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Webcast of 2010 National Health Care Decision Day - April 14, 2010
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Free Health Law Conference for Cancer and HIV/AIDS-Affected Communities
Albany Law School's Health Law Clinic will present its 7th annual Health Law Conference on Tuesday, June 24, 2008, from 8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. at Albany Law School. This free, day-long community program provides workshops on the legal issues facing people with chronic illness and their families.

Workshop topics include Social Security, disability eligibility, home healthcare, housing, debt, and other topics.

To register for this event contact Eileen Roepe at 518-445-2328 or

Click here for the conference brochure.

Albany Law To Host Free Healthcare Proxy Drafting Sessions

As part of National Healthcare Decisions Day, Albany Law School will provide free assistance to the public with the completion of healthcare proxy forms on Wednesday, April 16, 2008, from 4:30 p.m. - 6 p.m.

In addition, Professor Joseph Connors, director of Albany Law School's Health Law Clinic, and Dr. Lesley A. Danskin, medical director, The Community Hospice, Board Certified Hospice and Palliative Care, will explain healthcare proxies during a presentation in Albany Law School's gymnasium beginning at 4:30 pm. From 5 pm - 6 pm, Albany Law students, under attorney supervision, will assist in drafting healthcare decision documents.

Throughout the country on April 16, healthcare providers, attorneys, community organizations, and others will participate in an effort to highlight the importance of advance healthcare decision-making.

Advance registration is suggested. Please call Jennifer Balak at 518-445-2328 to register.

National Healthcare Decisions Day at Albany Law School is sponsored by Albany Law's Health Law Clinic and The Community Hospice.

Health Law Clinic Students Win Insurance Appeal For Life-Prolonging Drug
Albany Law School's Health Law Clinic successfully appealed a crucial insurance denial for a client with terminal, irreversible, primary brain cancer.

On Sept. 6, 2007, the Clinic submitted the appeal for insurance coverage of the cutting-edge treatment Avastin/CPT-11-known generically as Bevacizumab and Irinotecan. Six days later, Empire Blue Cross approved the treatment, finding it "medically necessary," and will provide coverage for one year of life-prolonging treatment.

The appeal included a cover letter requesting an expedited appeal, the client's affidavit, an affidavit from the client's physician and research studies demonstrating the proven benefits of this treatment.  Click here to view these documents.

Health Law Clinic Students Win Insurance Case For Cancer Patient
Second-year law students Charles Dunham IV and Laura Kenney recently won a case that forced United Healthcare to pay for a 20-year old cancer patient's Rituxan treatment, a decision that may impact some 8,000 Americans who are diagnosed each year with Hodgkin's disease.

On Feb. 1, 2007, the Albany Times Union wrote an article about the victory. 

The case was also featured on WAMC-FM, a Albany, N.Y. NPR affiliate. To listen to WAMC story, click here and then click on "MP3."

$1 Million Gift Featured in Times Union
On Oct. 24, 2006, Sherry Gold gave $1 million to the Albany Law Clinic & Justice Center at Albany Law School, in memory of her late husband, Barry. The donation, which amounts to the largest ever given to the Clinic, will establish the Barry A. Gold '70 Health Law Clinical Program Endowment Fund.

Sherry Gold Gives $1 Million to Law Clinic & Justice Center

Sherry Gold has contributed $1 million to the Law Clinic & Justice Center at Albany Law School, in memory of her late husband.  This donation, which amounts to the largest ever given to the clinic, will establish the Barry A. Gold '70 Health Law Clinical Program Endowment Fund. The program will focus on representing low-income clients with cancer or other chronic medical conditions, and provide training on legal rights for clients, advocates, health care staff, physicians, and law and medical students.

"This is a big day for Albany Law School and this gift validates our vision for the Health Law Clinic," said President and Dean Thomas F. Guernsey. "When a family honors their loved one by responding to a program with this kind of generosity, I know we're pursuing the right path. I think the Golds' gift solidifies the foundation of our health law initiative so that we can now expand significantly. I expect this kind of gift to generate interest in our program and inspire more giving."

