Jennifer Goforth Gregory 2013-06-12 01:05:39
Professionals Serving Professionals When people pick up the phone to call Robert Chelle at Chelle & Zoldan, they are usually at one of the lowest points of their professional life. They are often in danger of losing their professional licenses, their jobs and their ability to provide for their families. Others are facing serious criminal charges; while others are dealing with the realities of their substance abuse. As one of the few attorneys in Arizona who focuses on representing licensed health care professionals before the various Arizona licensing boards, Chelle has the experience and knowledge to help his clients receive the best outcome possible. When a client first comes to Chelle, they are facing the prospect of losing their license, their job and possibly derailing their personal life. “Every professional is fearful of losing their license when a board investigation is initiated,” says Chelle. “I reassure my clients that I will do everything I can to mitigate potential disciplinary action by their board. I also talk them off the cliff by walking them through the process.” Chelle is aware of the severe ramifications for his clients, so he takes the work seriously as he tries to rebuild and mend their professional careers. It is a precarious and nerve-wracking time in any professional’s life, so Chelle strives to make the process easier. One of the challenging parts of this practice area is that each board has a different procedure in how they handle a complaint and initiate an investigation. When a professional is facing their licensing board, it is important that they engage the help of an attorney who is well-versed in the practice area. More importantly, the professional should employ the services of an attorney who is experienced with the specific board and its intricate processes. “My knowledge of each board’s investigatory process and my amicable working relationships with board staff provides a significant benefit to my clients,” Chelle says. “While I may be younger than other attorneys in the field, my innovative thinking and problem solving coupled with my practical experience in some of the best hospitals in the country helps me achieve positive results for my clients. I have a deep understanding of the business-side of health care, and the complex relationships between each facilities administration and providers. This understanding aids me in determining the motives behind why a complaint was filed beyond just the clinical side of things.” Handling tough situations with a level Head He has represented professionals before 17 different licensing boards in Arizona, with the majority of his clients originating from the Arizona Board of Nursing, the Arizona Medical Board and the Arizona Board of Osteopathic Examiners. While the bulk of his caseload is dedicated to the health care related boards, Chelle also handles cases in other industry sectors. While most people picture the ideal attorney as a passionate orator, the truth is that passion can be detrimental before licensing boards comprised of industry professionals. It is the calm and steady attorney that pulls through in the end. In this practice in particular, Chelle has recognized that a level of respect and consideration goes further with professional boards, than the over-dramatics of televised litigation. “I believe the attorney that is most effective in front of a licensing board is a level-headed attorney, not the pound your fists on the desk type of lawyer. I’m a pretty calm person, and I have found the best way to work with the boards is cooperatively and not in a showy, look at me type way,” says Chelle. Many of Chelle’s clients have come to him with substance abuse problems or allegations of substance abuse. As such, he has become quite comfortable working with his clients through these situations. “Some of my clients have criminal issues with substance abuse, a DUI or drug possession,” Chelle says. “Others are being accused of diverting narcotics, writing fake prescriptions or improperly prescribing controlled substances. I work with professionals dealing with substance abuse on a regular basis.” Since many licensed professionals can avoid formal discipline by acknowledging they have a substance abuse problem and seeking rehabilitative treatment, Chelle also often works with the boards to coordinate treatment. “I often facilitate my clients coming to terms with their substance abuse problem and then help find the best treatment for my client’s specific substance abuse problem,” Chelle says. Since there is a criminal reporting requirement in the state of Arizona for healthcare professionals, many of Chelle’s cases come from referrals from criminal defense attorneys. “This is a very specialized area of law, in which an experienced attorney can mean a huge diff erence. There are few attorneys who focus their primary practice on this type of law, so it’s common for attorneys to send clients in need of these services to me,” Chelle says. When Chelle’s cases involve wrongful termination, discrimination or sexual harassment, Chelle’s law partner, Michael Zoldan, an employment litigator, handles the employment aspects of the case. Zoldan also handles the litigation of cases where the licensee appeals the case to the superior court. “Rob and I feel very lucky to have such a wonderful office staff on our team,” says Zoldan. Both the attorneys applaud the hard work and dedication their team contributes to their practice. With their help, the attorneys are able to provide the best service to their client and cases. Combining Medicine and Business Chelle has always been interested in the healthcare field, especially the business side of the profession. After attending Indiana University on a swimming scholarship and graduating with a Bachelor of Science from the Kelley School of Business, Chelle selected DePaul College of Law because of its strong healthcare law program. While at DePaul College of Law, he earned a healthcare certificate in addition to his J.D. and also worked in the legal departments at two of America’s best hospitals; John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore and Rush System for Health in Chicago. “I worked in two of the best hospitals in the country during law school and immersed myself in learning the nuts and bolts of the healthcare system,” Chelle says. “Healthcare law is perfect for me because I can be involved in the industry without being in the clinical side of the profession. I have really enjoyed solving problems and working with the logistics of running a hospital, such as managing healthcare providers.” In addition to working with the healthcare boards, Chelle assists physicians with practice management, such as contract review when a practice is starting up or winding down along with new employment agreements for physicians moving to Arizona or switching practices within the state. He also drafts employment agreements and assists physicians and other healthcare providers in making sure their employment-related issues are handled correctly when opening a new practice. “Nearly every physician has a non-compete clause in their employment contract, thus we frequently work with providers experiencing difficulties with various restrictive covenants. We often assist doctors in negotiating a release from their non-compete or non-solicitation clause,” Chelle says. When a physician is accused of substandard practice a hospital, he also often represents doctors in the medical peer review process. Before opening his own firm, Chelle worked in a hospital as the practice administrator of a multispecialty physician network. He has also consulted for physicians on practice management issues. “There’s really no other profession that combines business and medicine like health care law,” Chelle says. A Family Man and Fitness Enthusiast When he’s not in his office, you can often find Chelle swimming in a local pool. While he no longer swims competitively, he has stayed involved in the sport through coaching high school and club teams. He is also an avid CrossFitter and is an active member of CrossFit Magna in Scottsdale. He spends as much time as possible with his 10- year old daughter and wife, Lydia. “I am very lucky to have the support of my wonderful wife, Lydia. She really makes it possible for me to have accomplished everything that I have at such a young age,” Chelle says. His family has two four-legged members, Walter and Harvey, who were adopted by the Chelle family through rescue groups. Chelle and his family are big supporters of local animal shelters and rescue groups, trying to help other dogs that were abandoned or abused like Walter and Harvey. “I really enjoy my work and getting to help people through professional crises. There is a great satisfaction in knowing that you have helped someone and made the process a little easier.”
Published by Target Market Media . View All Articles.
This page can be found at http://digitaleditions.walsworthprintgroup.com/article/Chelle+%26+Zoldan%2C+PLC/1427994/163134/article.html.