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SEARHC hires Michael Douglas as general counsel


JUNEAU, Nov. 16, 2012 — The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) has hired Michael E. Douglas, JD, as the consortium’s general counsel. He will be based at SEARHC’s administration offices in Juneau.

“Michael is an Alaska Native attorney who has valuable experience working with SEARHC and a wide range of tribal health issues,” said Matthew Ione, PHR, SEARHC VP/Chief Administrative Officer. “We all will benefit immensely from his expertise and his first-hand knowledge of issues that affect Southeast Alaska and its people. We are extremely happy he has come to SEARHC to represent the people and communities we are here to serve.”

Having served as interim general counsel for SEARHC since June, Michael joins SEARHC after spending the past five-plus years as an associate attorney with the Indian law firm of Sonosky, Chambers, Sachse, Miller & Munson, LLP, in Anchorage, where he worked on a wide variety of tribal health issues. Prior to joining Sonosky, Chambers, Michael clerked for Alaska Superior Court Judge Trevor N. Stephens in Ketchikan. During law school, Michael participated in the University of Washington Law School Tribal Court Criminal Defense Clinic, serving as a public defender on the Tulalip Indian Reservation in Tulalip, Wash. He also served as a summer clerk with the Native American Rights Fund in Boulder, Colo., and was a summer associate with the law firm of Williams, Kastner & Gibbs, PLLC, in Seattle.

Michael earned his Juris Doctor (JD) degree from the University of Washington Law School in Seattle, and his Bachelor of Arts degree from Fairhaven College’s Law and Diversity program at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Wash. Michael is admitted to practice in Washington and Alaska, and before the U.S. District Court for the District of Alaska and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

“I am very excited to join the SEARHC team as general counsel,” Michael said. “It is a true privilege to have the opportunity to return to Southeast Alaska, where my family originates (Hydaburg), and to serve the Tlingít, Haida, Tsimshian and other Native people within the Southeast Alaska community.”

Michael is Haida (Eagle moiety) and he is the grandson of Georgianna and Julius Douglas from Hydaburg. Michael is a past board member and president of the Northwest Indian Bar Association (NIBA), and currently coordinates NIBA’s Indian Legal Scholars Program, which provides scholarships to Alaska Native and American Indian law students. Michael also has been a volunteer mentor with the Alaska Court System Color of Justice Program. He enjoys playing baseball for the Fairview Pirates (Anchorage Adult Baseball League), snowboarding and traveling abroad.

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