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  Pro Bono Practice: Feature Story

White & Case Develops Community Resource Database in Collaboration with NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center and Volunteers of Legal Service

Website powered by Pro Bono Net serves as clearinghouse for referrals to New York City social and legal agencies

New York, November 28, 2011 ... Global law firm White & Case LLP has joined with Community Pediatrics at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center and Volunteers of Legal Service (VOLS), a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing pro bono civil legal services for economically disadvantaged people in New York City, to create a web-based referral database for use by healthcare providers and advocates as well as other professionals who work with families and children in need of medical, social or legal services in New York City. Called SocialNeedsRx, the database contains more than 230 listings of city, state and federal government programs and services and city-wide and community-based organizations and hotlines.

The database, which will continue to be updated by White & Case, was developed by the Firm with Community Pediatrics of Columbia University Medical Center Department of Pediatrics, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital Ambulatory Care Network and VOLS Children's Project. It was designed by Pro Bono Net, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing access to justice through technology and volunteer lawyer participation. The database evolved from a simple pocket index card. The information in the database was compiled over five years and was initially published, and periodically updated, by White & Case in booklet form since 2007. Today, the website includes guidance on how to be an effective advocate as well as tools for families such as sample letters for requesting services. In addition, the website format allows the information to be updated continuously and is more environmentally-friendly.

"Whether it is an asthmatic child living in a building with rodents or mold or a victim of domestic violence, the socioeconomic and physical environment directly impacts the health of patients," said Dr. Dodi Meyer, Associate Clinical Professor in Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, and a pediatrician at NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center. "To be competent healthcare professionals we need to treat not only the patients' physical symptoms, but to be able to recognize and address the underlying social issues that patients and their families face. This database will facilitate efficient referrals by enabling doctors to navigate the wealth of resources available to our patients and link them to necessary services."

In 2001, VOLS launched the hospital-based Children's Project, and White & Case became the first law firm in New York City to be matched with a hospital, NewYork-Presbyterian, to provide ongoing pro bono legal services to pediatric patients and their families. Initially, the Firm worked with the hospital's Center for Special Studies, which provides HIV-specialized care, and later expanded to the Pediatric Outpatient Clinic and other areas. In 2010 alone, White & Case lawyers and legal staff contributed more than 1,200 pro bono hours to NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital.

"This database is the culmination of a collaborative effort by four organizations over five years," said Neal Grenley, Executive Partner for the New York office of White & Case. "We hope it will help healthcare professionals and advocates guide their patients and clients to appropriate resources."

White & Case is one of the world's largest providers of pro bono legal services. For more information about White & Case's Global Pro Bono Practice, please visit www.whitecase.com/about/probono.

Columbia University Medical Center
Columbia University Medical Center provides international leadership in basic, pre-clinical and clinical research, in medical and health sciences education, and in patient care. The Medical Center trains future leaders and includes the dedicated work of many physicians, scientists, public health professionals, dentists, and nurses at the College of Physicians & Surgeons, the Mailman School of Public Health, the College of Dental Medicine, the School of Nursing, the biomedical departments of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and allied research centers and institutions. Established in 1767, Columbia's College of Physicians and Surgeons was the first institution in the country to grant the M.D. degree and is now among the most selective medical schools in the country. Columbia University Medical Center is home to the largest medical research enterprise in New York City and state and one of the largest in the United States. For more information, please visit www.cumc.columbia.edu.

NewYork-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital
NewYork-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital, located in New York City, offers the best available care in every area of pediatrics — including the most complex neonatal and critical care, and all areas of pediatric subspecialties — in a family-friendly and technologically advanced setting. Building a reputation for more than a century as one of the nation's premier children's hospitals, Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital is affiliated with the Department of Pediatrics at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, and is Manhattan's only hospital dedicated solely to the care of children and one of the largest providers of children's health services in the tri-state area with a long-standing commitment to its community. It is also a major international referral center, meeting the special needs of children from infancy through adolescence worldwide. NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital also comprises NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Westchester Division and NewYork-Presbyterian/The Allen Hospital. NewYork-Presbyterian is the #1 hospital in the New York metropolitan area and is consistently ranked among the best academic medical institutions in the nation, according to U.S.News & World Report. For more information, visit www.nyp.org.

About White & Case
White & Case LLP is a leading global law firm with lawyers in 38 offices in 26 countries. Among the first US-based law firms to establish a truly global presence, we provide counsel and representation in virtually every area of law that affects cross-border business. Our clients value both the breadth of our global network and the depth of our US, English and local law capabilities in each of our regions and rely on us for their complex cross-border transactions, as well as their representation in arbitration and litigation proceedings.

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White & Case LLP
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