Our basic premise is that attorneys can intervene to improve the physical, social, and economic environments in which many low-income children live, resulting in their improved health and quality of life.

By working together, we help transform lives. 

Both the Atlanta Legal Aid Society and Georgia State University College of Law support HeLP’s goals of delivering public health legal services, providing in-service educational programs and graduate professional education, and advocating on issues of community concern by employing and supporting essential staff. It’s so that every day, we can work with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta to support the children who need care.

THE PARTNERS

Atlanta Legal Aid Society, Inc.

Representing Atlanta’s poor in civil legal cases since 1924, Atlanta Legal Aid Society assists low-income clients with some of life’s most basic needs: a safe home, enough food to eat, a decent education, protection against fraud, and personal safety. ALAS serves clients in Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton, and Gwinnett counties.

Priority cases include housing, consumer fraud, public benefits, employment, education, health, spouse abuse, and child-custody cases. Atlanta Legal Aid also represents individuals who are elderly, disabled, mentally ill, or who have AIDS, cancer, or ALS.

Rita A. Sheffey is the executive director of ALAS.

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, one of the leading pediatric healthcare systems in the U.S., is a not-for-profit organization benefitting from the generous philanthropic and volunteer support of our community. The largest Medicaid provider in Georgia, Children’s operates three hospitals and one outpatient facility with more than half a million patient visits annually. Children’s is recognized nationally for excellence in cancer, cardiac, emergency, neonatal, orthopedic and transplant services, and many other pediatric specialties.

As a service to the community, Children’s provides a free, 24-hour nurse-advice line at 404-250-KIDS, staffed around the clock by certified pediatric nurses.

Dr. Stan Sonu is the medical director for HeLP and child advocacy at Children’s.

GSU College of Law

Georgia State University’s College of Law was established in 1982 in the heart of downtown Atlanta to provide publicly funded legal education. The College offers opportunities to both full- and part-time students through day and evening classes.

GSU’s College of Law strives to provide an excellent and affordable legal education to a diverse student body. The law school is accredited by the American Bar Association.

Leslie Wolf is a professor of law and director of the Center for Law, Health & Society, which oversees the law school’s involvement with the Health Law Partnership.

THE TEAM

Health Law Partnership

Rita Sheffey, Executive Director, Atlanta Legal Aid

Prior to joining Legal Aid, Rita served for eight years as Emory University School of Law’s Assistant Dean for Public Service. In that role, she oversaw the law school’s Pro Bono Program, advised students interested in post-graduate federal and state court judicial clerkships and employment with government and public-interest organizations, and managed the Volunteer Clinic for Veterans and Emory Immigrant Legal Assistance. Before joining Emory, she was a partner with Hunton & Williams LLP, focusing on complex litigation and serving as Hunton & Williams’ Southside Legal Center pro bono clinic director and Atlanta Pro Bono Committee Chair. Rita has served in many leadership positions, including as President of the Atlanta Bar Association, the Atlanta Legal Aid Society, the Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation, and Emory’s Lamar Inn of Court, among others. She was a member of the Leadership Atlanta Class of 2005 and has served on the Executive Council of the National Conference of Bar Presidents (NCBP), the Executive Committee of the Metropolitan Bar Caucus (affiliated with NCBP), and on the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on the American Judicial System. She was a self-described “quasi-insider” with Legal Aid. Not only did she serve as board president, but she also co-chaired the 90th Anniversary Planning Committee, served on the Strategic Planning Committee, mentored a number of staff attorneys, and supported the work of Legal Aid through her service to the Atlanta Bar and the State Bar of Georgia. Rita has received many high-profile awards for her leadership and pro bono efforts throughout her career.

Rita Sheffey

Director of HeLP

Pamela Kraidler, Legal Aid Director, Health Law Partnership

Pam joined HeLP as a staff attorney and was named senior attorney before her appointment as director. Being a part of HeLP allows Pam to do the work she is deeply committed to – advocating for children and ensuring that low-income families have access to the legal system, whether through educating individuals so they can become effective advocates for themselves or by providing full legal representation. During her career, Pam has practiced in many areas of law including education, SSI, public benefits, and housing. Through her experiences with clients’ housing issues, she collaborated with community groups in the fight to get very important legislation passed in the state of Georgia preventing landlords from retaliating against tenants who complain about their sub-standard housing conditions. In 2019, as a member of the Southeast Regional MLP Network, she was among presenters at the National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership’s summit focusing on laws and policies to improve the health of vulnerable populations and to reduce healthcare inequities. Pam is also a general civil mediator and a domestic relations mediator.

