Third Year Law Student Named Young Advocate of the Year by Florida CHAIN

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Florida CHAIN recently honored third-year law student Zachary Lipshultz with its first Young Advocate Award for his advocacy work at Miami Law’s Health Rights Clinic. The Health Rights Clinic helps impoverished Floridians who have been denied access to health care receive much-needed services. Florida CHAIN (Community Health Action Information Network) presented the award at the non-profit’s inaugural annual conference, Moving Together in a New Era of Healthcare.

The Young Advocate Award honors individuals under the age of 25 who have “shown extraordinary leadership, mobilization, and education of other youth in the area of healthcare advocacy.”  

“I cannot think of an individual more deserving of this award,” said JoNel Newman, Director of the Clinic. “In his first few months at the Clinic, Zach secured over $16,000 in welfare entitlements and Medicaid benefits for a client who had been wrongfully denied for three years.”

Under the guidance of Professor Newman, Lipschultz worked as a student advocate helping low-income patients receive much-needed services.  He spearheaded a team of law students who produced a step-by-step guide to navigating Miami-Dade’s healthcare system.  This guide serves not only as a valuable aid to impoverished Floridians struggling to access the system, but also as a long overdue educational resource for medical professionals working from within the system.  

He also conducted extensive research on a variety of current issues including the shortfalls of the Miami-Dade Prison intake screening procedures. Lipshultz worked closely with surgeons at both the University of Miami and Jackson Memorial Hospital to improve policies addressing vulnerable populations who have been denied access to necessary procedures.

Lipshultz continues to demonstrate his exemplary commitment to educating other youth as a Clinic Fellow where he mentors second-year law students.  In addition, he is an integral member of the Clinic’s Litigation Team representing over a dozen clients in an upcoming suit against the Social Security Administration.