2013 Equal Justice Works Fellow, Sara Levine

Sara Levine

Name of Host Organization: New York Legal Assistance Group
City, State: New York, New York
Issue area: Health Care/Medical-Legal Partnership
Sponsors: Pfizer, Inc.; DLA Piper

The Project

Sara improved access to health care for humanitarian-based immigrants in New York City. Sara worked with immigrants’ health care providers to achieve project goals through targeted representation, outreach, and advocacy.

The Inspiration

Need Addressed By Project: 
Low-income, humanitarian-based immigrants with serious health problems confront an overwhelming array of challenges including illness, poverty, lack of knowledge of their rights, and fundamental misconceptions about accessing health care. This project works with underserved immigrants by opening legal clinics in inner-city hospitals. It offers representation to individuals in their immigration cases, and helps them obtain appropriate relief based on their humanitarian claims. This project helps clients obtain Medicaid, to which they are legally entitled after submitting federal immigration applications. The project involves conducting information campaigns for hospital staff, as well as advocacy and outreach campaigns for immigrants.
Fellowship Highlights: 
During her Fellowship, Sara:
• Opened two hospital-based legal clinics for humanitarian immigrants (crime victims, survivors of domestic violence, and asylum seekers)
• Expanded an existing asylum clinic and doubled its representation capacity
• Represented dozens of undocumented clients in their federal immigration cases and NYS Medicaid cases
• Won immigration status for clients, including asylum, and helped clients to obtain health coverage through Medicaid
Where are they now?: 
Now that the Fellowship is complete, Sara will continue running her hospital-based legal clinics for humanitarian immigrants as a Staff Attorney with New York Legal Assistance Group.

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