The Mount Sinai Medical Legal Partnership, which provides legal aid to Mount Sinai Health System patients in need, has launched a clinic to help breast cancer patients navigate legal issues that arise due to their diagnoses.
The Mount Sinai Medical Legal Partnership (MSMLP), which provides legal aid to Mount Sinai Health System patients in need, has launched a clinic to help breast cancer patients navigate legal issues that arise due to their diagnoses.
The MSMLP breast cancer clinic is a $100,000 project that was partially funded by a grant from the Judges and Lawyers Breast Cancer Alert. Lawyers from the New York Legal Assistance Group’s Legal Health Division will assist patients at Mount Sinai’s Dubin Breast Center with unemployment issues, housing issues, social security benefits, and end-of-life documents and directives.
The clinic was created to help patients who find themselves in need due to a variety of reasons, including being unable to go to work during intensive treatments, needing help with housing or public benefits, or needing help with wills or guardianship. The MSMLP breast cancer clinic will screen patients virtually or onsite at the Dubin Breast Center to determine their needs and either give legal advice or fully represent them, depending on their case.
“We want all of our breast cancer patients to be able to focus on getting healthy, and when the ground is falling out from underneath you due to work or housing issues, on top of a cancer diagnosis, that can feel impossible,” said Allison Charney, MSMLP Executive Director. “We work to address a patient’s legal needs, which can sometimes be brought on by their medical diagnosis, to improve the overall health of our community and end the vicious cycle in which illness and disease are both cause and consequence of poverty.”
Medical staff and social workers will refer patients to the clinic based on their needs. MSMLP estimates that hundreds of patients who come to the Dubin Breast Center may need legal aid.
“The Judges and Lawyers Breast Cancer Alert is proud to support Mount Sinai’s breast cancer legal clinic,” said Fanni Koszeg, the group’s Executive Director. “This effort perfectly aligns with our mission to focus on the intersection of the law and breast cancer and to leverage the legal community’s strength, passion, resources, and expertise to provide support for all those affected by breast cancer.”
MSMLP was founded in 2016 to provide the most vulnerable of Mount Sinai’s patients with free legal services in eight legal clinics throughout the Health System, in order to prevent and remedy the social and environmental conditions that can negatively affect a patient’s overall well-being. MSMLP brings together lawyers and health care teams to holistically care for Mount Sinai’s patients by giving them legal help in areas including housing, education, benefits, family law issues, wills, and immigration.
“We are proud to host this essential service to our breast cancer patients at the Dubin Breast Center,” said Elisa Port, MD, Director of the Dubin Breast Center and Chief of Breast Surgery for the Mount Sinai Health System. “We serve all patients, regardless of their economic background, and being able to host a legal clinic to help our most vulnerable patients aligns with our overall mission of excellent and holistic care.”
“MSMLP has helped better serve our patients’ legal needs, which we know can lead to healthier outcomes,” said Beth Essig, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Mount Sinai Health System, and MSMLP Founder and Advisory Board Member.
Mount Sinai Health System is one of the largest academic medical systems in the New York metro area, with more than 43,000 employees working across eight hospitals, more than 400 outpatient practices, more than 300 labs, a school of nursing, and a leading school of medicine and graduate education. Mount Sinai advances health for all people, everywhere, by taking on the most complex health care challenges of our time—discovering and applying new scientific learning and knowledge; developing safer, more effective treatments; educating the next generation of medical leaders and innovators; and supporting local communities by delivering high-quality care to all who need it.
Through the integration of its hospitals, labs, and schools, Mount Sinai offers comprehensive health care solutions from birth through geriatrics, leveraging innovative approaches such as artificial intelligence and informatics while keeping patients’ medical and emotional needs at the center of all treatment. The Health System includes approximately 7,400 primary and specialty care physicians; 13 joint-venture outpatient surgery centers throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, Long Island, and Florida; and more than 30 affiliated community health centers. Hospitals within the System are consistently ranked by Newsweek’s® “The World’s Best Smart Hospitals” and by U.S. News & World Report's® “Best Hospitals” and “Best Children’s Hospitals.” The Mount Sinai Hospital is on the U.S. News & World Report's® “Best Hospitals” Honor Roll for 2023-2024.