Judges and Lawyers Breast Cancer Alert (JALBCA) provides grants to support legal and social services to cancer victims and their families, particularly those who could not otherwise afford them, as well as education and training efforts and early detection initiatives. Grant funds are raised by our Lawyers’ Division at our annual dinner and through donations and membership dues.
FUNDS AWARDED FOR 2019-2020 AND 2020-2021
MOBILE MAMMOGRAPHY VANS
$260,000 for 2019-2020; $120,000 for 2020-2021
JALBCA awarded grants totaling $260,000 for 2019-2020 and $120,000 for 2020-2021, to subsidize the cost of vans that provide free mammograms to uninsured and underinsured women in underserved communities in the NYC metropolitan area and Western New York. JALBCA sponsors free mammography vans, provided by Project Renewal’s ScanVan Project in the NYC metropolitan area and by the ECMC Foundation’s Early Detection & Education through Mobile Mammography Screening project in Western New York.
THE CENTER FOR ELDER LAW & JUSTICE/THE MEDLAW PARTNERSHIP OF WESTERN NEW YORK
$110,000 for 2019-2020; $90,000 for 2020-2021
The Center for Elder Law & Justice (CELJ) provides free civil legal services to adults throughout Western New York, and reaches health care patients in need of legal assistance through the MedLaw Partnership of Western New York. Attorneys are embedded at several area hospitals and health care facilities in Buffalo, New York, to provide assistance with legal matters that may be impacting an individual’s overall health. Funding from JALBCA supports legal aid for breast cancer patients and survivors, and individuals at risk of the disease.
Legal issues involving housing, health insurance, income maintenance, employment rights, access to benefits, advanced planning, and consumer debt are common among the clients served, and at times may even be a barrier to receiving needed treatment. The highest percentage of casework falls under the category of personal and family stability, which includes issues such as custody and visitation, domestic or elder abuse, consumer debt, wills and estates, health care proxies, and powers of attorney. CELJ’s MedLaw Partnership also provides community education and outreach, and we trust our advocacy efforts help to address the needs of individuals with a history of breast cancer.
THE FAMILY CENTER’S MAITE AQUINO PROGRAM
$110,000 for 2019-2020; $95,000 for 2020-2021
The Family Center’s Maite Aquino Program helps low-income mothers in New York City who have been diagnosed with breast cancer, and their young children and families, cope with the legal issues that can follow diagnosis.
THE JUDGE JUDITH KAYE PROJECT AT THE FAMILY CENTER
$110,000 for 2019-2020;$95,000 for 2020-2021
The Judge Judith Kaye Project at The Family Center sustainably strengthens vulnerable New York City families impacted by breast cancer. Named in honor of Judge Kaye and her service to New York’s children and families, The Family Center’s Judge Judith Kaye Project provides integrated legal, social and healthcare coordination services to low-income, minority mothers, who are confronting a breast cancer diagnosis, as they raise their children.
LEGAL SERVICES OF THE HUDSON VALLEY/LSHV BREAST CANCER HEALTH ADVOCACY PROJECT
$100,000 for 2019-2020; $80,000 for 2020-2021
For 2019-2020, JALBCA awarded a grant of $100,000 to Legal Services of the Hudson Valley (LSHV) to create the LSHV Breast Cancer Advocacy Project and for 2020-2021 JALBCA awarded a grant of $80,000 to LSHV to continue to fund that project.
Through JALBCA’s funding award, LSHV created the Breast Cancer Advocacy Project, which consists of a dedicated attorney to provide civil legal services to low-income breast cancer patients and survivors managing their treatment and its after-effects in the seven counties of the Hudson Valley served by LSHV (Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess, Rockland, Orange, Ulster and Sullivan Counties). While cancer patients and their families should be focusing on treatment and well-being, they often are simultaneously struggling with legal issues related to health insurance coverage, consumer debt, permanency planning, maintaining stable permanent housing and more. Collaborating with many community partners, including White Plains Hospital Cancer Center, Gilda’s Club and the Cancer Support Center, LSHV’s Breast Cancer Advocacy Project assists families impacted by breast cancer to gain peace of mind that their unique and often complex civil legal needs are being addressed so that they can focus on healing and enjoying life. Founded more than 50 years ago, LSHV serves the seven counties of the Hudson Valley, maintaining a staff of 165 individuals working across ten offices throughout its service area. The Breast Cancer Advocacy Project is located out of LSHV’s White Plains Office.
CITY BAR JUSTICE CENTER/CANCER ADVOCACY PROJECT
$66,000 for 2019-2020; $60,000 for 2020-2021
The Cancer Advocacy Project (CAP) is one of the City Bar Justice Center’s founding projects. It provides free legal assistance to low- and moderate-income cancer patients and survivors and their caregivers in New York City, focusing on (i) preparation of life planning documents, (ii) health insurance-related issues, and (iii) cancer-related employment discrimination. Experienced attorneys volunteer their time and expertise with CAP to counsel clients and prepare life planning documents, i.e., basic Wills, Health Care Proxies, Living Wills, Powers of Attorney and Disposition of Remains directives. The health insurance component assists with unjust denials of coverage by medical insurance companies, and employment discrimination assistance includes information, advice and counseling on workplace discrimination and employee rights and options, including guidance on accommodation requests and FMLA leave. In addition, CAP conducts community presentations on those topics plus medical debt, for cancer-related organizations, support groups and medical service providers throughout NYC. The project also schedules periodic Life-Planning/Wills Clinics and workshops on medical debt. CAP has created a series of user-friendly guides, many of which are available in English and Spanish.
NATIONAL BREAST CANCER COALITION FUND/PROJECT LEAD®
$50,000 for 2019-2020; no grant for 2020-2021
For 2019-2020, JALBCA awarded a grant of $50,000 to the National Breast Cancer Coalition Fund for the Cynthia Rubin Scholarship at Project LEAD®. The Cynthia Rubin Scholarship honors the memory of Cynthia Rubin, who was a leader of JALBCA and a passionate advocate for all those affected by breast cancer.
The National Breast Cancer Coalition Fund’s science training program, Project LEAD®, provides breast cancer advocates with the education and training they need in order to understand complex medical information and to play a leadership role in research and health care.
Due to COVID-19, the National Breast Cancer Coalition was not able to hold its in-person Project LEAD® program in 2020 and 2021 and JALBCA did not provide a grant for 2020-2021.
SHARE: SELF-HELP FOR WOMEN WITH BREAST OR OVARIAN CANCER
$15,000 for 2019-2020; 15,000 for 2020-2021
For 2019-2020 and again for 2020-2021, JALBCA awarded a grant of $15,000 to SHARE for its Education & Outreach for the Latina Community: Legal Issues & Breast Cancer program.