Celebrating LegalHealth’s Impact

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NYLAG’s LegalHealth division held a reception on December 7th to thank its legal and healthcare partners for their ongoing support and to introduce newcomers to the importance of its work. Generously hosted by the law firm of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, LLP, the event, titled Impressions of Impact, was designed as an intersection of art, literature, medicine, and law.

The firm’s beautiful conference space was set up as a gallery featuring artwork created by Mt. Sinai residents from the Visiting Doctor’s program depicting their personal reflections on the practice of medicine. Within this environment, guests were treated to a short film about LegalHealth’s work, complimented by speeches from physicians, lawyers and artists emphasizing the importance of the partnerships between legal and healthcare providers. Dr. Danielle Ofri, co-founder and Editor-inChief of the Bellevue Literary Review, author of Medicine in Translation, attending physician at Bellevue Hospital, and Associate Professor of Medicine at NYU, profiled the heart wrenching case of an undocumented immigrant who was in grave need of a heart transplant, but was denied access to the transplant list because of her immigration status. Thanks to the advocacy of LegalHealth attorneys, the patient’s immigration status was resolved, enabling her to receive the transplant she so desperately needed, and more importantly, a second chance at life.

Other presenters included Joan Snyder, artist and 2007 MacArthur Fellow, who gave a slide presentation of her recent artwork. Closing remarks were given by Dr. David Muller, Dean for Medical Education at Mt. Sinai Hospital who underscored the impact of the LegalHealth partnership on the medical community and individual patients. In a moving testimonial, he explained that his ability to succeed in treating his patients often hinges on their legal ability to access lifesaving care. The work of LegalHealth is vitally important as it provides legal remedies to these problems.