Bay Pines VA, Bay Area Legal Services, Gulf Coast Legal Services, Stetson University Partner to Provide Legal Assistance to Veterans

The Bay Pines VA Healthcare System (VAHCS), in collaboration with Bay Area Legal Services, Gulfcoast Legal Services, and Stetson University College of Law’s Veterans Law Institute, now offers legal representation/consultation for Veterans at no cost through a new service called the Medical-Legal Partnership (MLP) program. The program officially became available to Veterans on Feb.1.

The program is designed specifically for qualifying, low-income Veterans enrolled for care with the Bay Pines VAHCS (some expectations may apply) who are in need of legal assistance for non-criminal offenses. Services are provided by MLP attorneys, at no cost to eligible Veterans. The local partnership and MLP program is one of only 13 similar programs available for Veterans across the nation.

To officially mark and celebrate the local partnership and implementation of the MLP program, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signing ceremony will be conducted at the C.W. Bill Young VA Medical Center on Feb. 15. Details are included below.

  • WHO: Leaders of the Bay Pines VAHCS, Bay Area Legal Services, Gulfcoast Legal Services, and Stetson University College of Law.
  • WHAT: Medical-Legal Partnership (MLP) Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)/partnership agreement signing ceremony.
  • WHERE: Auditorium, Building 20, C.W. Bill Young VA Medical Center, 10000 Bay Pines Blvd., Bay Pines, Florida (Click here to access a campus map and driving directions). General parking will be available in parking lots 11, 13 and 15. Please reference the campus map regarding locations of designated parking lots. .
  • WHEN: Wednesday, Feb. 15, 3-4 p.m.
  • WHY: The event is being held to mark and celebrate the local partnership and implementation of the MLP program – one of only 13 similar programs available for Veterans across the nation.
  • ADDITIONAL DETAILS: This event is open for media coverage. For advance information about the ceremony or general questions about the Bay Pines VAHCS, please contact Jason Dangel, Public Affairs Officer, Bay Pines VAHCS, at 727-398-9531 or email vhabaypublicaffairs@va.gov.

About the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System The Bay Pines VAHCS is one of the nation’s leading VA healthcare systems, employing more than 4,000 medical professionals and support staff dedicated to providing the very best care to Veterans residing in southwest Florida. The organization is the fifth busiest VA health care system in the country in terms of patients served and is accredited by The Joint Commission, Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, and several other nationally recognized accrediting organizations.  The Bay Pines VAHCS operates nine facilities to include the main medical center located in Bay Pines and outpatient clinics located in Bradenton, Cape Coral, Naples, Palm Harbor, Port Charlotte, Sarasota, St. Petersburg, and Sebring.

About Stetson University College of Law Stetson University College of Law, Florida’s first law school, has prepared lawyers and leaders since 1900. Today, Stetson leads the nation in blending legal doctrine with practical training, evidenced by its top-ranked programs in advocacy and legal writing. Through our academically rigorous curriculum and commitment to social responsibility, Stetson lawyers are ethical advocates ready to succeed in the legal profession.

About Bay Area Legal Services Bay Area Legal Services is a nonprofit, public interest law firm that has provided civil legal assistance to low-income residents in the Tampa Bay region since 1967. Bay Area aims to eliminate barriers to justice through high quality legal services, education, and community partnerships.  Bay Area was recognized as a Tampa Bay Times Top Workplace in 2016.

About Gulfcoast Legal Services Gulfcoast Legal Services (GLS) , is a nonprofit legal aid provider, which has served vulnerable individuals and families in Pinellas, Pasco, Manatee, and Sarasota Counties since 1978. GLS provides superior comprehensive legal services while treating clients with respect and empathy. GLS exists to ensure equal access to justice … for all.

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About Jeff Cavanagh

Jeff Cavanagh spent his freshman year at St. Petersburg Junior College back in the early 70s before enlisting in the United States Navy. Soon after, he attended Jacksonville University on a Navy ROTC scholarship. After college, he was commissioned and became a qualified Surface Warfare Officer spending the next 22 years honing his skills as a ship-handler and expert recruiter before retiring in 1994. Jeff expresses a deep sense of pride in St. Petersburg College due to connections that go back many years. His father, Tom Cavanagh, was a career Air Force fighter pilot and combat veteran who taught Geography and Western Civilization at St. Petersburg Junior College in the 60’s and 70’s.

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