Online Program

Medical-legal partnership: Innovative collaboration in a new healthcare environment

Wednesday, November 6, 2013 : 11:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.

Shannon Mace Heller, JD, MPH, Health, Education & Legal assistance Project: A Medical-Legal Partnership (HELP: MLP), Health, Education & Legal assistance Project: A Medical-Legal Partnership (HELP: MLP), Philadelphia, PA
Daniel Atkins, JD, Health, Education and Legal assistance Project: A Medical-Legal Partnership (HELP: MLP), Widener University School of Law, Wilmington, DE
Martha Romney, RN, MS, JD, MPH, Jefferson School of Population Health, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA
Rickie O. Brawer, PhD, MPH, Office to Advance Population Health, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia, PA
Shloka Joshi, JD, Health, Education & Legal assistance Project: A Medical-Legal Partnership (HELP: MLP), Health, Education & Legal assistance Project: A Medical-Legal Partnership (HELP: MLP), Phliadelphia, PA
Collaborative care models are rapidly emerging within our healthcare system in order to achieve the triple aim: better health, better healthcare and lower costs. The Medical-Legal Partnership (MLP) model goes beyond traditional healthcare provider partnerships by integrating a legal services component to address patients' complex social and legal needs. By addressing harmful social determinants of health, MLPs are able to reduce barriers to care and improve overall well-being. In addition to providing direct legal services, MLPs transform healthcare systems and engage in systemic policy change.

Health Education and Legal Assistance Project: A Medical-Legal Partnership (HELP: MLP) is a collaboration between Crozer-Keystone Healthy Start and Nurse Family Partnership, and Widener University School of Law serving low-income residents in Delaware County, Pennsylvania. Legal and social work staff collaborate to remedy a variety of issues faced by clients including housing, public benefits, debt collection issues and domestic violence. Since its inception in 2009, HELP: MLP has resolved over 220 legal issues, conducted more than 15 trainings for health care and social work providers and has educated more than 25 students from multiple disciplines.

HELP: MLP partnered with public health faculty from Thomas Jefferson University to collect quantitative and qualitative data assessing the project's feasibility and impact on patient health, stress, and self-efficacy. Additionally, data was collected from HELP: MLP and social work staff to assess changes in advocacy capacity, knowledge and practice. Results show that HELP: MLP services have been successful in reducing client stress and increasing provider knowledge and advocacy capacity.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Other professions or practice related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Describe how the Medical-Legal Partnership model can improve health outcomes by addressing harmful social determinants through legal advocacy. Describe the process and impact evaluation tools and strategies that can be integrated into a Medical-Legal Partnership. Describe the ways in which Medical-Legal Partnership transform healthcare practice and systemic policies.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have worked with HELP: MLP since its inception assisting with program planning and evaluation, legal research and administrative functions.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.