Akin Gump Provides Pro Bono Counsel to DC Appleseed to Secure District of Columbia Childhood Lead Registry Funding

(Washington, D.C.) – A team from Akin Gump has partnered with the firm’s pro bono client DC Appleseed Center for Law and Justice to secure funding for the creation of a childhood lead screening registry in the District of Columbia. The registry will not only simplify mandated reporting, but also allow health care providers to access children’s lead screening histories, along with immunization records. The first of its kind in the District, an integrated registry approach has been utilized by other states and cities to improve screening compliance and timely information sharing.

Recognizing that no amount of lead exposure is safe in children, District law requires two lead screenings before age two (“2 by 2”). Yet, less than one-third of District of Columbia children on Medicaid receive the statutorily required lead screening on time. The $750,000 in funding included in the District’s FY 2019 budget represents a significant step forward in helping tackle the problem of inadequate childhood lead screening and prevention in Washington, D.C.

“The issue of proper lead screening for D.C. children has been an intractable problem for many years,” said Martie Kendrick, a partner in the firm’s public law and policy practice who led the firm’s representation of DC Appleseed. “We are thrilled that funding for the creation of the registry has been secured and look forward to continuing our partnership with DC Appleseed to promote the registry, educate local health care providers and help ensure its success.”

In addition to Ms. Kendrick, who recently testified before the DC Council on the imperative of establishing a registry, others on the Akin Gump team involved in this multiyear effort include counsel Eli Tomar and public policy specialist Maral Arslanian, along with several summer associates.

Founded in 1945, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP is a leading international law firm with more than 900 lawyers in offices throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

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