Posted November 20, 20182:00 pm
On November 19, Legal Aid’s executive director Colleen Cotter and board president Karen Giffen shared an update on Legal Aid’s work in the past year and explained The Campaign for Legal Aid – a comprehensive five-year effort to raise the resources needed to grow and sustain proven programs and build new opportunities for serving families living in poverty.
In addition to the expansion announcement, The Honorable Deval Patrick, former Governor of Massachusetts, was the keynote speaker. Gov. Patrick has a deep history with civil legal services and will comment on the ripple effect of legal aid and how promotion of this work is a community-wide responsibility and role.
Also, in a surprise announcement at the event – Dee Haslam led a team of individual donors in a challenge to the community: make a gift to Legal Aid by December 1 and it will be matched 1-to-1 to support Legal Aid’s high-impact programs. Dee and her husband Jim were recently named chairs of the NFL’s social justice committee.
Finally, The MetroHealth System was honored with the Louis Stokes Paragon Award, the highest honor given by Legal Aid. President and CEO of MetroHealth Akram Boutros accepted the award on behalf of the health system.
More than 15 years ago, Legal Aid approached The MetroHealth System to begin a medical-legal partnership to improve health outcomes for low-income children in Metro’s pediatrics practice. The MetroHealth System immediately saw the importance of legal services integrated into the health care setting. Soon, the partnership expanded with support from MetroHealth to serve other vulnerable individuals and families including more children, pregnant women, Spanish-speakers, immigrants, the elderly, and formerly incarcerated people. Today, Legal Aid is integrated into the medical practice at MetroHealth’s main campus and numerous locations. MetroHealth was the pioneer: as of this year, Legal Aid is also embedded at St. Vincent Charity Medical Center and University Hospitals.
1,000 people attended the luncheon which was sponsored by more than 60 corporations, law firms and other organizations.