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Client Focus: Bria

Posted by on Apr 28, 2017 in Client Stories | 0 comments

Client Focus: Bria

For the first few years of Bria’s life, her grandmother took care of her. Bria’s mom was a drug addict, and Bria and her brothers were born with cocaine in their systems.

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Reaching the Summit

Posted by on Apr 28, 2017 in Child health | 0 comments

Reaching the Summit

Legal Council for Health Justice participated in the 12th Annual National Medical-Legal Partnership Summit this past April in Washington, DC. This year’s summit theme—Integrating Health and Legal Services to Transform Care Delivery—attracted a fantastic turnout of dedicated MLP (Medical-Legal Partnership) health care providers, MPH researchers, social work, hospital and health care system administrators and lawyers

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Misunderstanding Medicaid

Posted by on Mar 6, 2017 in Medicaid | 0 comments

Misunderstanding Medicaid

A letter to the editor of the Chicago Tribune to correct a misstatement about Medicaid, from our former executive director, Ann Hilton Fisher. I appreciated “Stakes High in State as Medicaid Retool Looms,” but want to correct a misleading impression left by Jonathan Ingram’s quote “people who gained coverage under Medicaid expansion have no disabilities keeping them away from the workforce or children to care for. It’s an issue of employment, not health insurance.” I am a volunteer tax-preparer at one of Chicago’s low-income tax preparation sites. Because of the Affordable Care Act, we now have to ask our clients about their health insurance. Last week I met three men who had recently gotten health insurance through the Medicaid expansion. All three had income of less than $15,000. One has worked full-time at a local convention center for five years, but he is officially a “temporary” employee and has no benefits. Another has worked full-time for 13(!) years at local media company, but is also officially temporary and without benefits. The third, who is homeless, brought in W-2s from six different employers and employment agencies, in amounts ranging from $150 to $9000. For these men, and for the hundreds of thousands of other Illinois workers who do not have access to employment-based health insurance, Medicaid expansion is indeed an issue of health insurance, not employment. We should not be fooled by the efforts of Ingram and others who would like us to believe that Medicaid expansion was just another hand-out to the lazy and unworthy poor. It was and is an essential safety net for the millions of Americans who have been left behind by our shifting job market. “ Photo credit: Jesper...

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Client Focus: Nicolas

Posted by on Mar 3, 2017 in Client Stories | 0 comments

Client Focus: Nicolas

When Nicolas came to the United States as a young boy, he was seeking political asylum, leaving a country that was dangerous for him to live in. He and his father got along fine in the United States. However, when Nicolas turned 19, he aged out of All Kids and was left uninsured. Even worse, shortly after his birthday, he was hospitalized. Luckily prior to his hospitalization, he connected with the Legal Council. We found he was eligible for Medicaid and could even expedite his application because of his asylee status. Sure enough, Nicolas was soon covered by Medicaid and didn’t have to worry about his costly hospital stay; he could simply focus on getting...

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Client Focus: Early Intervention

Posted by on Feb 8, 2017 in Client Stories | 0 comments

Client Focus: Early Intervention

At age 2, Rashaan was not talking at the level of most children his age. Fortunately, his doctor noticed this delay, diagnosed autism, and ensured that he would receive Early Intervention (EI) speech therapy. EI ends at age 3, but federal law mandates that children in EI be evaluated to transition smoothly into special education services. However, Rashaan’s mother filed multiple requests for the evaluation but failed to get results. Because of the connection between our Chicago Medical-Legal Partnership for Children program and Rashaan’s medical providers, we were informed of this case and many more like it. Program director Amy Zimmerman filed a class complaint with the Illinois State Board of Education, eventually winning the battle and ensuring continuity of care for young children with delays and disabilities. As a direct result of the complaint, the Chicago Public School district reevaluated their failing transition process and developed a more efficiently designed process that holds staff more...

