SMH Newtown Doctors Partner with Legal Aid to Improve Patient Health

SMH Newtown Doctors Partner with Legal Aid to Improve Patient Health

Thursday, October 5, 2017

What: Sarasota Memorial’s new Internal Medicine Practice in Newtown and Legal Aid Manasota are teaming up to combat the complex needs of low-income patients impacted by health-harming social conditions. 

The two not-for-profit organizations formed the Suncoast region’s first medical-legal partnership, in which Legal Aid and pro-bono attorneys will partner with physicians in the Newtown practice and their patients to address social conditions adversely impacting their health. For example, the lawyers might assist diabetic patients struggling to retain or access vital food stamps benefits, work with a reluctant landlord to remediate mold issues for a patient with asthma, or assist patients who qualify for, but have been denied disability or insurance benefits. A grant from the Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Foundation will help fund the program for the first year.

More information about the medical-legal partnership will be shared at a free community presentation, “Health & Law: A Newtown Community Effort,” on Oct. 14. Speakers will include: Linda Harradine, executive director of Legal Aid Manasota; Ilyas Saeg, Esq., with the Sarasota County Bar Association Diversity Committee; Karen Hamad, MD, and Vida Farhangi, MD, physician leaders from SMH’s Internal Medicine Practice at Newtown; Vickie Oldham, chair of Newtown Alive!, with remarks from the Hon. Charles E. Williams, Chief Judge of the 12th Judicial Circuit, Shelli Freeland Eddie, Mayor of the City of Sarasota, and Chris Jenkins, MD, representative for the 2017 FSU/SMH class of Internal Medicine resident physicians. 

The event is open to anyone interested in learning how local medical providers and lawyers are working together to reduce barriers and increase access to essential medical care in the Newtown community. A Q&A will follow the presentation. Attendees also will have the opportunity to meet some of the practice physicians, volunteer lawyers and other community partners working together to improve the health of Newtown residents. 

When: 9:30-11:30 am Saturday • Oct. 14, 2017

Where: Robert L. Taylor Community Complex, 1845 34th St., Sarasota