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Date News Item
9/28/2016 Prairie State Welcomes Equal Justice Works Fellow and Announces Medical-Legal Partnership with Crusader Community Health

Prairie State Legal Services is pleased to announce that Catrina Miksis has joined the staff of Prairie State’s Rockford office as a 2016 Equal Justice Works Fellow Sponsored by Deere & Company, Lane & Waterman LLP, and Riley Safer Holmes & Cancila LLP.

Ms. Miksis is a 2016 graduate of the University of Illinois College of Law. During her two-year fellowship, she will focus on the development of a medical-legal partnership (MLP) between Prairie State and Crusader Community Health in Rockford. Research has shown that socioeconomic status is strongly correlated to health outcomes, and health problems in low-income individuals are often caused by underlying civil legal problems. By working closely with Crusader to provide civil legal aid to its patients, Ms. Miksis and Prairie State will help disrupt the impact of poverty on social determinants of health for low-income residents of Rockford, where over 25% of the population lived below the poverty line between 2009 and 2013.

“I am thrilled to be part of the Rockford office of Prairie State and to have the opportunity to work with Crusader Community Health to implement this MLP. This partnership provides Rockford residents with greater access to the important work done by Prairie State,” Miksis said.

“We are so excited to have Catrina join our staff and to launch this important medical-legal partnership with Crusader Community Health,” said Kimberly Thielbar, managing attorney of Prairie State’s Rockford office. “We are grateful to Equal Justice Works, Deere & Company, Lane & Waterman LLP, and Riley Safer Holmes & Cancila LLP. This initiative would not be possible without their support, and it will have a meaningful and lasting impact on so many Rockford residents.”

Prairie State Legal Services provides free civil legal aid to people who cannot afford an attorney and who have an important civil legal problem affecting their basic human needs. Prairie State has 12 offices serving 36 counties in northern and central Illinois, outside of Cook County.

Crusader Community Health is a community-based, not-for-profit community health center serving the Rock River Valley area. More information about Crusader is available at

Equal Justice Works is a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating a just society by mobilizing the next generation of lawyers committed to equal justice. Its Fellowship program is one of the most prestigious and competitive post-graduate fellowships in the country. More information about Equal Justice Works is available at

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