Bob Woodruff Foundation convened MLP meeting + New resources for Veteran-based programs

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

On May 3, the Bob Woodruff Foundation convened a day-long meeting to strategize about how to better coordinate care across sectors for our nation’s Veterans. Practitioners from 23 medical-legal partnerships attended, along with leadership from the U.S. Departments of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Health and Human Services, and advocates working to drive policy impacting Veterans and military-connected families and caregivers. The event was held in partnership with the National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership and in coordination with the VA.

Photo credit: Heather O’Beirne Kelly

The keynote was given by the Honorable James Byrne, General Counsel at the VA. Afterward, sessions framed the biomedical and mental health benefits of integrating attorneys into patient care, and the barriers and opportunities that exist within federal policy to ensure that these models can continue to provide critical care to their patients and provide opportunity to thousands more by expanding medical-legal partnership across the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). Participants discussed the evidence base for these models, implementation strategies, and patient advocacy and awareness.

Four new resources were released at the meeting, including a new MLP implementation toolkit (linked below), an issue brief on the history of MLPs serving Veterans (linked below), a fact sheet highlighting research on the efficacy of medical-legal partnership within VA, and a policy summary outlining current opportunities and challenges facing the growth of VA-based medical-legal partnerships.


Toolkit: “VA Medical-Legal Partnership Readiness Guide”
By the National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership, with support from the Bob Woodruff Foundation
Download the toolkit

This toolkit offers a step-by-step approach to starting and sustaining an MLP in settings that serve Veterans.






Issue brief: “Medical-Legal Partnerships Serving Veterans: History, Growth, & Progress”
By the National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership
Download the brief

This brief provides a look at the state of the VA MLP field – why and how legal services have grown in VA Medical Centers, where VA MLPs are operating today, and considerations for the future.