Andrés J. Gallegos

Shareholder

Advocating for, and protecting the rights of, persons with disabilities is my professional and personal passion. Despite great progress in the last 26+ years, barriers still exist that foster discrimination and limit full inclusion in society. As a person with a disability, I use my own experiences to advance the legal and civil rights for persons across all types of disabilities.

My Background

I focus my practice on disability rights and healthcare law. I founded and spearhead the firm’s disability rights practice, where our main emphasis is to improve access to healthcare and wellness programs for persons across all types of disabilities, across the country. To attain accessible healthcare services for persons with disabilities and effectuate systemic change, our firm utilizes a three-prong approach of:

  • education (for consumers and providers);
  • advocacy;
  • litigation, when required.

Education
Through in-person workshops and webinars, we educate persons with disabilities and their advocates of their civil and legal rights to accessible healthcare, and how to strengthen their patient advocacy. We also provide training to healthcare providers, including residents and medical students, on their legal obligations to ensure persons with disabilities receive the equal opportunity to benefit from their facilities and services; disability cultural competency and disability etiquette. I have written numerous articles for national and state professional healthcare and legal organizations on matters relating to the Americans with Disabilities Act’s, the Rehabilitation Act’s and the Affordable Care Act’s application to healthcare providers, and frequently speak on those subjects to local and national professional organizations.

Advocacy
I lead our collaborative efforts with hospitals, healthcare systems, national dental and retail healthcare providers to ensure that persons across all types of disabilities receive the equal opportunity to benefit from their facilities and services. We’ve achieved great success using this approach in improving access to clinics and offices of the two leading national dental care providers on behalf of persons with mobility impairments who utilize mobility devices, persons who are deaf or hard of hearing, and persons with visual impairments; at the clinics of the three leading national retail health clinic providers on behalf of persons with mobility impairments who utilize mobility devices, persons who are deaf or hard of hearing, and persons with visual impairments; and at medical offices and hospitals of numerous local and regional healthcare systems on behalf of persons across all types of disabilities.

Litigation
When necessary, we utilize the courts to protect the rights of persons with disabilities, including the filing of class action lawsuits to attain systemic relief. We have been successful in prosecuting class action lawsuits to enhance the accessibility of eye care services for persons with mobility impairments who utilize mobility devices at clinics of the seven leading national eye care providers; to address accessibility barriers at offices of a leading national dental care provider on behalf of persons with mobility impairments who utilize mobility devices, persons who are deaf or hard of hearing, and persons with visual impairments; and to address accessibility barriers on behalf of persons across all types of disabilities at local and regional hospitals and healthcare systems.

Healthcare - Outside Counsel
I serve as outside counsel for various profit and not-for-profit healthcare facilities, and group practices and represent and counsel them on a variety of matters. Among them:

  • group practice formation
  • physician and professional employment matters
  • shareholder and governance issues
  • contracting and licensing issues
  • physician joint ventures
  • clinical integration
  • compliance matters

Multi-party Agreements
I negotiate and structure multi-party agreements for, and between, healthcare providers, such as technology licensing, employment, medical director, stock purchase, and shareholders’ agreements; between health care providers and laboratories and equipment suppliers, such as services, lease and purchase agreements; complex managed care agreements between health care providers HMOs, PPOs and other third-party payers; and between health care entities, such as professional services, joint venture, stock and asset acquisition agreements.

In the Community

Andrés was appointed in January 2010 by Illinois Governor Pat Quinn to be a member of the Governor's Task Force on Employment and Economic Opportunities for People with Disabilities. He was selected as a Delegate by the National Council on Disabilities to its Summit on National Disability Policy 2010. He is also the co-chairman of Illinois in Motion, a coalition fostering spinal cord injury cure research funding, and in that capacity Andrés' advocacy before the Illinois legislature in the 2000 and 2005 legislative sessions was instrumental in the passage of spinal cord injury cure research and stem cell research funding legislation.

Andrés is also a veteran of the United States Air Force.

Pikes Peak Challenge

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 In September 2014, I participated in the Pikes Peak Challenge, a fundraiser for the Brain Injury Alliance of Colorado, consisting of a hike from the 7,300 foot base to the 14,100 foot summit of Pikes Peak Mountain in Colorado Springs, Colorado. For a bit of perspective, the height of Chicago’s Willis Tower is 1,451 ft. 14,100 feet is the equivalent of 9.7 Willis Tower’s vertically stacked one on top of each other. I was the only participant in a wheelchair, a manual wheelchair. Rolling on Pikes Peak Highway, I reached the summit in just over 6 hours.

My Education

Saint Louis University School of Law, J.D., 1993

University of Southern Mississippi, B.S., Business Administration, with Honors, 1989

Admissions

Illinois, 1993U.S. District Court for the Northern District of IllinoisU.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois, 2013

Memberships

Disability Rights Bar Association American Bar Association American Health Lawyers Association Illinois Health Lawyers Association Statewide Independent Living Council of Illinois, Vice Chair of the board of directors, Access Living of Metropolitan Chicago American Association of People with Disabilities/U.S. Business Leadership Network Disability Equality Index Advisory Committee Member
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