Department of Family and Community Medicine and St. Michael’s Academic Family Health Team

Health Justice Program

The Health Justice Program is a partnership initiative between St. Michael’s Hospital Academic Family Health Team, St. Michael’s Hospital, and legal clinics ARCH Disability Law Centre, Aboriginal Legal Services Toronto, HIV & AIDS Legal Clinic of Ontario, and Neighbourhood Legal Services. The partnership is funded through Legal Aid Ontario’s Innovative Grant Funding until March 2017. 

What services do you provide?

  • Legal information and advice                
  • Referrals to legal services
  • Select legal representation
  • Legal education workshops
  • Advocacy and law reform

Who do you provide service to?

We aim to support patients who are low-income and have legal issues affecting their well-being, such as experiences of discrimination, personal safety, and problems with employment, housing, etc. Services are directed towards preventative legal information, advice and brief services. We encourage patients who are in unstable housing, identify as aboriginal, as having a disability and/or identify as having HIV/AIDS to access our services.

How can I attend a legal educational workshop?

See our winter 2016 workshop series schedule with details of how to register or drop-in at a session. 

Legal education and community resources

How do I make an appointment with the Health Justice Program?

Three ways to make an appointment:

  1. Contact us directly to book a telephone appointment.
  2. Attend our Friday afternoon law student drop-in legal clinic.  For full details, see our law student drop-in legal clinic winter 2016 schedule (53 kb pdf file)
  1. Through your primary health care provider. We are rolling out our internal referral program clinic site by clinic site, pending ongoing monitoring of our capacity. If you are at a clinic site that we have rolled out to in the schedule below, then you may also be referred through your primary health care provider:
Date Internal Referral Roll-out
January 2015 80 Bond
September 2015 St. James Town
January 2016 St. Lawrence
May 2016 61 Queen
September 2016 410 Sherbourne
January 2017 Sumac Creek

If you are at a clinic site that we have rolled out to, in the schedule above, then you can be referred through your health care provider. 

If you are a patient at a health centre where the program has not been rolled, then we will provide your healthcare provider with legal information and a referral to other free legal assistance.

What should I expect when speaking with the  legal assistant, law students, or onsite lawyer?

  • Please ask for translation services and/or disability related accommodations
  • Phone or in person appointments are approximately 30 minutes long 
  • At a minimum, we will provide you with legal information and a referral to legal services in the community
  • Bring or have relevant documents ready for review
  • For program evaluation purposes, we will ask you confidential questions that will remain anonymous. Answering these questions is voluntary.

What are the Health Justice Program’s goals?

Our Mission Statement helps guide us in our goals: 

  1. Improve access to justice
  2. Address the social determinants of health and health equity in our community
  3. Evaluate the success of the program


Rosa Tavares
Program and Legal Assistant, Health Justice Program
(416) 864-6060, ext. 77235

Johanna Macdonald
Staff Lawyer, ARCH Disability Law Centre
Onsite Lawyer, Health Justice Program
(416) 482-8255, ext. 227 (ARCH)
(416) 864-3005 (St Michael’s Hospital)