MIAMI (Dec. 16, 2013) ─ International law firm Greenberg Traurig LLP and The Florida Bar Foundation are joining forces to fund a program that will help low-income and disadvantaged Floridians in Miami-Dade County receive better access to health care.
Charlotte Joseph Cassel, who is expected to graduate from the University of Miami School of Law in May, will pursue the two-year Health Access Now! Project as the 2014-16 Equal Justice Works Fellow in the Miami office of Florida Legal Services Inc. Cassel’s fellowship, which begins in September 2014, falls under the auspices of Equal Justice Works, a national nonprofit organization that creates fellowship opportunities for over 50 young lawyers each year to positively impact vulnerable communities around the country.
With 10 percent of the nation’s uninsured, Florida has major challenges in the face of the current health care overhaul that includes the rollout of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and significant changes to the state’s Medicaid program.
More than 2 million low-income Floridians will be newly eligible for federal subsidies through the ACA’s Insurance Affordability Programs. Many of these people traditionally have difficulty accessing public benefits because English is not their first language or they have a mental or physical disability.
Cassel’s project will identify and resolve barriers to health care access faced by these disadvantaged populations in Miami-Dade County through a combination of direct representation, community outreach and training, and systemic advocacy. The Greenberg Traurig Holly Skolnick Fellowship Foundation and The Florida Bar Foundation each will provide $56,000 to support Cassel’s fellowship.
Cassel holds a master’s in public health from Columbia University and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Barnard College and has extensive internship experience serving low-income populations through her work in both law and health-related organizations.
“Greenberg Traurig is proud to partner with The Florida Bar Foundation in support of this important work,” said Bill Silverman, a Greenberg Traurig shareholder and head of the firm’s Fellowship Foundation. “Helping people of limited means gain access to justice is a core value of our firm.”
Greenberg Traurig has a long-standing partnership with Equal Justice Works and since 1999 has invested more than $7.3 million to support 120 Equal Justice Works Fellows. This makes Greenberg Traurig the top supporter of Equal Justice Works Fellowships. The Florida Bar Foundation has provided support for 69 Florida Equal Justice Works Fellows since 1999.
Cassel will work under the supervision of Miriam Harmatz, senior health law attorney at Florida Legal Services Inc., a nonprofit organization that provides civil legal assistance to low-income populations, as well as service delivery coordination, training, case consultation and technical assistance for all legal service providers in Florida.
About Greenberg Traurig, LLP
Greenberg Traurig, LLP is an international, multi-practice law firm with approximately 1750 attorneys serving clients from 36 offices in the United States, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Greenberg Traurig is among the Top 10 law firms on The National Law Journal's 2013 NLJ 350, an annual ranking of the largest firms in the U.S. For additional information, please visit www.gtlaw.com.
About The Florida Bar Foundation
Established in 1956, The Florida Bar Foundation is the only funder linking 31 legal services programs in Florida to form a comprehensive, statewide legal services delivery system. Other Foundation programs include grants to improve the justice system and loan repayment assistance for attorneys at its legal aid grantee organizations. Principal support for the Foundation’s charitable activities comes from the Interest on Trust Accounts (IOTA) Program implemented by the Florida Supreme Court in 1981. Additional support comes from gifts by Florida attorneys, law firms, corporations, foundations and from other individuals. For additional information, please visit www.floridabarfoundation.org