JOHNS HOPKINS MEDICINE-Senior Counsel: Medical Staff & Patient Care Issues

THE OPPORTUNITY                                                                           

The prestigious & world renowned Johns Hopkins Health System is searching for a Senior Counsel: Medical Staff & Patient Care Issues. This unique role requires legal expertise and in-depth knowledge of medical staff and hospital law combined with a passion for practicing in a healthcare setting.  Excited by the potential of impacting quality and care, this Senior Counsel sits side by side with the Medical Staffs of the Johns Hopkins Health System, as an ally and an expert on all medical staff related issues.  This individual will be a hands-on, client-centered attorney who will develop relationships and become a trusted partner to physicians, credentialing staff and leaders at all JHHS hospitals and affiliates.  From medical staff bylaws, medical staff leadership meetings, CMS/Joint Commission compliance, to medical staff hearing and proceedings, the Senior Counsel will be an in-house expert on all Medical Staff Affairs.  Additionally, this individual will provide legal support to hospital operations in patient care issues that occur within the system.

A key component of the role will be the continued and consistent integration of system processes through the JHHS network, in order to maintain a culture of superior outcomes, safety and distinguished clinical care. Under this individual’s and the legal department’s watch, the department will continue in its mission of protecting and preserving the legal, ethical and financial integrity and the reputation of The Johns Hopkins Health System Corporation and its affiliates.



Founded in 1867, Johns Hopkins remains a world leader in teaching, patient care, and research.  From the 1889 opening of The Johns Hopkins Hospital, to the opening of the School of Medicine four years later, there emerged the concept of combining research, teaching and patient care. This model, the first of its kind, would lead to a national and international reputation for excellence and discovery.

Located in Baltimore, Maryland, the health system includes six hospitals: The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, Howard County General Hospital, Suburban Hospital, Sibley Memorial Hospital (Washington, D.C.) and Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital (St. Petersburg, Florida).  These not-for-profit hospitals offer inpatient and outpatient health services that include general medicine, emergency/trauma care, pediatrics, maternity care, senior care and numerous specialized areas of medicine.

Johns Hopkins Community Physicians provides primary care at 39 locations throughout Maryland and the Washington DC-area. The health system organization also provides home health care services and operates outpatient surgery and imaging centers throughout the area.

Today, Johns Hopkins uses one overarching name—Johns Hopkins Medicine—to identify its entire integrated global health care enterprise. This $7.7 billion system unites the physicians and scientists of The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine with the health professionals and facilities that make up the broad, integrated Johns Hopkins Health System.


The Johns Hopkins Health System Corporation Legal Department

The Legal Department of The Johns Hopkins Health System is led by General Counsel, G. Daniel Shealer, Jr. Under his direction, the Department, which consists of approximately 31 attorneys, strives to meet the following mission:

“The mission and purpose of the Johns Hopkins Health System Legal Department is to ensure the health system operates in accordance with the applicable laws and regulations and support the mission, vision and values of the health system.  The Legal Department provides high quality legal and strategic advice in support of our clients’ mission and strategic priorities.  We serve our clients with an uncompromising commitment to service excellence and responsiveness.”

The department is organized into the following practice groups:

  • Corporate/Real Estate/International Attorneys
    Responsible for negotiation of corporate transactions and preparation of documents and agreements related to business, corporate, and real estate matters, including international transactions
  • Employment Attorneys
    Responsible for interpretation of and compliance with various employment laws and regulations and collective bargaining agreements and advice on design and content of employment related agreements and policies
  • Information Technology and Commercial Transactions Attorneys
    Responsible for review, analysis and negotiation of all types of agreements related to technology, intellectual property and general commercial transactions
  • Risk Management, Patient Care and Medical Staff Attorneys
    Responsible for legal advice regarding patient care, medical staff, and ethics issues(*The Group within which this position practices)
  • Claims and Litigation Attorneys
    Responsible for advice on matters related to Johns Hopkins Medicine professional liability and general liability claims and risk management issues



