Randye Retkin
Director and Founder, LegalHealth

Randye is the Director and Founder of LegalHealth. She is nationally recognized for building collaborations between professionals working with the chronically ill and for ensuring the well-being of this population by helping them access medical and legal care. Randye is a founder of the New York Immigration Coalition, the National Cancer Legal Services Network, and co-founder of the NY State Coalition of Medical-Legal Partnerships. She sits on the State Public Affairs Committee of the New York March of Dimes. She also co-authored New York’s Standby Guardianship law and New York’s Health-Related Legal Services law. Previously she served as Director of Legal Services for the Gay Men’s Health Crisis, the nation’s oldest and largest organization serving people with HIV/AIDS, and as a staff attorney with New York Lawyers for the Public Interest and Volunteers of Legal Service (VOLS).

In 2008, Randye and LegalHealth were awarded the prestigious E. Lee Walker award from the Live Strong Foundation for work on behalf of people with cancer. In 2010, Randye was the recipient of the New York City Bar’s 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. Randye is a frequent speaker at national legal and medical conferences.

Randye co-authored one of the first major articles on collaborative care for the chronically ill: “Attorneys and Social Workers Collaborating in HIV Care: Breaking New Ground,” Fordham Urban Law Journal (1997). She also co-authored “Complexities in HIV Consent in Adolescents,” Clinical Pediatrics (2005); “The Attorney as the Newest Member of the Cancer Treatment Team,” Journal of Clinical Oncology (May 2006); “Lawyers and Doctors Working Together – A Formidable Team,” ABA Health Law Journal (2007); “Public Health Legal Services: A New and Powerful Vision,” Georgetown Journal of Poverty Law and Policy (2008); “Medical Legal Partnerships: A Key Strategy for Mitigating the Negative Health Impacts of the Recession,” ABA Health Lawyer, (2009); “How Bioethics Can Enrich Medical-Legal Partnerships,” The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics (2010); and most recently “Legal Services: A Necessary Component of Patient Navigation,” Seminars in Oncology Nursing (2013). Randye is a frequent speaker at professional conferences. She has addressed the Annual Meeting of the Society of General Internal Medicine, the National Legal Aid and Defender Association, the American Bar Association (ABA) Health Law Section and the Medical-Legal Partnership for Children National Summit. Randye graduated from the State University of New York at Buffalo and Howard School of Law.

Julie Brandfield
Associate Director, LegalHealth

Julie is the Associate Director of LegalHealth. She coordinates the training curriculum for hospital partners, establishes new clinics, and supervises LegalHealth’s staff attorneys. Julie has extensive experience in employment and insurance law, key focuses of her LegalHealth practice. Julie has spoken at numerous conferences on partnering with healthcare professionals. In 2013, Julie was the recipient of the New York City Bar’s 24th Annual Legal Services Award.  She co-authored “Environmental Improvements Brought by the Legal Interventions in the Homes of Poorly Controlled Inner-city Adult Asthmatic Patients:  A Proof of Concept Study,” Journal of Asthma. (2012); “Medical-Legal Partnership: Collaborating with Lawyers to Identify and Address Health Disparities,” Journal of General Internal Medicine. 2010; 25(Suppl 2): 136-9; “Medical Legal Partnerships: A Key Strategy for Mitigating the Negative Health Impacts of the Recession,” ABA Health Lawyer, (2009); “Lawyers and Doctors Working Together – A Formidable Team,” ABA Health Law Journal (October 2007); ”The Attorney as the Newest Member of the Cancer Treatment Team,” Journal of Clinical Oncology (May 2006); and “Complexities in HIV Consent in Adolescents,” Clinical Pediatrics (July/August 2005).. Before joining LegalHealth in 2002, Julie was an associate at Debevoise & Plimpton in New York. She clerked for the Honorable Alfred J. Lechner of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey. Julie served as secretary of the Federal Courts Committee of the New York City Bar Association from 1995 to 1998 and contributed to Trial Ready: A Manual for Pro Se Litigants Appearing in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (1997). She graduated from the University of Chicago and Fordham University School of Law.

