021  
SHLA web graphic
Pictured: Student Health Lawyers Association officers Mitch Surface, Victoria Smith, Kelsey Cain and Hunter Phares   
Cumberland School of Law's Student Health Lawyers Association (SHLA) has launched the school’s first health lawyer mentorship program for students interested in pursuing a career in health law.
 
Led by SHLA’s President Mitchell Surface, the mentorship program is designed for Cumberland students to have the opportunity to engage and foster relationships with successful attorneys in specific fields of health law. SHLA members are assigned to a certain committee based off their interest within health law. Every committee is led by a practicing attorney, all of whom are experienced leaders in their respective practice. Once assigned to a committee, the mentorship begins with the committee’s practicing attorney contacting and connecting with the student-member.
 
SHLA is honored so many successful attorneys from across the southeast have volunteered their time to make this mentorship program beneficial for all members. The following professionals have volunteered to be partners and mentors with SHLA:
 
Averie Armstead, Associate, Starnes Davis Florie LLP
Jolee Bollinger, General Counsel, Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System
Leesa Booth, Associate General Counsel, Encompass Health Corporation
Noelle Collins, Project Risk and Contract Compliance Manager, Southern Power Company and Professor in Cumberland School of Law's Master of Laws (LL.M.) health law and compliance concentration
Matthew Curley, Partner, Bass Berry Sims PLC and Adjunct Professor of Health Care Fraud and Abuse at Vanderbilt Law School
Gregg Everett, Partner, Gilpin Givhan PC
Wesley Fain, Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, Surgical Care Affiliates
Louis Hatcher, Partner, Watson Spence LLP
Ladd Mark, General Counsel, Surgical Care Affiliates
Alice Martin, Owner, Martin Legal and Compliance Services
Sim Penton, General Counsel, Baptist Health
Jim Pool, Partner, Maynard Cooper & Gale PC
Kelli Robinson, Associate Counsel Manager, BlueCross BlueShield and Professor in Cumberland School of Law's Master of Laws (LL.M.) health law and compliance concentration
Andrew Schilder, Associate General Counsel, Encompass Health Corporation
Richard Smith, Partner, Christian & Small LLP
William Stewart, Partner, Wallace Jordan Ratliff & Brandt LLC
Reid Strickland, Assistant General Counsel, Baptist Health
Edwin Stuardi, Partner, Helmsing Leach Herlong Newman and Rouse PC
Chuck Wainright, Partner, Watson Spence LLP
Sarah Wright, Associate General Counsel, Encompass Health Corporation
 
Our officers are so excited to see what the future holds for SHLA. If you would like more information on how to become a member, please reach out to any of the officers listed below. 
 
Mitch Surface
President
msurface@samford.edu 
 
Victoria Smith
Vice President
vsmith5@samford.edu
 
Kelsey Cain
Secretary
kcain3@samford.edu 
 
Hunter Phares
Treasurer
hphares1@samford.edu  
 
SHLA Logo
 
 
 
Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. The Wall Street Journal ranks Samford 1st nationally for student engagement and U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 37th in the nation for best undergraduate teaching and 97th nationally for best value. Samford enrolls 5,758 students from 48 states and 22 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference, and ranks 3rd nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.