Pushback: Fighting for care everyone deserves (Greenfield Recorder)

Below is an excerpt from of an article published by the Greenfield Recorder on June 4 highlighting the contributions of Attorney Steven Schwartz. Schwartz founded the Center for Public Representation (CPR) in 1982 and has been fighting for the rights of the elderly and disabled for over 40 years.

I met attorney Steven Schwartz in 1972. We were working in Greenfield as VISTA volunteers for Franklin Community Action Corporation. The following year Steven created the Greenfield office of Western Mass Legal Services, and a second office in Hampshire County. In 1982, he founded the Center for Public Representation (CPR). For the past 42 years, Schwartz and his team of 10 attorneys, have been freedom fighters for the elderly and disabled, aggressively litigating disability rights cases against Massachusetts and other states — winning rights to community-based care for tens of thousands of citizens segregated inside institutions.

Here are some highlights of CPR’s impressive advocacy victories:

  • Brewster v. Dukakis (1978): Federal consent decree requires the state to create community mental health services for all people with mental illness in western Massachusetts.
  • Rosie D v. Patrick (2006): Federal court requires the state to provide an array of home-based mental health services to over 30,000 children with serious emotional disturbances.
  • Rolland v. Patrick (2000 and 2008): Federal court approves two settlements requiring the commonwealth to transition over 1,600 individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities from nursing facilities into the community with housing and supports.
  • Hutchinson v. Patrick (2008 and 2012): Federal court approves two settlements requiring the state to transition 1,200 individuals with brain injury from nursing facilities into new homes in the community.
  • Marsters v. Healey (2024): Class-action settlement that expands opportunities for thousands of individuals in nursing facilities to receive the services they need to live in their communities with support services.

Read more at the Greenfield Recorder.