ICHS expands free legal services for patients

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Free legal services now available at
ICHS Shoreline clinic

International Community Health Services (ICHS) and Eastside Legal Assistance Program (ELAP) recently announced the expansion of a program that gives access to free legal services for ICHS patients.

Low income patients referred from ICHS’s Shoreline Clinic, 16549 Aurora Ave N, can now meet with ELAP’s attorneys for free legal advice.

The announcement follows the launch of similar services at the ICHS Bellevue Clinic in October 2018. 

“We’ve seen a positive impact for patients at our Bellevue Clinic and we are thrilled to work with ELAP to bring the same to Shoreline,” said Kimo Hirayama, assistant medical director at the ICHS Shoreline Clinic. 
”Many of our patients are immigrants or refugees who face unique challenges or vulnerable circumstances. In providing access to qualified legal experts, we hope to address issues that put families’ health at risk and threaten our communities.”

ELAP experts can help patients on a wide range of civil matters, including those related to public benefits, housing, education and employment, legal status and family law issues.

“The Medical-Legal Partnership was founded on the idea that the most effective health care services target health problems at the source, said Dorothy Leggett, ELAP MLP staff attorney. We know that legal issues are stressors that can negatively impact a patient’s health and the community’s well-being. By working alongside health care teams to help patients assert their legal rights, we hope to increase access to free civil legal aid and improve overall health outcomes.”

Services are available to qualifying King County residents who fall below 200% of the federal poverty level, which was $50,200 for a family of four in 2019. The health care teams at ICHS’s Bellevue and Shoreline clinics work closely with ELAP’s legal aid attorneys to identify patients who qualify. Referred patients will meet with an attorney for sessions that can be scheduled at either the ICHS Bellevue or Shoreline Clinic.

For more information about free legal help available to ICHS patients, call 206-788-3700.

International Community Health Services (ICHS) provides culturally and linguistically appropriate health services to improve the wellness of King County’s diverse people and communities. ICHS’s commitment to health equity includes supporting safer neighborhoods, nutritious foods, green spaces, jobs, housing and economic opportunity. 

Since its founding in 1973, ICHS has grown from a single storefront clinic in Seattle’s Chinatown-International District with deep roots in the Asian Pacific Islander community, to a regional health care provider employing more than 600 people and serving nearly 32,000 patients at 11 clinic locations.

ELAP was founded in 1989 by attorneys and community representatives who saw a need for an organization to provide free civil legal services to low-income people in East and Northeast King County. Since then, ELAP has expanded its services to include legal services for survivors of domestic violence through all of King County and patients at community healthcare centers. 

ELAP offers services through 30 community-based legal advice clinics, brief services, direct representation, and assistance with wills. Services are provided by over 250 volunteer attorneys and ELAP Staff Attorneys.


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