Pam Kraidler

HeLP at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta

Kathryn Marous, Staff Attorney

Kathryn Marous works as a staff attorney for the Health Law Partnership. Prior to HeLP, she trained parents about their rights and responsibilities under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) at federally funded Parent Training and Information Centers in Georgia and Indiana. She worked for the March of Dimes in a variety of roles including a parent-education and support role in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Atlanta Medical Center. Early in her career, she was a civil litigator in Boston. A graduate of Miami University and the University of Dayton School of Law, Kathryn is admitted to the practice of law in Georgia, Indiana and Massachusetts.

Kathryn Marous

Isa Elfers, Staff Attorney

Isa Elfers is the Health Law Partnership (HeLP) attorney at CHOA Egleston, where she has worked since August 2022. She graduated from the University of California College of the Law, San Francisco (UC Law SF) in 2022 with a JD concentration in social-justice lawyering. Her previous legal background consists of work in juvenile dependency, tribal law, and disability justice. As a former juvenile oncology patient herself, she is passionate about working with low-income families of children who require long-term hospital care.

Isa Elfers

Alexander Sanchez, Staff Attorney

Alexander joined the Health Law Partnership as a staff attorney in October 2023. In addition to a law degree, he holds a master’s degree in public health from the University of Pittsburgh. He is passionate about health equity and the social determinants of health.

Alexander Sanchez

Silvia Barber, Paralegal

(Silvia bio) 

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HeLP Legal Services Clinic at Georgia State University College of Law

Leslie E. Wolf, JD, MPH, Professor of Law/Distinguished University Professor

Leslie E. Wolf, JD, MPH, is the Ben F. Johnson Jr. Chair in Law, Distinguished University Professor, and professor of law and director of the Center for Law, Health & Society at Georgia State University College of Law. She serves the Georgia State Law representative to the HeLP Advisory Council and the HeLP Foundation./p>

Leslie E. Wolf, JD, MPH
Lisa Bliss, Director of the Health law Partnership Legal Services Clinic and Clinical Professor

Lisa is the director of the Health Law Partnership (HeLP) Legal Services Clinic at Georgia State University College of Law. The clinic’s focus is on interprofessional education of students from the law, medical, social work, public health, and other professions. Law clinic students are certified to represent clients under the Georgia Student Practice Rule. Clinic students receive training on the social determinants of health and the ways their representation of HeLP clients can address health-harming legal needs. Bliss is a Fulbright Scholar and served as director and then associate dean of Experiential Education and Clinical Programs for ten years. Lisa has held multiple leadership positions in professional organizations and has received several awards for her work. She is a member of the board of directors of the Global Alliance for Justice Education, where she served two three-year terms as co-president. She is a frequent speaker at national and international conferences and has worked to train law teachers and strengthen experiential education and law school clinics in multiple countries.

Lisa Bliss

Christina Scott, Assistant Clinical Professor and Associate Director of the Health Law Partnership Legal Services Clinic

Before the transition to her current position, Christina was the HeLP Legal Services Clinic’s supervising attorney and, before that, she served as an Atlanta Legal Aid staff attorney for HeLP in the Center for Advanced Pediatrics location, the first-ever outpatient setting for the partnership. At the clinic, Christina now focuses on teaching both the substantive law her students must understand to serve the needs of the low-income patient population and the larger issues concerning the social determinants of health that affect the lives of clinic clients. Beyond her classroom and supervision work, she presents to audiences in healthcare settings locally and nationally on topics about health-harming legal needs and social determinants. With a specific interest in special education and children’s disability law, Christina focuses on training families and other legal professionals as advocates in these fields. Christina graduated magna cum laude from Georgia State University College of Law, where she also was a clinic student for two semesters. She received an M.A. and Ph.D. in English literature from Northern Illinois University, from where she graduated with distinction. She earned her B.A. in English from Rockford College in Illinois.

