NYLPI SELECTS NEW CO-DIRECTORS OF HEALTH JUSTICEDecember 13, 2023
“Together, Karina and Sophie bring over 20 years of experience in the fields of health advocacy and immigration law. They have a proven track record spearheading program priorities and the growth of team members, and we are excited to see what their leadership will bring to our Health Justice program.” – NYLPI Executive Director McGregor Smyth
Karina has over 13 years of experience in the healthcare and legal fields. In her six years at NYLPI, her leadership has ensured strategic growth of our health justice campaigns grounded in community need. She designed and implemented systems, trainings, and reporting mechanisms that allowed us to scale our programs multiple times. Her work has led to thousands of New Yorkers gaining access to health benefits, a steep increase in the number of non-citizens accessing organ transplants, and critical changes in the landscape of organ transplant allocation in New York State that have saved lives.
Prior to joining NYLPI in March 2023 as Supervising Immigration Attorney, Sophie practiced immigration law for nearly ten years at a public defender office where she gained experience and refined her expertise in complex removal defense, affirmative immigration applications, advocating for the rights of noncitizens with disabilities, and federal appellate and district court litigation. She has a track record of nonprofit leadership having led hiring, onboarding, and training and development for a team of over 30 staff, and significant team-building experience after supervising and mentoring numerous attorneys, advocates, and law students at various stages in their careers.
Together, they will build on the program’s existing strengths, expertise, community ties, and key partnerships to continue to be a powerful force in dismantling oppressive systems contributing to poor health outcomes among low-income, immigrant, and other historically excluded communities.
About New York Lawyers for the Public Interest (NYLPI)
Founded in 1976 by leaders of the bar, New York Lawyers for the Public Interest is a community-driven civil rights organization that pursues justice for all New Yorkers. NYLPI works toward a New York where all people can thrive in their communities, with quality healthcare and housing, safe jobs, good schools, and healthy neighborhoods. In NYLPI’s vision, all New Yorkers live with dignity and independence, with the resources they need to succeed. NYLPI’s community-driven approach powers its commitments to civil rights and to disability, health, immigrant, and environmental justice. NYLPI seeks lasting change through litigation, community organizing, policy advocacy, pro bono service, and education.
The Health Justice (HJ) program brings a racial justice and immigrant rights focus to healthcare advocacy in New York City and State. In partnership with individuals and community-based organizations, we use a wide range of advocacy tools – including community organizing, coalition-building, individual representation, impact litigation, and legislative advocacy – to advance four broad goals: (1) combat the human rights crisis in immigration detention; (2) promote immigrant access to healthcare; (3) eliminate racial and ethnic discrimination and systemic and institutional barriers that limit New Yorkers’ access to healthcare; and (4) address the social determinants of health so that all New Yorkers can live healthy lives.
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