Overview

Darra James Coleman is Special Counsel in Nexsen Pruet’s Columbia, South Carolina office, where she practices Health Care law.

Darra has more than 20 years of diverse experience serving both public and private sector clients. From May of 2012 until March of 2020, she served as Chief Advice Counsel and policy counsel for the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, where she managed the legal team that provides in-house legal services to 42 professional and occupational licensing boards.

Most recently, Darra has been able to leverage her experience in policy counsel to help clients navigate the COVID-19 crisis. She offers guidance in the areas of telehealth, regulatory compliance and licensure to assist clients in facing the myriad of changes that are occurring in state and federal policies and regulations to address the rapidly changing health care landscape.

Following a judicial clerkship immediately upon graduation from law school, Darra spent five years practicing with a small litigation firm where she represented governmental entities, individuals and insurance carriers in civil litigation and mediation throughout South Carolina. She spent the next eight years with a mid-size law firm where her practice grew to encompass cases from around the country and diverse business interests, including health care and other professional licensure defense. As a mediator and litigator, Darra helped clients resolve disputes involving employment, probate, personal injury, family, insurance coverage, contract and construction law.

Darra recognizes her clients’ needs are as varied and fast-paced as the evolving world in which we live. 

Community & Professional

  • South Carolina Bar Association, member of the Law Related Education Committee
  • South Carolina Women Lawyers Association
  • Lexington County Bar Association, former President (2012)
  • DHEC Institutional Review Board (Lay Member)
  • Mt. Horeb United Methodist Church, former SPRC Lay Member

Outside Nexsen Pruet

Darra can usually be found chasing her children’s favorite pursuits of the season, whether fishing, baseball, track, cello, or viola, traveling, or spending time with her extended family, then writing about their everyday experiences. Her favorite places are the beach and her family’s farm.  

Recognitions

  • Greater Columbia Business Monthly’s Legal Elite in the fields of Personal Injury (2010) and Healthcare Law (2018, 2020)
  • Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers
  • AV rated by Martindale 

Media

Quoted in Accreditation & Quality Compliance Center, Accreditation Insider - Volume 15 Issue 20, "Check your state’s pandemic plan to make sure 1135 waivers don’t conflict with those requirements", May, 2021

Darra is a frequent speaker on various topics, including the opioid epidemic, scopes of practice, addiction and attorneys, and the impact of criminal conviction on professional licensing.

Resolved: J. Alternative Disp. Resol. 1 (2012) The Power of the Apology: Resolving Medical Malpractice Claims in South Carolina

News

Videos/Podcasts

Podcasts

  • South Carolina Representative Kambrell Garvin of District 77 joins Heather and Darra to discuss Legislative initiatives helping the Palmetto State recover and thrive post-pandemic. Representative Garvin also provides insights on the health care issues impacting his District, challenges in the education system, and vaccinations in SC. Tune in to epsiode 61 now!

  • This week, Tina and Darra welcome Dr. Graham Adams, CEO of the South Carolina Office of Rural Health, a statewide non-profit dedicated to improving health care in rural and under-served communities. They chat about the challenge of health care providers remaining viable while serving rural communities, how the SCORH addressed the pandemic, and the future of rural hospitals. Tune in now!

  • Did you know that colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of death in men and women in the United States? To get some insight into colon cancer’s widespread impact on Americans and other digestive issues, Heather and Darra welcome renowned Gastroenterologist Dr. March Seabrook. He shares important information about colon cancer, including brand new screening recommendations, as well as discusses reflux, indigestion and heartburn and what lifestyle and genetic factors can impact these conditions. Tune in now!

  • For epsiode 54, Heather and Darra chat with Hope Barber, the owner of one of South Carolina’s favorite restaurants, Bowens Island. They dive into how COVID has drastically changed the restaurant industry, including shut downs, staffing shortages, masking, vaccinations, and much more! Tune in now to hear from this long running, family-owned restaurant.

  • For international nurse’s week, Heather and Darra sat down with two health care heroes who have been serving on the frontlines of the pandemic in rural South Carolina at McLeod-Loris Hospital. Layla Soles and Kaila Bonnett share their challenges, successes, and overall experience of caring for COVID-19 patients during the pandemic. Tune in now for their first-hand accounts.

  • For our 50th episode, Heather and Darra sat down with Reverend Stacy Lawton, an unsung COVID hero who serves as a Clinical Staff Chaplain at MUSC. Reverend Lawton shares the details of how COVID has drastically changed her job, the challenges of administering support to patients under COVID protocols, and how hospital chaplains are maintaining their own energy and mental health. Tune in now!

  • With heart disease causing nearly 655,000 deaths in the United States each year, cardiovascular health has never been more important. Dr. Brent McLaurin, a skilled cardiologist and Medical Director of an internationally acclaimed research program, joins Heather and Darra to talk all things heart health. Tune in to episode 48 to learn about Anderson Heart, cardiac trends, and how COVID-19 infections may impact a patient’s cardiac health in the long term.

  • This week, Heather is joined by co-hosts and attorneys Matthew and Darra for a deep dive into the most important topics impacting the health care industry in the Carolinas and beyond. Listen now for their insights on pressing issues that providers and health care professionals need to know, from shifts to value-based care and price transparency to the continued growth of telehealth.

  • On our latest episode, Heather and Darra welcome Dr. Hugh Durrence, a physician who has been working non-stop to help his community fight COVID-19. We dive into his greatest challenges over the past year, how Liberty is providing the vaccine as a family practice, and his designation by the Board of Medical Examiners to help develop the Protocol for Administration of Vaccines by Pharmacists. Tune in now for Dr. Durrence’s insightful perspective!

