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
Victoria Smith
Vice President
Kelsey Cain
Hunter Phares
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. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 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 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.