In partnership with the Cohn Sisters’ Scholarship for Patient Advocacy, the Foundation awards scholarships to attorneys in financial need so that they can build their advocacy skills to assist older Americans and people with disabilities.

Cohn Sisters' Scholarship for Patient Advocacy

Each year, the NAELA Foundation proudly awards several Cohn Sisters’ Scholarships for Patient Advocacy. Scholarships provide attorneys the opportunity to attend the NAELA Annual Conference. The Cohn Sisters' Scholarship is available to elder law and special needs planning attorneys who are unable to afford to attend the NAELA Annual Conference and who will use the training to advocate for people with disabilities. Your donations to the Foundation help provide tuition and travel stipend for the conference.

Scholarship History

The Cohn Sisters' Scholarship was established through the NAELA Memorial Fund in memory of Vivian Cohn Smith and Lorrie Cohn. Vivian and Lorrie, sisters of NAELA Fellow Helen Cohn Needham, were tireless patient advocates who dedicated themselves to patients and people with disabilities. Vivian worked for the disabled in the state of North Carolina. She used her personal experiences as a patient with illness to defend people with special needs. Sadly, after a 10-year battle with breast cancer, Vivian passed in November 1997. In kind, Lorrie was a patient advocate and worked as an intensive care and triage nurse for Kaiser Permanente. She believed that patient advocacy is integral to caregiving and strove to make it an essential part of her career. We lost Lorrie in November 2005.

The Cohn Sisters’ Scholarship for Patient Advocacy is made possible through the continuing donations made in honor of Vivian and Lorrie to the NAELA Foundation by:

  • Family and friends of Vivian and Lorrie
  • NAELA Council of Advanced Practitioners
  • You  GIVE NOW
Helen Cohn Needham, CELA, CAP, Fellow
Director, NAELA Foundation

Foundation Scholarships

The NAELA Foundation proudly awards Cohn Sisters’ Scholarships for Patient Advocacy for attendance at the NAELA Annual Conference held in the spring of each year.