Domna Antoniadis
Staff Attorney, LegalHealth

Domna is a staff attorney with NYLAG’s LegalHealth Unit, conducting legal clinics at St. Luke’s Hospital and Woodhull Hospital’s Geriatric Wellness Center.  She co-authored “Legal Services: A Necessary Component of Patient Navigation”, Seminars in Oncology Nursing (2013). She graduated from Fordham University  School of Law where she founded Fordham HEALS (Health, Education, Advocacy and Law Society), the law school’s first public interest group to specialize in health law advocacy, for which she received the Public Service 1L Student of the Year Award.  Upon graduation Domna was awarded a Public Interest Resource Center Leadership Award and the Archibald R. Murray Service Award for giving more than 1,000 hours of her time to public service work as a law student. Domna interned with the N.Y.S. Department of Insurance interpreting insurance regulations, with a focus on health insurance.

Julie Babayeva
Staff Attorney, LegalHealth

Julie is a staff attorney with NYLAG’s LegalHealth Unit. She conducts legal clinics at Coney Island Hospital and Maimonides Medical Center. Prior to joining LegalHealth, Julie was a volunteer attorney at Catholic Charities of Archdiocese of New York where she worked on various immigration related cases.  She graduated magna cum laude from Pace University and earned her law degree from St. John’s University School of Law, where she received CALI Awards for Excellence for Immigration Law, Pre-trial Advocacy and Bread & Life: Bridge to Justice legal clinic.

Sirikit Benja-Athonsirikul
Staff Attorney, LegalHealth

Sirikit staffs the legal clinics at New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center and Queens Hospital Center. Before joining NYLAG, Sirikit was a staff attorney at The Legal Aid Society of Suffolk County, Inc. primarily representing children in a wide range of family court matters. Sirikit studied art history at Colgate University in Upstate New York where she received her undergraduate degree. She received her Juris Doctor from St. John’s University School of Law in Jamaica Queens where she was the recipient of the CALI Excellence for the Future Award 2011 and the Gold Pro Bono Service Award 2011 for her dedication to public service.

Jason Biafore
Supervising Attorney, LegalHealth

Jason is in charge of the legal clinic at Lincoln Hospital and LegalHealth’s housing caseload. Prior to joining LegalHealth, Jason was a housing attorney at Northern Manhattan Improvement Corporation. He earned a BA degree from Concordia University, Montréal, and graduated from Queen’s University Faculty of Law, Kingston, Canada with an LL.B degree.

Michael Brown
Staff Attorney, LegalHealth

Maria S. Campigotto
Staff Attorney, LegalHealth

Maria is responsible for the LegalHealth clinics at the Institute of Family Health, a federally qualified health clinic, and Beth Israel Medical Center. A magna cum laude graduate of Ohio State University, Maria received her law degree from New York University where she was also a student advocate at the institution’s employment and housing discrimination clinic. She is admitted to practice in both New York and New Jersey. Maria has served in internship and research programs in South Africa and Ireland on human rights issues.

Brian Cohen
Senior Staff Attorney, LegalHealth

Brian is in charge of the legal clinics at Jacobi Medical Center and Bellevue Hospital’s Cancer and Palliative Care Centers at Bellevue Hospital. Before joining LegalHealth, Brian practiced civil and administrative litigation in Toronto, Canada for 12 years, and was also an adjudicator with the Ontario Social Benefits Tribunal. He studied philosophy at Trent University, Ontario, and Université Laval, Québec City, and earned his common and civil law degrees from McGill University, Montreal. Brian is admitted to the bar of New York State and received the Canadian Bar Association’s “Young Lawyers’ Year 2000 Pro Bono Award.”

