The Health Law Partnership (HeLP) is an interdisciplinary community collaboration to improve the health and well- being of low-income children and their families. HeLP’s three non-profit partners are Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, the Atlanta Legal Aid Society, and Georgia State University’s College of Law.
Sick children have more than just medical problems. Their health is challenged by many social, environmental, and financial problems that their families face. Lawyers can often intervene to address underlying conditions that harm children’s health, such as:
• Poor housing conditions, which can exacerbate a child’s chronic illness like asthma.
• Domestic violence, which can affect a parent’s ability to provide appropriate care.
• Failure to protect the legal rights of a disabled child, which can prevent access to a free and appropriate public education.
• Loss of a parent’s income or even a job, which can result because of repeated absences from work to attend to a sick child, possibly leading to housing eviction.
HeLP’s mission is to address the multiple determinants of low-income children’s health and well-being by combining the expertise of health care and legal professionals in a sustained community partnership. HeLP’s overall goals are three-fold: (1) to provide direct public health legal services to low-income families whose children are patients at Children’s hospitals; (2) to provide interprofessional education to better prepare law students and graduate students in the health professions to meet the needs of patients and clients and to improve professional practice in the 21st century; and (3) to promote advocacy on behalf of children’s health.
HeLP has established free legal services offices at three hospitals, Children’s at Egleston, Children’s at Scottish Rite, and Children’s at Hughes Spalding as well as an in-house legal clinic at Georgia State University’s College of Law, serving hundreds of low-income children and their families. Each office is staffed by fulltime HeLP attorney or faculty. Since inception, HeLP has opened cases for families whose homes lie in over 120 of Georgia’s 159 counties. Since Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta draws patients from the entire state, HeLP eventually may serve families in every county.
Sylvia Caley/Health Law Partnership
Sylvia Caley, JD, MBA, RN is the director of the Health Law Partnership (HeLP), an interdisciplinary community collaboration among Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, the Atlanta Legal Aid Society, and Georgia State University’s College of Law. She is an associate clinical professor teaching law students and other professional graduate students enrolled in the HeLP Legal Services Clinic. She also teaches Health Legislation and Advocacy, a year-long course during which law students work with community partners to address health-related legislative and regulatory issues affecting the community. She is a member of the Ethics Committees at Grady Health System and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Her research interests focus on the intersection of health and poverty. Specifically she is interested in examining the effect of health disparities on the lives of low-income, chronically ill, and disabled children. She also uses legislative and regulatory mechanisms to address systemic issues affecting child welfare.
Pam Kraidler/Health Law Partnership
Pam Kraidler is an attorney with the Health Law Partnership (HeLP). Through HeLP, Pam has had the opportunity to practice in many areas of law including education, housing, SSI and public benefits. Being a part of HeLP allows Pam to do the work she is deeply committed to: advocating for children and ensuring that low income families have access to the legal system, whether through educating individuals so they can become effective advocates for themselves or by providing full legal representation.
Bridget Beier/HeLP & Atlanta Legal Aid Society
Bridget Beier has been with the Health Law Partnership since shortly after its inception. She is situated at the Scottish Rite office and responsible for day to day activities of the office and data collection and analysis.
Ashby L. Kent/Burr & Forman
Ashby L. Kent has practiced in Burr & Forman’s Litigation section since 2003 where she specializes in general commercial litigation. She has handled a wide variety of business disputes (tort and contract) for both plaintiffs and defendants, and her clients range from individuals and small businesses to large national financial institutions, including banks, lenders, mortgage companies and insurance companies.
Ashby represents her financial services clients in a variety of consumer finance and real estate matters, including actions for wrongful foreclosure, predatory lending, consumer protection law claims and other state and federal lender liability claims. In representing her title insurance clients, Ashby has handled numerous matters which involve evaluating and litigating bad faith claims, boundary line and easement disputes, one-half interest defects, lost or unrecorded security instruments issues, disputes over damages and loss valuations and other issues that frequently arise in the title insurance industry.
Ashby has nearly 10 years of experience litigating in Georgia’s state and federal courts, and has tried cases (bench and jury trials) in both. Additionally, she has successfully, efficiently and cost-effectively resolved numerous disputes through effective settlement negotiation and/or participation in alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, including mediation and arbitration.