Why lawyers just became a bigger part of Mount Sinai’s population health strategy

Mount Sinai Health System recently launched an independent not-for-profit to provide legal aid services to economically disadvantaged patients, Ilene MacDonald reports for FierceHealthcare.

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Beth Essig, EVP and general counsel for Mount Sinai, said that the goal is to help patients with legal challenges that can present barriers to good health.

The health system established the Mount Sinai Medical-Legal Partnership (MSMLP) to enhance services that have been provided by lawyers from LegalHealth of New York Legal Assistance Group, Legal Aid, and Youth Represent.

Allison Charney, co-chair of the MSMLP board of directors and a partner with Foley & Lardner LLP, said that while it's usually challenging to find attorneys willing to take on pro bono work, many of the 200 lawyers who came to a kickoff event expressed interest in providing no-cost legal aid.

MSMLP President Sena Kim-Reuter said that the organization is seeking attorneys to assist with three sets of services:

  • Legal services for patients at Mount Sinai's new Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery, including helping patients change their names and their stated gender on legal documents;
  • Trust and estate planning for terminally ill patients at Mount Sinai Palliative Care Services; and
  • Legal services for patients at Child and Family Services at Mount Sinai St. Luke's Roosevelt, who face a high risk of involvement with the justice system and poor life outcomes (MacDonald, FierceHealthcare, 5/25; MSMLP website, accessed 6/5).

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