2015 Equal Justice Works Fellow, Sara Huffman

Sara Huffman

City, State: San Francisco, California
Issue area: Health Care/Medical-Legal Partnership, Veterans' Rights
Sponsors: Pacific Gas and Electric Company; Latham & Watkins LLP

The Project

Sara will provide comprehensive medical-legal advocacy and outreach to low-income elderly veterans at the San Francisco Veterans Administration.

The Inspiration

Need Addressed By Project: 
San Francisco is home to over 13,000 senior veterans, a population that experiences high rates of mental, physical, and cognitive disability which make it difficult for them to meet basic needs and stay safely in their homes and community. The need to address these vulnerabilities is increasing in urgency at both the national and local level. Nationally, the population is aging at an explosive rate while the percentage of seniors living longer and experiencing cognitive and physical decline continues to climb steadily. Veterans are particularly vulnerable amid growing concern over the ability of the Veterans Administration to adequately address their needs. In San Francisco, the socio-economic needs of older veterans are particularly acute due to astronomical rise in living costs and displacement of middle and low-income individuals from the housing market.
The Right Person For This Project: 
Sara is the right person for the project because:
• She has represented low-income seniors and provided the substantive legal services that this project will cover
• She has successfully worked within and obtained positive outcomes for clients in the medical-legal partnership setting
• She completed a Law and Health Sciences Concentration in law school, which provided her a solid background in a broad range of relevant intersecting medical-legal issues
Plans For First Six Months of Fellowship: 
In the first six months, Sara will:
• Formalize relationship with medical providers based at the San Francisco Veterans Administration Medical Center
• Assess and modify existing medical-legal partnership forms, tools, and protocols for suitability for veterans population
• Develop orientation training for medical providers to describe legal needs identification, screening, and referral procedures
• Hold initial orientation training for referring providers to describe legal needs identification, screening, and referral procedures
• Start taking legal referrals from providers at San Francisco Veterans Administration Medical Center

© 2017 Equal Justice Works - 1730 M Street, NW, Suite 800, Washington, DC 20036-4511