The New York Legal Assistance Group’s LegalHealth Unit recently received two awards, each recognizing and reinforcing its dedication to addressing the non-medical needs of low income people with serious and chronic illnesses. The New York State Bar Association honored LegalHealth with the 2010 Denison Ray Award, and the New York City Bar Association honored Randye Retkin, director of LegalHealth, with the 2010 Legal Services Honorees Award.

The New York State Bar Association bestows the Denison Ray Awards on those who have rendered extraordinary legal services to low-income or disadvantaged clients. The award is named for career legal activist Denison Ray, who led legal services programs in New York and other states, and was established to publicly recognize the people who provide such services and to further emphasize the importance of legal services in achieving equal access to justice. This award honors a focus on strengthening access to justice initiatives, delivering the provision of civil legal services to low income clients, increasing provisions of pro bono services and marshalling resources to maximize services to the community. Regarding the award’s significance, Yisroel Schulman, NYLAG’s President, says, “This award is a testament to the medical-legal partnership model and its importance to serving the low income people of our state.”

The New York City Bar Association named Randye Retkin the recipient of the Twenty-First Annual Legal Services Honorees Award. This award recognizes attorneys who have, for an extended period, devoted themselves full time to the direct provision of free civil legal services to indigent persons.

NYLAG’s LegalHealth division is generously supported by the Robin Hood Foundation, the Butler Foundation, the New York Community Trust, the Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation, the Lance Armstrong Foundation, Komen Greater NYC, Pfizer, and many other hospitals and foundations.