Mary Fox
Senior Staff Attorney, LegalHealth

Mary runs the legal clinic at Woodhull Medical Center and Mt. Sinai. She has extensive experience handling consumer debt matters.  Before joining LegalHealth in 2013, Mary was a pro se attorney for the United States Bankruptcy Court in the Eastern District of New York, the first pro se attorney for the United States Bankruptcy Courts across the nation. There, Mary structured and implemented a pilot program to provide in-court assistance to pro se debtors and creditors. Previously, Mary was a Senior Staff Attorney at Gay Men’s Health Crisis and Staff Attorney at Housing Conservation Coordinators, Inc.  Mary graduated from University of Maryland and received her JD from City University of New York.

Nadia Hernandez
Staff Attorney, Matrimonial & Family Law and LegalHealth

Nadia is a Staff Attorney with NYLAG’s Matrimonial & Family Law and LegalHealth Units. She is responsible for providing legal services and direct representation for victims of domestic violence. She received her J.D. from New York Law School in 2011. During law school, she volunteered as a mentor with the Street Law Program, and as a debate coach with Legal Outreach. She also participated in NYLAG’s Domestic Violence Clinical Center. Prior to law school, she worked as a paralegal at Patton Boggs, LLP. Nadia has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History from Saint Peter’s College.

Brian Hilburn
Staff Attorney, LegalHealth

Brian, a staff attorney with NYLAG’s LegalHealth Unit, runs the legal clinics at Harlem Hospital and Maimonides Medical Center. Prior to joining NYLAG, he was a Peace Corps volunteer in Paraguay. While in law school, he interned for the Honorable Robert B. Collings of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, the San Francisco County Public Defender’s Office, LatinoJustice PRLDEF, and South Brooklyn Legal Services (SBLS). Brian did a post-graduate fellowship at SBLS focusing on unemployment law and foreclosure prevention. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree from Arkansas Tech University and his Juris Doctorate from Northeastern University School of Law.

Kevin Kenneally
Supervising Attorney, LegalHealth

Kevin is a Supervising Attorney in Legal Health where he staffs our legal clinics at the Bronx VA Medical Center and the James J. Peters VA Medical Center. He also has extensive experience in Social Security appeals. Before joining LegalHealth in 2003, Kevin spent three years in the public benefits unit at Legal Services of Greater Miami, specializing in Social Security disability law. He graduated from the University of Chicago and William and Mary Law School.

Sara Levine
Equal Justice Works Fellow, LegalHealth

Sara Levine is an Equal Justice Works Fellow with NYLAG’s LegalHealth division. Through her fellowship project, the LegalHealth Immigrant Access to Healthcare Project, Sara represents humanitarian-based immigrants (victims of domestic abuse, victims of crimes, and asylum-seekers) in their immigration cases. She also works with such individuals to obtain state Medicaid coverage once their federal immigration cases are pending. Sara received her J.D. from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and her B.A. from the University of Michigan. Prior to law school, Sara worked as a journalist for the English nightly news on Israeli television.

Sylvia Miller
Staff Attorney, LegalHealth

Megan K. O’Byrne
Staff Attorney, LegalHealth

Megan is a Staff Attorney in LegalHealth. She staffs NYLAG’s legal clinics at the Bronx VA Medical Center and the Manhattan VA Medical Center. Prior to joining NYLAG in 2014, Megan was a staff attorney with Legal Services of the Hudson Valley where her practice focused on housing and government benefits. Megan was previously employed as an associate at Bracewell & Giuliani in their litigation department.  She is licensed to practice in New York and California. Megan received her B.A. from Hunter College and graduated magna cum laude from Washington College of Law at American University.

Nina Pejoves
Staff Attorney, LegalHealth

Nina is in charge of the legal clinics at Montefiore Medical Center. Ms. Pejoves is a graduate from Boston College, where she interned with Senator John F. Kerry’s office and was involved with HIV/AIDS activism. She received her law degree from Brooklyn Law School, where she worked on employment discrimination issues as a legal intern with both the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Legal Action Center. Ms. Pejoves was awarded the Brooklyn Law Students for the Public Interest Fellowship and the Edward V. Sparer Fellowship based on her commitment to public interest law.

