LANY Notes Volunteer Attorney Accomplishment

Monday, August 2, 2010 - 01:00

On June 18, 2010, the Lawyers Alliance for New York honored Matthew Gurch of White & Case LLP for his pro bono efforts benefiting Sunnyside Community Services (SCS) group.

Mr. Gurch assisted SCS in establishing subcontracts for collaborative work related to Department for the Aging elder services case management contracts.

SCS was started in 1974 by a group of older residents as a tiny senior center in a church basement. Responding to community needs over the years, SCS has grown to become the largest community-based social service agency in Western Queens, and now reaches more than 18,000 residents who range in age from five to 95 (and over).

SCS came to Lawyers Alliance when the Department for the Aging (DFTA) consolidated all New York City case management contracts handled by elder-serving organizations down to 23 service providers. SCS was selected as one of the lead Queens-based organizations, and DFTA awarded SCS two contracts. Under the consolidation scheme, SCS was to collaborate with two other elder serving organizations, who would serve as subcontractors.

Matthew Gurch at White & Case created subcontractor agreements for the SCS collaborations. The agreements included terms providing SCS with the necessary protection under the primary DFTA contract. In addition, because case management services may fall within the auspices of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), it was necessary for SCS to set up HIPAA safeguards. Mr. Gurch helped to assess the organization's obligations under HIPAA and included the safeguards in the subcontract agreement. As a result of these efforts, SCS is able to work effectively with its partners to ensure seniors in New York City receive vital case management services.