LegalHealth Technical Assistance Project
Special Projects Fund
September 20, 2007
New Yorkers with limited resources, particularly low-income individuals and immigrants, need assistance when facing the diagnosis and treatment of a serious and/or chronic illness. These individuals face potentially life-threatening barriers, such as being denied access to public or private health insurance and therefore being denied access to treatment, surgical procedures, and medications. These underserved populations also face obstacles in the workplace that are related to a diagnosis, including denial of income, health benefits, and provisions under the Federal Family Medical Leave Act, as well as at home, such as maintaining affordable housing and threats of eviction. New York Legal Assistance Group’s (NYLAG’s) LegalHealth division leads the LegalHealth Technical Assistance Project, which seeks to strengthen existing medical-legal partnerships (MLPs) and help create new ones to better serve the needs of low-income patients with serious and/or chronic illnesses who are struggling with legal issues that could affect their health, treatment, and/or access to medical care.
View the agenda for the June 5th, 2009 multidisciplinary conference discussing strategies for implementing medical-legal partnerships sponsored by NYHealth, the New York State Coalition of Medical-Legal Partnerships, and the Health Law Section of the New York State Bar Association.
LegalHealth, a division of the New York Legal Assistance Group (the Group), provides free legal services to patients within the medical setting and educates health care professionals about their patients’ unmet non-medical needs that may negatively impact health outcomes. LegalHealth will provide technical assistance and external institutional support to 15 to 20 geographically diverse medical-legal collaboratives serving the needs of low-income New Yorkers with serious and chronic illness living throughout the State.
By bringing legal advocacy skills into the health care setting through the formation of medical-legal partnerships, LegalHealth has created an accessible, single-stop prototype of patient-centered collaborative care. LegalHealth has established onsite legal clinics at 12 hospitals and community-based health organizations in New York City. Working with seriously ill patients under this project, LegalHealth Technical Assistance Project seeks to provide technical assistance to the existing network of free civil legal service organizations in the State and to other organizations, such as hospitals and community health centers, interested in establishing or expanding medical-legal partnerships focusing on the needs of this vulnerable population.
Please click here to access the video files from a June 5th, 2009 multidisciplinary conference discussing strategies for implementing medical-legal partnerships sponsored by NYHealth, the New York State Coalition of Medical-Legal Partnerships, and the Health Law Section of the New York State Bar Association.