LegalHealth is celebrating a milestone anniversary!
A little over 20 years ago, Director, Randye Retkin and Associate Director, Julie Brandfield both read an article in the New York Times on how Boston Medical Center hired an attorney to staff a free legal clinic onsite in the hospital. This novel approach to providing legal services struck something in them, and they realized how the power of the law could help mitigate many of the health harming aspects in people’s lives.
Armed with deep expertise in the law, the two piloted a medical legal partnership (MLP) with Mount Sinai Pediatrics, a partnership we still have to this day. Very quickly, patients’ health and wellbeing benefited from onsite legal help, and LegalHealth’s MLP model has continued to expand ever since.
LegalHealth, now the largest MLP in the United States, has 35 clinic sites throughout New York City, Long Island, and Westchester. Furthermore, as a pioneer in this field, LegalHealth has helped numerous organizations start and sustain their own MLPs, received national recognition for its work, conducted research studies, led countrywide webinars, helped implement important policy change, and testified in front of Congress.
The 20th anniversary provides an opportunity to reflect on LegalHealth’s beginnings, the thousands of clients we have helped obtain equitable access to healthcare, housing, immigration, benefits and end of life planning, and the innovations of MLP yet to come in the next 20 years!