Legal issues addressed by this “medical-legal partnership” may relate to a family’s physical environment, inadequate knowledge of or access to public benefits, emergency access to insurance benefits, preventing employment and education discrimination, and securing housing and preventing unwarranted and illegal evictions. Any of those needs, left unaddressed, can lead to a cascade of negative health outcomes.
“Families are faced with many hardships impacting their health,” said Holly A. Gaspar, manager of Dartmouth Health’s department of Population Health and medical-legal partnership program manager. “Being able to support one of those barriers, the need for legal intervention, can truly making a lasting impact on their health and the overall health of their family. Legal services can be expensive, therefore unattainable for many. Rather than fear of the legal system, patients receiving this service feel supported, listened to, and successful at navigating the next steps.”
The partnership, launched in 2021, has been supported by grant funds from the Charitable Foundation and the Couch Family Foundation.
Read more about this effort in this article from Healthcare Finance.