To address some of people’s most complex needs, such as those related to housing, public benefits, and education, more than 300 health organizations have adopted legal services as part of their strategy to improve health and wellbeing.
At these medical-legal partnerships, health care and legal professionals work together to:
- Identify vulnerable patients’ social needs that negatively impact their ability to live healthy lives;
- Establish protocols and interventions to address many of these needs at the healthcare site, and create a fast-track pathway to civil legal aid professionals who specialize in helping people get access to a broad range of benefits and services, and can prevent some of the most intractable problems, like illegal evictions; and
- Leverage their considerable knowledge and expertise related to health-harming legal needs to advance local and state policy to provide safer and healthier environments.