Essentia names Watters new chief legal officer

Essentia Health is set to welcome Michael Watters as its new chief legal officer and general counsel.

Watters comes to Essentia from Omaha, Neb., where he was vice president of legal services and regional general counsel for CommonSpirit Health, previously known as Catholic Health Initiatives.

There, he oversaw coordination, management and delivery of all legal services within CHI. Overall, Watters has more than 25 years of in-house and private-practice experience, much of it centered around health care.

“The depth and breadth of his knowledge will serve our organization well and we are fortunate to have him join our team,” said Essentia Health CEO David C. Herman, MD.

After receiving his bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Michigan, Watters earned his law degree from the Indiana University School of Law in Bloomington, Ind. Before pursuing his law career, he played professional baseball in the Los Angeles Dodgers and Seattle Mariners organizations, including three years at the Triple-A level. He and his wife, Deb, have seven children.

At Essentia, Watters takes over for Frank Modich, who had served as interim chief legal counsel since March. Modich will continue as associate general counsel.

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