Director’s Message

February 5, 2016

What a busy year we’ve had here at LegalHealth! From being recognized in a Crain’s New York Business Opinion piece, writing two blogs that appeared in the Huffington Post, publishing a white paper, The Cancer Cliff, and having a Letter to the Editor in the New York Times. This recognition of the work we do demonstrates the impact and importance of the medical-legal partnership model and the role it plays in improving the lives and health of New Yorkers.

This year, we expanded our services and opened a new clinic at CancerCare, and established a formal partnership with MJHS, a community provider of hospice and palliative care. We’ve taken an active role in the Coalition for Housing and Health, and I was so honored to receive the 2015 Jan Paneth Community Service Award from the Mount Sinai Auxiliary Board. With a new grant from the City Council’s Immigrant Health Initiative, we will also expand our services to patients of Health + Hospitals.

September also marked the third year of our Legal Navigation program. We host three master level social work students from NYU’s Silver School of Social Work to partner with clients and their respective attorney to unearth, breakdown, and help clients overcome barriers to legal care.

Collaborating with social workers is an essential part of our work, and to support our social work colleagues and other healthcare partners, we created Monthly Briefings that include success stories, a tip sheet on a particular legal matter, and any recent news or legislation that impacts the legal outcomes of their patients. Furthermore, to better support our client community, our Equal Justice Works fellow, Keith Hoffmann, established monthly “Legal Stand Downs” at our VA clinics to help veterans better understand their legal rights and published The New York City Veteran’s Legal Guide.

2015 was such a wonderful year for LegalHealth, and we look forward to all that is to come this year. We are extremely grateful for the support of our funders, hospital partners, and dedicated staff, without whom we would not have been able to achieve these great successes. We thank you as always for your interest in LegalHealth. Please check back soon for more exciting news.


Randye Retkin
Director, LegalHealth