Dr. Jeff Goldhagen receives bar association’s Liberty Bell Award

Published: May 13, 2011 By: Lorrie DeFrank
Jeffrey L. Goldhagen, M.D., M.P.H.

Jeffrey L. Goldhagen, M.D., MPH, a professor in the Department of Pediatrics and chief of the Division of Community Pediatrics at the University of Florida College of Medicine-Jacksonville, received the Jacksonville Bar Association’s prestigious Liberty Bell Award. Created by the American Bar Association to honor non-lawyers for outstanding community service and civic responsibility, the award was presented May 5 at the local bar association’s annual Law Day luncheon.

Goldhagen was recognized for his significant contributions in establishing the Northeast Florida Medical Legal Partnership (NFMLP,) Child Mental Health Initiative, Children’s Mental Health Coalition and Partnership for Child Health.

"He has dedicated his career to helping children in our community, and in our nation, and in our world, who don’t have access to health care," said Donny MacKenzie, partner in the Holland & Knight law firm, who presented the award. "His work in building partnerships and his collaborative efforts for the better good of children impressed the bar association. He was unanimously selected for stimulating a sense of civic responsibility and contributing to good government in the community."

NFMLP is part of a nationwide network through which physician advocates and pro bono attorneys provide free services to low-income and vulnerable children and adults. Medical team members who suspect that legal matters involving environmental, economic, social, immigration, housing and/or educational issues may be impacting patients’ health make referrals to the partnership for legal diagnosis.

Through his UF position, Goldhagen develops and oversees programs for children who are marginalized by physical conditions and social and environmental determinants, including those who are homeless, terminally and chronically ill, in foster care, and in transition from pediatric to adult care. In the past three years he has traveled to Canada, South Africa, Central and South America, Europe, the Middle East, Puerto Rico and throughout the U.S. to advocate and educate on behalf of children’s rights and equity.

Jeffrey L. Goldhagen, M.D., M.P.H.

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