Christina Scott

Giselle Lynch, Research Associate II
Center of Excellence for Children’s Behavioral Health at GSU

(Giselle bio) 

Image to come

Susan McLaren, MPH, FACHE, Assistant Project Director
Georgia Health Policy Center at GSU

Bio to come

Susan McLaren

Amanda Cole, Supervising Attorney and Adjunct Professor

Amanda serves as the associate supervising attorney in the HeLP Legal Services Clinic at GSU where she is responsible for supervising students who represent clients in a variety of civil public interest legal matters. Before joining GSU’s College of Law, Amanda practiced law as a senior attorney with HeLP at the Atlanta Legal Aid Society, where she advised and represented clients and educated interdisciplinary healthcare partners on legal and social issues that impacted HeLP clients.

Amanda Cole

Nakisha Green, Administrative Manager

Bio to come

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HeLP Medical Director

Stan Sonu, Medical Director, Child Advocacy at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta

Dr. Sonu earned his medical degree at the Medical College of Georgia and completed residency in internal medicine and pediatrics at Chicago’s Rush University Medical Center. From there, he completed a fellowship at the Cook County Preventive Medicine and Public Health Program and received his Master of Public Health from Northwestern University. With special interest in adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), trauma-informed care, advancing health equity, and addressing social determinants of health in clinical care settings, Dr. Sonu is passionate about training future clinicians on effective and patient-centered ways to address trauma in primary care. He is also engaged in building community consensus around responding to and preventing ACEs through cross-sector approaches. He holds additional training in urban primary care leadership (University of Chicago’s LUCENT program), integrative medicine (Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at Northwestern University), medication-assisted treatment of opioid use disorders, and positive parenting practices (Triple P Primary Care).

Dr. Stan Sonu

ADVISORY COUNCIL

The Health Law Partnership (HeLP) is supported through the generous efforts of the members of its Advisory Council. The HeLP Advisory Council provides on-going advice on legal, ethical, and practical issues in the operation of HeLP as a community partnership. The Advisory Council meets four times a year with the partners, faculty and staff to assist HeLP with its educational programs, fundraising, pro bono services, program evaluation and research, and public relations.

Meredith Burris, Esq.
Associate General Counsel
Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA)

Ross Burris, III, Esq.
Shareholder
Polsinelli

Tamara Caldas, Esq.
Pro-Bono Partner
Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP

Anjali Deshmukh, MD, JD
Assistant Professor
Center for Law, Health & Society at GSU

Megan Douglas, Esq.
Associate Professor and Director of Research & Policy
Morehouse School of Medicine

Nicole Harris
Director of Grants
Atlanta Legal Aid Society

Roselyn M. Hicks, MD
Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics
Morehouse School of Medicine

Salathiel Kendrick-Allwood, MD, FAAP
Associate Professor, Emory University School of Medicine
Medical Director of Developmental Progress Clinic, Emory+Children’s Pediatrics Institute

David Levine, MD
Professor of Pediatrics
Morehouse School of Medicine

Lindsey Lonergan, JD, CIPP/US, CHC
Vice President and Deputy General Counsel
Atrium Health Navicent

David O’Banion, MD
Adjunct Professor of Pediatrics, Morehouse School of Medicine
Assistant Professor, Emory University School of Medicine Pediatric Institute

Leanna Pierre, Esq.
Senior Counsel
Fiserv

Hedy Rubinger, Esq.
Partner
Arnall Golden Gregory

Alejandro Shepard, MD, MPH
Pediatrician
Intown Pediatrics

Harold Simon, MD, MBA
Marcus Professor & Vice Chair/Faculty, Department of Pediatrics
and Division Director of Pediatric Emergency Medicine
Emory University School of Medicine and CHOA

DIRECT CONTACT

info@healthlawpartnership.org
Office: 404-785-2005
Fax: 404-705-0010

MAIN OFFICE

Children’s at Scottish Rite

975 Johnson Ferry Road, Suite 360
Atlanta, GA 30342-1600

OTHER LOCATIONS

HeLP at Children’s at Egleston

4th Floor
(near butterfly elevators)
1405 Clifton Road
Atlanta, GA 30322-1060

HeLP at Children’s at Hughes Spalding

3rd Floor Annex
35 Jesse Hill Drive
Atlanta, GA 30303

HeLP at Center for Advanced Pediatrics

1400 Tullie Road
Suite 1408
Atlanta, GA 30303

HeLP Legal Services Clinic

GSU College of Law
85 Park Place, Suite 105
Atlanta, GA 30303
Office: 404-413-9130
Fax: 404-413-9145

For written directions, please click here.

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