Regina Rivera
Staff Attorney, LegalHealth

Regina runs the legal clinic at Kings County Hospital and Elmhurst.  Before joining LegalHealth in 2012, Regina volunteered with the Legal Aid Society of San Bernardino and clerked with the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office and the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.  She graduated from California State University, San Bernardino and received her law degree from Chapman University School of Law, where she was a Dean’s Merit Scholar, Shropshire Group Scholar, and Chapman Law Public Interest Scholar.

Norma Tinubu
Supervising Attorney, LegalHealth

Norma runs the legal clinics at Bellevue and Elmhurst Hospitals and supervises immigration cases arising from LegalHealth’s various clinics. She joined LegalHealth from the Gay Men’s Health Crisis, where she specialized in immigration law and estate planning. Previously, she worked in investment law at TIAA-CREF. Norma is a graduate of Pace University and received her JD from Touro Law School.

Pamela van der Meulen
Staff Attorney, LegalHealth

Pamela, a staff attorney with LegalHealth, runs a full-time legal clinic at the Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center, where she helps adolescents with a wide variety of legal problems. The Adolescent Health Center provides free medical care to children and young adults ages 10 – 24. In 2010 Pamela received the New York Regional Chapter award of the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine (SAHM), for her outstanding contributions in this area. Prior to joining NYLAG and the Adolescent Health Center, Pamela practiced commercial real estate law in New York City for almost twenty years. She is a graduate of Wesleyan University and received her JD from Hofstra University School of Law, where she was Notes & Comments Editor of the Law Review.

Debra J. Wolf
Senior Staff Attorney, LegalHealth

Debra runs the legal clinics for cancer patients at Beth Israel Medical Center, Maimonides Medical Center, and NYU Cancer Institute. Before joining LegalHealth in October 2005, she was in private practice, specializing in discrimination based on disability and private disability insurance coverage disputes. Debra previously served as Assistant Director of Legal Services and Advocacy for the Gay Men’s Health Crisis. She is an adjunct associate law professor at Fordham University School of Law. Debra graduated from Westfield College and received her JD from Washington University School of Law.

Kate Wurmfeld
Supervising Attorney, Matrimonial & Family Law, LegalHealth

Kate is a supervising attorney for the Matrimonial and Family Law and Legal Health Units at NYLAG. She is responsible for providing legal services and direct representation for victims of domestic violence in divorce, custody, orders of protection, support and immigration matters, as well as for providing consultations for attorneys and clients in the Legal Health Unit on all family law matters. In addition to providing direct legal services, Kate also supervises junior attorneys and law student interns and serves as a co-chair for the Lawyers Committee Against Domestic Violence.  Prior to attending law school, Kate was a volunteer at NYLAG and then returned as an intern in the Domestic Violence Clinical Center, further solidifying her commitment to public interest law and to NYLAG’s mission. Kate graduated from Seton Hall Law School in 2005 and worked for Proskauer Rose before returning to NYLAG in 2008 in her current capacity.

Sheila Zablow
Staff Attorney, LegalHealth

Anna Chan
Paralegal, LegalHealth

Bruce Craig
Attorney, LegalHealth

Leslee Dean
Paralegal, LegalHealth

Elizabeth Esser-Stuart
Special Projects Coordinator, LegalHealth

Katie Ferraro
Data & Administrative Coordinator, LegalHealth

Jonathan Florez
Paralegal, LegalHealth

P. Keegan Henry
Paralegal, LegalHealth

Jose Luis Montelongo
Paralegal, LegalHealth

Katherine Passaro
Research Assistant, LegalHealth

Jason Reis
Paralegal, LegalHealth