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MLA Places Michael R. Watters as Chief Legal Officer at Essentia Health

Hanover, MD (August 6, 2019) — Major, Lindsey & Africa (MLA), the world’s leading legal search firm, today announced the placement of Michael Watters as chief legal officer at Essentia Health in Duluth, MN. The search was led by Brian McMahon, director and Heather Fine, partner, of MLA’s In-House Counsel Practice in Minneapolis and Chicago.

Essentia Health, a $2B integrated health system, serves patients in Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, and Idaho. In his new role, Michael will be responsible for the management and oversight of all legal services to the health system and serve as the health system’s primary legal advisor on all critical legal and business matters. As a member of the leadership team, Michael will manage the members of Essentia’s legal department and will also serve as the corporate secretary of the board providing guidance on all governance matters for the health system.

“This was a highly competitive national search. With Mike’s extensive healthcare background and strong leadership skills, he was a clear match for Essentia. We know he will do a terrific job,” said Heather Fine.

“We are thrilled to have found the right match for Essentia. Mike’s experience with regulatory and transactional matters, his deep understanding of health law and his strong people orientation are all reasons he is the best choice for this role,” said Brian McMahon.

Michael has more than 25 years of sophisticated in-house and private law firm practice experience advising tax-exempt healthcare systems, hospitals, physician groups, academic medical centers and affiliated organizations. He most recently served as vice president of legal services and regional general counsel for CommonSpirit Health and Catholic Heath Initiatives. Michael started his legal career as a healthcare attorney with Faegre Baker & Daniels.

Before going into law, Michael was a professional baseball player for the club teams of the Seattle Mariners and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Michael earned his J.D., cum laude, from Indiana University School of Law and his B.A. from the University of Michigan.

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