“MLP-Illinois promotes health equity by providing education, resources, and assistance to medical, legal, and social services professionals working to improve Illinois residents’ health."
of Impact at the Service of MLPs
Turning Interest Into Action
The inception of MLP Illinois occurred as part of the Illinois Supreme Court Access to Justice Commission in 2014. It has since evolved into a statewide network comprised of fifteen medical partners and seven legal partners. There are currently several medical-legal partnerships currently operating throughout the state of Illinois.
Understanding the health disparities rampant throughout the state, MLP Illinois believes that by working together we can leverage crucial resources and better situate MLP Illinois as an advocate for statewide health equity.
As a network of medical-legal partnerships, MLP Illinois regularly collaborates to further critical initiatives, share crucial resources, and assist each other with challenges related to securing health equity for residents of Illinois.
MLP Illinois also aims to provide a meaningful platform to display the benefits of integrating legal care into the healthcare process as a standard to further health equity, address health disparities, and contribute to better health outcomes for Illinois residents.
Meet Our Co-Chairs
MLP-Illinois Co-Chair (2022-Present)
Senior Staff Attorney, Public Benefits Practice Group, Legal Aid Chicago
Kaaren Fehsenfeld (she/her + they/them) is a Staff Attorney at Legal Aid Chicago. She works on public benefits legal issues through the Health Forward/Salud Adelante Medical Legal Partnership with Cook County Health. Kaaren has also worked on eviction defense for tenants in subsidized housing, criminal records sealing and expungement, and on behalf of trans, non-binary, and gender expansive clients.
MLP-Illinois Co-Chair (2020-Present)
Director of ALC Program, Legal Council for Health Justice
Kenya Garrett-Burnett heads Legal Council's HIV/AIDS program. Prior to joining Legal Council as a senior staff attorney in 2017, Kenya worked as a staff attorney at Legal Aid Chicago (formerly LAF) where she served as Task Force Leader of the HIV/AIDS Task Force and represented various clients in divorces, special education hearings, order of protection hearings, and child custody matters. With over a decade of experience in Chicago, Kenya brings legal expertise in housing, family, employment, and disability law to her position with Legal Council. She earned her J.D. from DePaul University College of Law and her B.S. in Community Health from University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Outside of Legal Council, Kenya serves as the incoming Co-Chairperson of the Lawyers Trust Fund Legal Aid Diversity and Inclusion Work Group, Co-Chairperson of Medical Legal Partnership Illinois, and on the Executive Committee of the AIDS Foundation of Chicago Service Providers Council.
Meet Our AmeriCorps VISTA
MLP-Illinois MLP VISTA Coordinator
Dede Benissan serves as the MLP-Illinois VISTA Coordinator. In that capacity, she provides organizational support to the Task Force and maintains updated resources on the MLP-IL website. Dede holds a B.S. in biology & B.A. in public policy from UNC-Chapel Hill. She is passionate about community work and advocacy and hopes to become a lawyer.
Where Our Members Work
©2022 by MLP-Illinois. Sponsored by Loyola's Beazley Institute for Health Law and Policy