Veterans Medical-Legal Partnership program

With a stroke of pen, the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System (VAHCS) and several local law partners ushered in a new legal program for Veterans during an agreement signing ceremony last month at the C.W. Bill Young VA Medical Center.

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During the event, dozens of leaders from the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System, Stetson University Veterans Law Institute, Bay Area Legal Services, and Gulf Coast Legal Services gathered to recognize the start of the new Medical-Legal Partnership program – an achievement many months in the making.

“Today’s celebration at the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System of our Medical-Legal Partnership represents an amazing start to the services Veterans and their families will receive here from our law partners and Stetson University,” said Suzanne M. Klinker, Director, Bay Pines VAHCS.

“[The program] is a terrific collaboration with our community in service to America’s heroes, and it makes a big difference for them and for us in helping them support their health outcomes and reach their goals,” she said.

MLP is a new program available at the C.W. Bill Young VA Medical Center designed specifically for Veterans enrolled for care in our healthcare system who are in need of legal representation and/or consultation for non-criminal offenses, who may not otherwise be able to afford legal representation.

Services available to Veterans through the new program range from Veterans benefits and Social Security Disability, to family law, guardianship, landlord-tenant disputes and elder law.

The service is available to Veterans every Tuesday and Wednesday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the C.W. Bill Young VA Medical Center, building 100, room 1E-241.

For more information, or to schedule an appointment, please call 727-398-9592 or visit

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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