United States District Court, District of Alaska (2022)
In Southcentral Foundation v. Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, 2022 WL 2834283 (D.
Alaska 2022), the district court held that a tribal healthcare organization was entitled to privileged
documents relating to its governance and participation rights in Alaska Native Tribal Health
Consortium (ANTHC). (Id. at *14). ANTHC is a consortium of regional tribal health organizations
that share governance and participation rights. (Id. at *2). Thirteen of the tribal health organizations
have a seat on the Board of Directors, including Southcentral Foundation (the Foundation). (Id.).
The Foundation sought a court order to access documents and information, including privileged
information, that it deemed necessary for it to exercise its rights in ANTHC. (Id. at *1). The
Foundation argued that ANTHC had violated the consortium agreement by withholding
information, restricting organization representatives to the Board of Directors from broadly
sharing information, and creating an overly restrictive disclosure policy. (Id. at *3). The district
court reasoned that the Foundation had fully established its right to some relief and that ANTHC’s
claims of procedural defects were not compelling. (Id. at *8). The court held that the Foundation
was entitled to information needed to effectively exercise its governance and participation rights,
which could include privileged information and attorney work product. (Id. at *14). The court also
held that the Foundation’s Board of Directors appointee must be able to share relevant documents
with the Foundation. (Id.). But the court disagreed that the Foundation needed access to all of
ANTHC’s privileged information. (Id. at *13). Granting in part and denying in part the motion for
summary judgment, the district court held that a tribal healthcare organization was entitled to
privileged documents relating to its governance and participation rights in Alaska Native Tribal
Health Consortium. (Id. at *14).