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3rd Annual May (DISCO) Ball

Posted by on Feb 8, 2017 in Home Page Sliders | 0 comments

3rd Annual May (DISCO) Ball

Event Chair Philip Tortorich and our hostess Dr. Nabeela Rasheed extend a cordial invitation for you to attend the Legal Council for Health Justice’s 3nd Annual May Ball! Dr. Rasheed will welcome us at her stunning turn-of-the-century, HGTV-featured residence in the West Loop. SATURDAY, MAY 6, 2017 – 8PM to MIDNIGHT Join us for a spectacular evening of celebration, champagne, cocktails, delectable fare, and dancing…all in support of the Legal Council’s work providing free, expert legal care the most vulnerable among us. This year’s theme is May DISCO Ball, so it’s time to bust out the fancy dress or tux. Remember to dress to impress! On behalf of the clients in need whom Legal Council serves each day, we look forward to celebrating with you on May 6. Thank you to our generous sponsors! (in formation) PLATINUM Kirkland & Ellis LLP Sidley Austin LLP GOLD Jenner & Block LLP Marshall Gerstein & Borun LLP Riley Safer Holmes & Cancila LLP Winston & Strawn LLP SILVER Foley & Lardner LLP Goldman Ismail Tomaselli Brennan & Baum LLP Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP Mayer Brown LLP McDermott Will & Emery LLP BRONZE Clark Hill PLC MB Financial Bank Reed Smith LLP Seyfarth Shaw LLP Sinai Health System Sidetrack Takeda Pharmaceuticals Wintersteen & Associates LLC MEDIA ChicagoPride.com DecisionQuest GRAB Magazine Voxbox Windy City Media Group...

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We all screen for healthy futures

Posted by on Jan 30, 2017 in Advocacy | 0 comments

We all screen for healthy futures

A new law our child health advocacy team helped shape adds developmental and social and emotional screenings to child health examinations for all children in Illinois. As a result, families will know of a child’s developmental or mental health difficulties earlier and have access to resources to address these issues. “Not only will screenings benefit both the child and family, they will also help fight stigma and increase awareness of the importance of early identification and intervention,” says Amy Zimmerman, director of the Chicago Medical-Legal Partnership for Children at Legal Council for Health Justice. Read the full press release HERE....

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Moving 2017

Posted by on Jan 21, 2017 in Around the Council, Home Page Sliders | 0 comments

Moving 2017

Legal Council for Health Justice has moved its office as of Feb. 3, 2017. Please find us in our new home at: 17 N. State Street, Suite 900 Chicago, IL...

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The changing healthcare landscape

Posted by on Jan 20, 2017 in Access to health | 0 comments

The changing healthcare landscape

Update on the Healthcare Landscape Under the New Administration Looking to hear more about how the Trump administration might affect healthcare and health insurance? Wondering how these issues will impact your clients and your work? Join us on Thursday, January 26, 2017 from 12:15 – 1:30PM to hear from local experts on the proposed changes to the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”), Medicaid, Medicare, and other health policies. This session is a great opportunity for updates if you’ve missed other chances! It is also a perfect for pro bono, non-profit, and private attorneys of all disciplines to obtain a basic framework around these issues. You can join in person at the Chicago Bar Association (321 S. Plymouth Ct.) or via webcast on the CBA website. MCLE credit is also available! Registration is not...

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Highlights from 2016

Posted by on Jan 19, 2017 in Advocacy | 0 comments

Highlights from 2016

2016 resulted in a banner year in the (nearly) thirty-year history of the Council. A few highlights of our work made possible because of your support: A record number of clients served: 1,823 A record number of cases handled: 2,860 Significant expansion of the Council’s medical-legal partnerships (MLP): We opened three new MLPs across the region, including a major expansion of the Council’s children’s program at the University of Illinois-Chicago. Over 1,300 children with disabilities in Illinois are receiving home care when they would have otherwise been forced into an institutionalized hospital setting. More than $18,000,000,000 (yes, billion!) in funding was made to life-saving safety net healthcare providers in Illinois. Our HIV program staff successfully negotiated with the Illinois Department of Public Health to prevent the termination of life-saving insurance premium assistance to HIV-positive individuals. We greatly expanded services to people at risk for HIV seeking access to PrEP, a medication regimen that is highly effective in reducing infection rates. Nationally, 70% of disability benefit claims are denied, while our homeless program has a 90% client success rate. You helped make these accomplishments happen, but there is so much more to do in 2017. This work will continue at full force and we anticipate over 2,000 clients will receive direct legal help in 2017. With the coming cuts to the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid, demand will only increase. We are going to fight cuts in funding for healthcare access for our communities and federal actions that threaten the civil rights of those we serve.  And, we are expanding—we will be serving patients at all five of Howard Brown Health’s clinics and we are looking to expand our provision of legal services for children to new medical sites. Our pledge is to continue to use the power of the law to secure health, dignity, and stability for children, adults and families challenged by illness and disability. Thanks for standing with...

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