  • A minimum of Eight (8) to Ten (10) years of experienced in the practice of Healthcare Law
  • Deep and substantial experience providing legal counsel on Medical Staff matters
  • In-depth knowledge of Medical Staff & Hospital law
    • Experience with medical staff credentialing and privileging
    • Experience with medical staff disciplinary issues, including due process hearings
    • Experience with the Joint Commission vis-à-vis medical staff matters
    • Knowledge of federal, state & accreditation requirementsh affect health care
  • Highly developed analytical legal skills
  • Ability to communicate verbally and in writing, with all levels of Health system personnel, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, physicians, patients, visitors & attorneys
  • Track record in maintaining positive, collaborative and effective relationships with physicians, peers, subordinates and superiors



  • Strong relationship building skills
  • Personable and collaborative
  • Self confident, yet collegial with a healthy dose of humility
  • Client oriented with low needs for recognition & attention
  • A counselor, mediator and problem solver
  • Highly developed analytical skills
  • A results oriented, positive spirit
  • A team player who is highly visible and engaged
  • Superior listening skills
  • Integrity of the highest order



A Juris Doctor degree from an accredited law school, with eligibility to complete the In House Counsel process.



  • Provides opinion & advice on Medical Staff issues at the various JHHS hospitals including:
    • Credentialing
    • Medical Staff Bylaws, Rules and Regulations, and Policies
    • Peer Review, Investigations, Corrective actions, and National Practitioner Data Bank
    • TJC & NCQA compliance
    • Handles Internal Medical Staff hearings & proceedings as necessary
  • Provides opinion & legal representation externally with respect to TJC, NCQA & Maryland Board of Physicians
    • Interfaces with accrediting bodies and state physician regulatory agency
    • Handles hearings & proceedings with external parties
  • Provides legal advice on health care related issues, including patient care, subpoenas and guardianships
  • Shares beeper call on rotational basis with colleagues for off hour patient care related issues
  • Provides legal Support to Medical Staff and other Credentialed Staff
    • Attends relevant Medical Staff executive, credentialing & other meetings
      • Regularly attends JHHS hospital Medical Staff meetings
      • Regularly address credentialing, privileging, and disciplinary matters at non-hospital JHHS affiliates, including surgery centers, Johns Hopkins Community Physicians, and Johns Hopkins Health Care
      • Investigates facts, understands & identifies legal issues & applies legal principles to facts
    • Represents institution in peer review hearings
      • Investigates facts, understands & identifies issues & applies legal principles to the peer review disciplinary process
      • Participates in the corrective action process & represents the applicable JHHS entity in Fair Hearings consistent with the Medical Staff Bylaws
    • Reviews Medical Staff Bylaws and related documents & drafts necessary changes to Medical Staff Bylaws
      • Annually reviews all Medical Staff Bylaws & revises them based on changes in legislation & TJC & NCQA standards
      • Works with Medical Staff & Administration to facilitate changes in the Medical Staff Bylaws
    • Provides Legal Advice regarding patient care & other health care related matters
      • Formulates & articulates verbally & in writing an advocacy position & defends position in all types of communications with others
    • Communicates regarding litigation
    • Provides Client Support
      • Anticipates & resolves client legal problems to avoid litigation
      • Conducts research & prepares legal memoranda
    • Participates in strategic planning for JHHS with respect to Medical Staff matters
      • Participates in appropriate group(s) within individual clients streamlining the Medical Staff processes throughout JHHS
      • Provides legal support to individual clients & JHHS with respect to any new initiatives
    • Assists Medical Staff Offices and Centralized Credentials Office in structure & procedures
      • Assists in drafting a tactical work plan for the implementation of any changes in medical staff structure & procedures
      • Provides legal advice regarding the work plan



A market competitive and attractive compensation package will be offered.  Comprehensive benefits are provided.




Our client and The Buffkin/Baker Group firmly support the principle and philosophy of equal opportunity for all individuals, regardless of age, race, gender, creed, national origin, disability, veteran status of any other protected category pursuant to applicable federal, state or local law.



Brenda Doherty

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