  • On epsiode 40, Heather and Darra are joined by Dr. Kyle Guyton, a Pediatrics Specialist and Co-Owner of SouthernMed. We dive in to how his practice has changed during the pandemic, his participation in a COVID vaccine trial, and his views on in-person and virtual learning as a Lexington School District One board member. Tune in now!

  • Joining Heather and Darra to kick off season 2 of Taking the Pulse is Mako Medical VP of Operations Steve Hoover. We dive in to how the diagnostic lab has rapidly expanded to meet the demands of COVID-19 testing since we last spoke to Mako in July, news on the new COVID variant in the United States, the current vaccine roll out, and much more. Tune in now!

  • On episode 33, Heather and Darra welcome back South Carolina Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman to discuss how the Palmetto State has met the challenge of maintaining instruction during the fall semester as the pandemic continues. We dive into case numbers, testing strategies within schools, rural broadband services, and much more. Tune in now!

  • Heather and Darra welcome back South Carolina’s epidemiologist Dr. Linda Bell to discuss the pandemic’s continued stronghold within South Carolina. They cover rising COVID cases throughout the state, virtual and in person schools, vaccine timelines and distributions, and more. Tune in to hear from an expert in all things regarding the pandemic now!

  • On episode 29, Tina and Darra speak with Dr. Addison Livingston,  the owner of Hawthorne Pharmacy and Medical Equipment, a local drugstore that has been serving the midlands for nearly 70 years. We dive in to how the pharmacy sector has evolved in response to COVID-19, the clinical care side of the industry, emerging trends, and much more. Listen now!

  • Heather and Darra chat with Dr. Anne Cook of AnMed Health, an internal medicine physician with nearly 40 years of experience and a member of the South Carolina Board of Medical Examiners. Dr. Cook walks us through what it’s like to work on the frontlines of the pandemic, how medical workers are protecting their mental health, the expansion of telemedicine, and regulatory challenges during the COVID-19 public health emergency. Tune in now!

  • On episode 24, Heather and Darra welcome back Representative Murrell Smith to discuss the most recent South Carolina legislative session. We dive into how the Statehouse addressed CARES Act funding, the absentee voting process, rural broadband access, the budget for 2021, and much more – listen now!

  • Heather & Darra dive in with South Carolina Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman to discuss the challenge of operating schools and maintaining instruction during the pandemic. Tune in as we cover strategies for reopening, the delivery of broadband services for virtual learning, how educators and administrators are adjusting, and much more. Listen now!

  • Heather and Darra sit down with South Carolina Senator and Senate Majority Leader Shane Massey to discuss how the pandemic is impacting the Statehouse- from reopening procedures for schools and plans for absentee voting, to creating a new budget for the state and much more. Hear Shane provide insight on what the South Carolina legislature plans to address during their September session as the COVID-19 pandemic continues – listen now!

  • On this episode, Heather, Matthew and Darra dive into the current landscape of the health care industry and the trends and changes Matthew and Darra are seeing as they serve clients amid the pandemic. They provide insight on how COVID-19 has forced organizations outside of the health care system into participating in major health care decisions, the upward trend in employers closely monitoring employee’s health, the consolidation of providers, and what organizations are doing to stay innovative and agile. Listen now!

  • Heather + Darra sat down with South Carolina Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services Executive Director Sara Goldsby to discuss how the stress and isolation of the COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on mental health and exacerbated substance abuse issues in individuals throughout the state. We discuss exactly what DAODAS is and their resources for SC citizens, how they've used telehealth to maintain their services and social media to track alcohol and drug abuse trends, and demographic changes in overdoses since the pandemic began. Stream the full episode now. 

  • Heather and Darra sit down with Dr. Ada Stewart, a physician at Eau Claire Cooperative Health Center around the Midlands, to discuss the impact that COVID-19 has had on her patients and treatment experiences. They discuss Dr. Stewart's service to largely underserved communities around South Carolina, her growing up without a physician or access to health care, and how she came to work become a doctor. Dr. Stewart is driven by a desire to serve others, and we couldn't think of a more inspiring individual who embodies that service. Listen now!

  • Heather + Darra sat down with South Carolina Research Authority (SCRA) Executive Director Bob Quinn to discuss how COVID-19 has sparked innovation among SCRA member companies, and the impact they are having on S.C.'s health and life science industries. We discuss exactly what the SCRA is (and how you can get involved with them), how SCRA start-ups are chosen, and even some several SCRA success stories. Tune in

  • In this episode, Heather & Darra sit down with Dr. Gerry Harmon, President-Elect of the American Medical Association and Vice President of Medical Affairs at Tidelands Health in Murrells Inlet. They discuss the impact of COVID-19 on health care providers, both locally in South Carolina and nationally. We'll get into how associations like the AMA - and health care systems - are supporting patients and frontline health care workers, the prioritization and allocation of PPE and critical health care devices, and how health inequities have been exasperated by the pandemic.

  • Heather and Darra speak to South Carolina Medical Association's GC & SVP of Advocacy & Communications Richele Taylor about many of the challenges and changes she's seeing throughout South Carolina's health care system as a result of COVID-19. Everything from the telehealth boom to the battle between public health vs. economic  impact. Richele also shares some interesting - and uplifting - stories about physicians introducing innovative practices to comfortably and safely treat patients.

  • Nexsen Pruet Health Care attorney Darra James Coleman makes her co-host debut, joining Heather Matthews for an interview with Palmetto Care Connections CEO Kathy Schwarting, MHA. The trio discuss the rise of telehealth - as well as its inherent challenges. They also chat about rural healthcare access, and how telehealth can help bridge that divide. Listen for all that, and much more, now.

Admissions

  • South Carolina
  • U.S. District Court, District of South Carolina
  • Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • United States Supreme Court
  • Certified Circuit Court Mediator and Family Court Mediator
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