MLP awards honor ABA & programs, practitioners in Arkansas, California, & Pennsylvania

Monday, April 17, 2017

This year’s Medical-Legal Partnership awards honored the American Bar Association, Dr. Jeff Martin from Lancaster General Health, and programs at Arkansas Children’s Hospital and Santa Clara Valley Medical Center. All awards are given by the National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership and were presented on April 7, 2017,  as part of the MLP Summit in National Harbor, Maryland.

2017 Medical-Legal Partnership Leadership Award

Steve Scudder, Counsel for the Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service at the ABA, with Ellen Lawton, Joel Teitelbaum, and Bethany Hamilton. Photo Credit: Mark F. Jones / CJVISIONS.COM

The American Bar Association (ABA) received the 2017 MLP Leadership Award in recognition of more than a decade of work to elevate and advance the medical-legal partnership movement. The ABA has dedicated staffing and resources to engage the private Bar in MLP services, helped build awareness of the approach through multiple articles and conference presentations, and passed the first professional association resolution in support of medical-legal partnership in 2007.  The ABA’s leadership has dedicated itself to understanding MLP and deepening support across all legal communities – private, public, and academic, and its on-going engagement has helped cement MLP as a key innovation in the armament of the civil legal aid and pro bono communities. The ABA leadership of the past decade has culminated in the current president Linda Klein’s active embrace of MLP as a key strategy to meet the legal needs of America’s veterans.

The award was accepted by Steve Scudder, Counsel for the Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service at the ABA.

The Medical-Legal Partnership Leadership Award was established in 2010 and is given annually to recognize an individual or group whose leadership, vision and hard work have significantly advanced and strengthened the medical-legal partnership movement to reach people and communities in need.

2017 Distinguished Medical-Legal Partnership Advocate Award

Dr. Jeff Martin from Lancaster General Health with colleague Katie Schultz from MidPenn Legal Services. Photo Credit: Mark F. Jones / CJVISIONS.COM

Dr. Jeff Martin was honored with the 2017 Distinguished Medical-Legal Partnership Advocate Award for his leadership in integrating the medical-legal partnership approach into a pilot project focused on high-need/high-cost patients at Lancaster General Hospital. He sought legal partners to address the complex needs of his patients, and his team collected data detailing the impact of that intervention, published the findings in the prestigious Health Affairs journal, and paved the way for a longer-term investment in the Lancaster MLP.

As an associate director of a family medicine residency program, Dr. Martin has influenced hundreds of residents to think differently about their peers in the legal profession, while also being generous with his time providing training and technical assistance to burgeoning MLPs addressing high-need/high-cost patients.

Dr. Martin is the Associate Director of the Family and Community Medicine Residency Program and Managing Physician of Care Connections at Lancaster General Health/Penn Medicine.

The Distinguished MLP Advocate Award was established in 2011, and is given annually to recognize an MLP practitioner from the health, public health or legal sector who has made a significant contribution to support the national growth of the MLP movement through research, policy, scaling or education activities.

2017 Outstanding Medical-Legal Partnership Award

Team members from the MLP at Arkansas Children’s Hospital and Legal Aid of Arkansas. Photo credit: Mark F. Jones / CJVISIONS.COM

During the awards ceremony, two programs were given the 2017 Outstanding MLP Award. The first recipient – Arkansas Children’s Hospital MLP – was recognized for building breadth and depth in its core MLP activities over the last six years, which have led to increased engagement and investment from hospital leadership. The MLP worked closely with nurses, physicians, social workers, and clerical staff to roll out a social needs screener focused on housing, food insecurity, and education at one of the hospital’s primary care clinics. It has been used to screen more than 11,000 primary care patients—approximately 87 percent of the clinic’s patients—and has become a permanent part of clinic flow. The screener has transformed the hospital’s approach to patient social supports, while improving employee satisfaction, and Arkansas Children’s Hospital is poised to roll it out in other primary care clinics this summer.

The Arkansas Children’s Hospital MLP is a partnership between Arkansas Children’s Hospital and Legal Aid of Arkansas, and it receives significant pro bono contributions from Walmart General Counsel and other firms. Dr. Carrie Brown from Arkansas Children’s Hospital and attorney Mary Claire Hyatt from Legal Aid Arkansas accepted the award on behalf of their team.

Team members from the MLP at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center and Law Foundation of Silicon Valley. Photo credit: Mark F. Jones / CJVISIONS.COM

The second recipient – the Silicon Valley Medical-Legal Partnership at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center – serves both pediatric and homeless adult populations. The Silicon Valley MLP has innovated in a range of ways to more deeply embed legal screening and interventions into hospital practice—from education and training activities, to clinical workflow strategies, to multi-lingual legal resources embedded in the electronic medical record system. In letters of support for their award nomination, both the Medical Director of the Homeless Healthcare Program and the Chairman of Pediatrics described not only how the partnership has helped patients, but also how the program has been widely adopted into the hospital’s ethos of care and fully integrated into the electronic medical record system. The County’s Board of Supervisors has highlighted the impact of the program and advocated for MLP to be an essential part of new clinics opened by the health system. And significantly, the Santa Clara Valley Health System has included significant funding for MLP services in its annual operating budget, demonstrating the value MLP brings to the health system’s mission and ensuring the program’s sustainability.

The Silicon Valley Medical-Legal Partnership is a partnership between Santa Clara Valley Medical Center and Law Foundation of Silicon Valley. Dr. Lee Anna Botkin from the medical center, and attorneys Molly Brennan and Tamara Schane from the Law Foundation accepted the award on behalf of their team.

The Outstanding MLP Program Award was established in 2011, and is given annually to recognize medical-legal partnerships that exemplify the activities and integration of medical-legal partnership and demonstrate impact on health care clinic / institution practice.