Prompted by a call for assistance from Jewish Family Service of Greater Dallas (JFS), partner and Health Care Department Chair Lisa Genecov and Health Care special counsel Lisa Prather mobilized a volunteer legal team to help JFS as it works to establish a medical clinic with more expansive offerings for underserved and low-income patients.
JFS sought legal assistance to pursue certification as a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC). The federal government designates an FQHC to provide comprehensive primary care and preventive care to medically underserved people regardless of their ability to pay or health insurance status. Because of certain healthcare regulations and Texas laws, a first step was to assist JFS with structuring its approach and forming a Texas nonprofit healthcare organization (NPHO).
A well-established organization that has served North Texas communities for more than 70 years, JFS strives to help individuals who are uninsured, underserved, and/or unemployed through its various offerings, including a food pantry, job counseling, and assistance for people experiencing homelessness or those displaced due to a natural disaster. JFS also offers mental health and social services regardless of ability to pay, and discovered during the pandemic that the need for these services and other basic health services skyrocketed.
While at first blush, a request for pro bono support seems limited, the volunteer team from Katten quickly grew to tackle several issues related to meeting JFS’s needs.
Lisa Genecov and Lisa Prather worked extensively with JFS in 2022 to structure and obtain certification for the NPHO from the Texas Medical Board. Along with Dallas Health Care associate Ashley Francois, they continue to assist with various corporate and contractual matters for the NPHO. In addition, Litigation special counsel Alessandra Denis and Sharon Kantrowitz, both of New York, provided advice to JFS on certain aspects of FQHCs. Pro Bono Counsel Janet Goelz Hoffman, senior counsel in Chicago, and Public Finance associate Theodore Ryan, New York, are also working with JFS on federal tax exemption filings.
Complimentary of Katten’s work, JFS acknowledged Katten during a couple of community Town Hall meeting JFS hosted in February 2023 to announce its plans for the medical clinic and expanding its healthcare services. JFS Chief Operations Officer Deizel Sarte said, “We are incredibly grateful for the support we have received from everyone at Katten. Their talent, dedication, and care have made our path towards FQHC designation much smoother.”