Access to quality, affordable health care is vital for all New Yorkers, but many people, especially low income people, experience barriers to that which is so vital. Empire Justice Center health law staff are focused on providing support for advocates across New York State who are helping low income clients access health care. We also provide technical assistance and training, take referrals for complex cases, engage in policy advocacy and, when necessary, file class action lawsuits to tackle systemic barriers to accessing health care.
We encourage you to visit NYHealthAccess, a website co-sponsored by Empire Justice, the Legal Aid Society of New York City and Selfhelp, Inc. NYHealthAccess will provide you with a comprehensive listing of advocacy materials on New York’s public health insurance programs.
STATEMENT: Empire Justice Center CEO Kristin Brown Shares Highlights of the 2021 Legislative Session
June 14, 2021
The 2021 legislative session was both challenging and rewarding. Challenging because the pandemic made it harder to organize and interact with colleagues and legislators. Rewarding because we achieved major victories for low-income and marginalized New Yorkers in spite of the challenges.
Welcome to the April edition of our newsletter, Policy Matters. In this edition we cover the final State Budget, the overdue repeal of the welfare mortgage laws, new funding for the Tenant Defense Program, impact litigation defending school bus drivers, our fight against nursing home evictions, recognition for CASH, and the release of a new guide to benefits for non-parent caregivers.
Maria is the Health Team Outreach Coordinator at Empire Justice Center’s Rochester office. She is responsible for designing, implementing, and coordinating outreach and education programs related to the health law team's goal of ensuring access to health insurance. Prior to her current role, Maria was as a paralegal in an environmental law firm and a legal and communications intern in an environmental nonprofit organization. While pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Legal Studies, Maria wrote her senior thesis on the vicious cycle of poverty and incarceration. She was born and raised in Buffalo, NY but remained in Rochester following her graduation from Nazareth College. At Empire Justice Center, Maria will primarily assist members of the Rochester community, and she is grateful for the opportunity to do this meaningful work.
Nate serves as a Health Law Paralegal with Empire Justice Center’s Health Law Unit where he conducts client intake, helps develop community presentations on health benefits, and provides support with client representation, among other responsibilities. His background includes legal services, Disability Rights advocacy, care management, and community organizing. Nate received a bachelor’s degree with honors from the University of Toronto where he majored in sociology and international relations.
Alexia Mickles is a Staff Attorney with the Health Law Unit in Empire Justice Center's Rochester office.
Alexia devotes her practice to ensuring access to Medicaid and Medicare to New York's most vulnerable populations. As a law student, she interned with the Empire Justice Center's Disability Advocacy Program (DAP). Alexia graduated cum laude from SUNY Fredonia (2012) and holds a law degree from Pace University School of Law (2015). At Pace, she served as Editor-in-Chief of the Pace Intellectual Property, Sports, & Entertainment Law Forum (PIPSELF). Alexia is licensed to practice law in New York (2016).
Welcome to the October edition of our newsletter, Policy Matters. In this edition we cover the release of the Rochester Latinx Agenda, SNAP benefits for prepared meals, the Sanctions bill, our new crime victims guide, how to receive the child tax credit, an overview of domestic violence legislation passed in the last two years, and an award for a lifetime of consumer advocacy.