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Bet Tzedek Directing Attorney Named “2015 Where Health Meets Justice” Fellow

Bet Tzedek Directing Attorney, Michelle Marie Kezirian, was one of 16 civil legal aid leaders selected for a prestigious national health care fellowship in the “Where Health Meets Justice” program, which seeks to increase health care expertise in the legal aid community and promote collaboration among health and legal professionals serving low-income people.

“I am honored to be chosen as a 2015 WHMJ fellow,” said Kezirian. “I look forward to deepening my understanding of the intersection of law, health and public policy and growing our medical-legal partnership practice.”

With funding from the Public Welfare Foundation, the WHMJ Fellowship is a joint effort of the National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership at the George Washington University (NCMLP) and the National Legal Aid and Defender Association (NLADA), now in its second year.

During the 10-month fellowship, a faculty of national experts in health care administration, policy, research and economics will guide the fellows and help them learn to frame legal services in a health care context, build strong alliances, and use health data effectively.

“Civil legal needs related to housing, domestic violence and public benefits are inextricably linked to the health and well-being of low-income communities,” said Camille Holmes, Director for Leadership and Racial Equality at NLADA. “For decades, civil legal aid offices have worked to improve housing conditions, ensure safety at home and appeal public benefit denials. But this work traditionally occurs in a silo separate from what health care does to treat the same people and the same problems. This fellowship aims to remedy that.”