The Spirit of Collaboration

This morning at the final meeting of the Foundation Board for this bar year, I witnessed another wonderful moment of collaboration. The Foundation Board had just completed their approval of grants for the bar year at its final board meeting of this fiscal year. One of the more significant grants was for $8,000 towards the new Health & Well Being initiative started by MCBA President Steve Modica, and whole-heartedly supported by Foundation President Bruce Lawrence, and frankly the entire Foundation Board. Upon receiving the grant, Steve then presented a substantial gift to the Foundation as a donation to go towards the Health & Well Being program through the Foundation, from Steve and his wife, Lorrie Modica, also an attorney in Rochester.

steve bruce check

We have been talking about a solution for attorneys dealing with mental wellness issues for years and years. Their issues are different than those responded to by the Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers Committee which only supports attorneys dealing with drug and alcohol related issues. Though we all recognize that there can, and will, be cross-over between the two efforts, as quite often people living with depression will self-medicate with drugs and alcohol. Likewise, people living drug and alcohol issues frequently deal with bouts of depression.

But here is what will be different this time. This time, we have asked Cheryl Heller and Brad Kammholz, to co-chair this dialogue, and together they have convened a really smart group of compassionate and dedicated members that want to help. We have found a collaborative community partner, Tree of Hope Counseling that will provide us the professional support we need to support those attorneys in need. Tree of Hope is really a collaborative network of private practitioners offering individual, group and family therapy, psychiatry, training, education and consultations. We look forward to rolling out more information and programming details on this really important initiative.

In addition to the Foundation’s support on the Health & Well Being program, they also supported the Diversity Clerkship Program, the Rubin Mock Trial Program, Rochester Teen Court, the DEAFund, Law Explorers, Annual Memorial Ceremony, Solo & Small Firm Resource Center, and another new initiative, Valor Day. Valor Day is a collaborative program between VLSP, LawNY, and the MCBA to bring a host of community and legal resources to one place, Monroe Community College, this Saturday, June 13th from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. for the benefit of Veterans and their families with many of the issues that face our military families.

If you have not yet sent in your own donation to the Foundation, or have never considered a donation to the Foundation, I would encourage you to consider it now. We are helping attorneys in need, as well as Veterans and military personnel, and guiding the youth of our community in introducing them to our justice system.

Thanks for checking in,


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