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

Health Justice Initiative

A circle of sitting people in a group discussion

The Health Justice Initiative is a partnership 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 with in-kind contributions from all partners.


What services do you provide?

  • Legal information, referrals, advice and brief services
  • Legal education with the health team and patients
  • Systemic advocacy project work grounded in community engagement


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, family, and housing. We encourage patients who are in unstable housing, identify as aboriginal, as having a disability or have HIV/AIDS to access our services.


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


How do I make contact with the Health Justice Initiative?

  1. Contact us directly
  2. Ask to be referred to us through your doctor, nurse practitioner, social worker or other health care provider


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

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


How can I learn more about Health Justice events or advocacy projects?

From May to September 2017, we are in a project planning phase of these elements of our project. Contact us for more information or check back here in September for updates.


Contact information

Onsite lawyer: Johanna Macdonald, macdonaj@lao.on.ca
Program and legal assistant: Sheleca Henry, henrysh@lao.on.ca
80 Bond Health Centre, Lower Level
(416) 864-3005 or (416) 864-6060 ext. 77235

Name Office
Monday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Tuesday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Wednesday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Thursday: We may be reached at Neighbourhood Legal Services
Friday: 9 a.m. to noon


Where else can I go for information about my rights?

Your Legal Rights logo Community Legal Education Ontario has a wealth of print and online resources available on a wide variety legal issues. See the Your Legal Rights website for easy navigation of legal topics.

The Legal Aid Ontario Client Services Centre may be able to give you direction on legal service available to you: 1-800-668-8258.

The Human Rights Legal Support Centre can give you guidance on a potential human rights application to the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario:

Tel: (416) 597-4900
Toll free: 1-866-625-5179
TTY: (416) 597-4903
TTY toll free: 1-866 612-8627

Telephone lines are open:
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Thursday: 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

The Law Society Referral Service is another option for finding a lawyer for a free consult on your legal problem. It is now an online system. You can ask to speak to a specific type of lawyer for a free consult. You will have a free 30 minute initial meeting with a lawyer, either by telephone or in person. In order to access this service, you will need to submit a request online, which you can access at https://lsrs.lsuc.on.ca/lsrs.

You may also contact our partner clinics directly:

ARCH Disability Law Centre
425 Bloor Street East, Suite 110
(416) 482-8255 or 1-866-482-2724
TTY: (416) 482-1254 or 1-866-482-2728

Aboriginal Legal Services Toronto
415 Yonge St., Suite 803
(416) 408-3967

HIV & Aids Legal Clinic of Ontario
64 Wellesley Street East, Suite 400
(416) 340-7790
1-888-705-8889

Neighbourhood Legal Services
333 Queen Street East
(416) 861-0677