The endowment will help the Clinic expand its educational component for students while better serving low-income clients. Currently, the school's clinic helps more low-income area families affected by HIV and cancer with free legal assistance than any other legal service organization in the surrounding counties. The Clinic handles approximately 650 cases annually, largely in the categories of domestic violence, cancer or AIDS-related health law.

Plans call for several initiatives, including hiring a new fellow, in perpetuity, to oversee law students working with Albany Medical Center patients, as well as medical students, advocates, physicians and related professionals. Sherry Gold hopes the endowment will inspire students to continue Barry's legacy of helping others.

"The legal community and its beneficiaries were cheated when Barry died," said Sherry. "He was a fierce advocate for equality.  He devoted his career to ensuring that everybody, including the poor, had access to healthcare and legal services."  Sherry said that Barry, who had hoped to spend his retirement working with legal practitioners and healthcare providers to meet the needs of the underserved, would applaud the interdisciplinary work of the Health Law Clinic.

Sherry's son, Ben, was the Albany Law School Student Bar Association president last year and is currently the school's Graduate Trustee.  Ben now works for Appellate Advocates in New York City. Sherry's daughter, Sari, lives in Seattle pursuing her Ph.D. in clinical psychology.

"The kind of work Ben and I want to do - working with people who never had the opportunities we had - is a lot of our father's influence," said Sari.

"We all share the same values and think this gift is the right way to honor his life," said Ben.

Barry Gold had a lifelong commitment to pro bono work, devoting at least one day a week to representing indigent clients. He also volunteered countless hours to not-for-profits such as Lawyers without Borders, To Life, and The American Cancer Society.

Born in Kingston in 1945, he was a partner with Thuillez, Ford, Gold, Johnson and Butler, Albany. He passed away in 2002. His practice concentrated in the area of Health Law and he was considered a leader in successfully suing insurance companies to provide life saving treatments such as bone marrow transplants.

Barry was the Founding Chair of the Health Law Section of the N.Y. State Bar Association, Chair of the Health Law Committee of NYSBA and Chair of the Mental and Physical Disability Committee. Barry was appointed by the Governor in 1997 to the N.Y. State Task Force on "Life and the Law", where he advised N.Y. state lawmakers on health care legislation, and was instrumental in developing and passing the Surrogate Decision Making, Hospice, and Health Care Proxy Laws.

Barry was on the editorial boards of The Journal of Legal Medicine and The Journal of ForensicNeuropsychology.  He served as Chair of the National Board of Directors of the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation and on the Board of the Capital Repertory Theatre.

Barry taught as an adjunct professor at Albany Medical College, the University at Albany, and at Albany Law School, where he established course work in health law. He received his LL.M. from Case Western Reserve University and was pursuing his M.P.H. from the University at Albany at the time of his death.

Albany Law Clinic, PBS Affiliate Address Childhood Cancer 
On June 20, 2006, WMHT's Healthlink, reported by WNYT's Benita Zahn, examined childhood cancer-from diagnosis and treatment to family support.

Zahn referred viewers to the  Capital Region Cancer Community Resource Guide, provided by the Capital Region Cancer Services Consortium and mass-produced by the Albany Law School Clinic & Justice Center. The Resource Guide offers cancer-affected parties detailed information on care givers, support groups, service providers and health insurance, among other topics.

Healthlink on Childhood Cancer will be aired again on Sunday, June 25, from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Click here to visit WMHT's site. WMHT-TV is a PBS affilate in Schenectady, Albany and Troy, N.Y

Joseph Connors Takes Helm of Law Clinic and Justice Center  (AlbanyLaw Magazine, Fall 2009)

Students Help Secure Coverage for Bone Marrow Transplant  (AlbanyLaw Magazine, Fall 2009)

Clinic Students Win Insurance Appeal for Life-Prolonging Drug  (AlbanyLaw Magazine, Spring 2008)

Health Law Clinic Gets Award for Innovation (AlbanyLaw Magazine, Fall 2008)

Two Clinic Students Take On Insurance Firm and Win (AlbanyLaw Magazine, Spring 2007)

The Albany Law School Clinic and Justice Center is funded, in part, through public grants and private donors. For more information please contact the clinic at 518-445-2328, or give online.