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Garfunkel Wild, P.C. Expands Into Capital District

Garfunkel Wild, P.C. (GW) is pleased to announce the opening of its Capital District office at 677 Broadway, Albany, NY 12207, effective September 14, 2015.  Heading the Albany office are three high-ranking attorneys formerly with the New York State Department of Health (DOH) – former General Counsel James E. Dering, former Acting Director/Bureau of House Counsel Sandra M. Jensen and former Assistant Counsel/Bureau of House Counsel Michael M. Stone.  GW also has offices in Great Neck, NY; Hackensack, NJ; and Stamford, CT.

“We feel extremely fortunate to be able to bring top talent like Jim Dering, Sandy Jensen and Mick Stone on board to augment our health care practice,” said GW founding partner and Chairman Robert A. Wild.  “Each of these attorneys brings with them years of experience in the healthcare law arena and extensive knowledge of current issues related to this industry.  They add further depth to the firm’s already well-established capabilities and we welcome them to the Garfunkel Wild family.”

James E. Dering
Partner James E. Dering is a member of the firm’s Health Care, Business, Compliance and White Collar Defense, Discharge Planning, Patient Rights and Elder Law, and Litigation and Arbitration practice groups.

Prior to joining GW, Mr. Dering served as General Counsel of the New York State DOH for nearly five years, and served as the Department’s Deputy General Counsel and Director of the Bureau of House Counsel earlier in his career.  As General Counsel, he was the chief legal advisor to the Commissioner of Health and oversaw approximately 125 attorneys and staff.  In addition to providing legal services to programs across DOH, Mr. Dering worked on the Department’s response to public health threats such as Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee, Superstorm Sandy, Ebola, Legionella, and synthetic marijuana and bath salts.  He was also involved in implementation of legislation such as the Compassionate Care Act (Medical Marijuana Program) and the Marriage Equality Act.

Mr. Dering served as Bureau Chief of the New York State Attorney General’s Heath Care Bureau, and held other titles with the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) before that.  At the OAG, he was a key member of the Attorney General’s Healthcare Industry Task Force for the Ingenix/Usual, Customary and Reasonable (UCR) investigation that resulted in settlements with insurers that included industry-wide changes to the national reimbursement system for out-of-network care, almost $100 million in settlement funds, and the creation of FAIR Health, Inc.

Mr. Dering began his career with an Albany law firm where he became a partner and practiced for more than 10 years.  His practice included heath care, insurance and corporate law, as well as litigation.

Mr. Dering received his B.S. in Business Management from Ithaca College in 1988 and his J.D., cum laude, from Albany Law School of Union University in 1991.  He is a resident of the Albany area.

Sandra M. Jensen
Partner Sandra M. Jensen is a member of the firm’s Health Care, Health Care Information and Technology, HIPAA Compliance, and Discharge Planning, Patient Rights and Elder Law practice groups.

Prior to joining GW, Ms. Jensen was an attorney within the Bureau of House Counsel, Division of Legal Affairs at the New York State DOH for nearly 14 years, and served as Acting Director of the Bureau.  The Bureau of House Counsel provides advice and assistance to almost all programs within the New York State DOH, including in relation to the Compassionate Care Act (Medical Marijuana Program), the Statewide Health Information Network of New York (SHIN-NY), clinical and environmental laboratories, blood and tissue banks, HIPAA, patient rights, Public Health Law Article 28 licensure and surveillance, Early Intervention, and emergency medical services.

While at the New York State DOH, Ms. Jensen provided legal counsel on issues related to the Early Intervention Program, a program that provides therapeutic and support services to children with developmental delays or disabilities.  Ms. Jensen also provided legal counsel on the implementation of the Compassionate Care Act (Medical Marijuana Program), Executive Order #38 and limits on executive compensation, licensure of hospitals, nursing homes and clinics, and matters relating to clinical laboratories.

Ms. Jensen received her undergraduate degree from the State University of New York at Albany in 1994, and her J.D. from the University of Akron School of Law in 1997, where she was a member of the Akron Law Review.  She resides in the Albany area.

Michael M. Stone
Partner Michael (“Mick”) M. Stone is a member of the firm’s Health Care, Business, and Discharge Planning, Patient Rights and Elder Law practice groups.

Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Stone served for over 10 years as an Assistant Counsel within the Bureau of House Counsel of the New York State DOH.  While at the DOH, Mr. Stone was the Department’s point of contact for legal issues concerning adult care facilities and home care agencies, as well as licensure of hospitals, nursing homes and clinics.  He advised the Public Health Council on legal matters prior to, during, and since its transition to the Public Health and Health Planning Council in 2010. In addition, Mr. Stone regularly responded to health care consultants, attorneys and members of the public seeking guidance on facility licensure and compliance issues.

Prior to joining the DOH, Mr. Stone was an Appellate Court Attorney for the New York State Supreme Court Appellate Division, Third Department.

Mr. Stone received his B.A. from Oberlin College in 1993, a Master of Arts in Teaching degree in English Education from Boston University School of Education in 1995, and his J.D. from the Franklin Pierce Law Center (now the University of New Hampshire School of Law) in 2003.  A native of Rochester, NY, Mr. Stone has lived in the Albany area since 2003.

Garfunkel Wild, P.C.
Founded in 1980, Garfunkel Wild, P.C. (GW) maintains one of the most active health care practices in the Northeast, while also providing services to many non-health-related clients.  Always at the forefront of Federal and State developments, GW meets a full range of needs including strategic planning, complex transactions, exempt and taxable financing, white collar defense, litigation, fraud and abuse, estate planning, elder law, tax issues, real estate, licensing, capital formation, EPA/environmental issues, health information technology, privacy & security and bankruptcy.  GW maintains offices in Great Neck, NY; Hackensack, NJ; Stamford, CT; and Albany, NY.

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