Patients-to-Policy Story: Increasing Nutritional Supports for Newborns

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

By Kate Marple & Erin Dexter
National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership

When Javana Bradford took her one-month old daughter, Augyst, for a checkup at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, pediatrician Melissa Klein asked if she and her daughter were getting enough to eat. Ms. Bradford said she was having trouble adding Augyst to her Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, commonly known as food stamps. Dr. Klein referred her to Deanna White, a paralegal at the hospital’s medical-legal partnership (MLP) with the Legal Aid Society of Greater Cincinnati. That referral led to policy changes that helped hundreds of families.

The third story in our patients-to-policy story series follows the Cincinnati Children’s medical-legal partnership team as they worked with the agency that administers food benefits in the county to eliminate administrative barriers to women enrolling newborns in benefits. New procedures allow hospital case managers to send birth records directly to the agency, and help families enroll newborns months earlier than before, which translates to real money for child nutrition.