Legal Aid and MetroHealth Partnership Continues to Thrive

Back

Through the innovative Community Advocacy Program (CAP) collaboration between Legal Aid and the MetroHealth System, attorneys from Legal Aid provide legal services to MetroHealth patients. The focus is on particular vulnerable populations, including children, pregnant women, re-entering prisoners, older adults and those with limited English proficiency.

The referral process at MetroHealth is key to the program’s success. Megan Sprecher, the lead Legal Aid attorney with the CAP program, spoke about these critical referrals and how the program relies upon advocates in the community such as Oscar Gumucio, PhD, of MetroHealth’s Division of Health Services for Hispanic Children and Adolescents. She states, “Dr. Gumucio is a tireless advocate for Latino children and parents and an invaluable partner. Dr. Gumucio understands that making a child healthy goes beyond what happens in the medical examining room. He makes Cleveland’s Latino children healthier with a holistic approach, advocating for the child’s education, housing, and social needs. Legal Aid is lucky to have such a passionate strong partner.”

Dr. Gumuncio recently referred Susan Warner* to Legal Aid: Ms. Warner had tried twice to obtain Social Security disability (SSI) benefits for her daughter, Ashley, but failed. Young Ashley is a smart, vivacious 5 year-old. She was doing well academically in kindergarten, but had a debilitating seizure that changed everything. Ashley was diagnosed as epileptic and has experienced significant developmental delays as a result of her epilepsy. Because of these delays, Ashley repeated kindergarten for a second time and now must attend school with a nurse because of her medical condition.

Legal Aid helped Ms. Warner and now the family receives ongoing, monthly SSI benefits to help cover the costs of Ashley’s care. The family also received a significant back payment of disability benefits. Today, Ashley’s epilepsy is well-controlled through medication and additional SSI benefits will help her obtain further help including regular counseling and speech therapy so that she can continue to find success in school and have a bright future.

The Legal Aid and MetroHealth partnership was funded in 2012 by the law firms of Thompson Hine and Benesch, along with foundation funding from the Saint Luke’s Foundation of Cleveland, George Gund Foundation, Third Federal Foundation, Kaiser Permanente of Ohio, Medical Mutual of Ohio Charitable Foundation, Frank Hadley Ginn and Cornelia Root Ginn Charitable Foundation, and RPM International Inc.

*Client name changed to protect privacy

About Us
Community Advocacy
Donate
Get Help
Limited English Proficiency Services
Success Stories
Volunteer
photo
Legal Aid’s Tax Practice Ensures Financial Stability for Clients
Cleveland Legal Aid's LITC is led by senior attorney Susan Morgenstern, who is nationally recognized for her advocacy on behalf of low-income taxpayers.

Read More

Learn more about Legal Aid's Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic.

photo
News Tidbits from Legal Aid
On October 26 – everyone in the city could see the legal community’s commitment to Legal Aid: the Terminal Tower was lit blue to honor the American Bar Association’s National Pro Bono Week.

Read More

Read more about goings-on at Legal Aid here.

photo
Photos from the Volunteer Lawyers Program
See Legal Aid's loyal attorney volunteers at work in these photos from various clinics in 2013.

Read More

Learn more about volunteering with Legal Aid.

photo
New for 2014! Earn CLE Credit for Pro Bono Work
Six hours of pro bono service earns one hour of CLE credit.

Read More

Learn more about Legal Aid's Volunteer Lawyers Program.

  • photo1
  • photo1
  • photo1
  • photo1