Posted May 25, 20224:00 pm
Last month, Legal Aid launched a medical-legal partnership with the Cleveland Clinic, bringing our total number of medical-legal partnerships to four and establishing our presence at every major health care institution in Northeast Ohio.
The Cleveland Clinic partnership integrates Legal Aid attorneys into the health care setting to solve legal problems that impact patient health alongside Cleveland Clinic clinicians, case managers, and social workers.
Medical-legal partnerships are evidence-based models that address the social determinants of health, or those social and economic factors that contribute to 80% of a person’s health outcomes. Attorneys are embedded into the health care setting to collaborate with health providers to solve the problems at the root of patient health.
A Legal Aid attorney can, for example, secure food assistance benefits for families struggling to afford healthy meals; obtain utility shut-off protection for people with health complications; and prevent evictions, keeping our community’s children safely housed.
Legal Aid created the first medical-legal partnership in Ohio (and only the 4th in the United States) when we formalized our program with MetroHealth in 2003. Legal Aid grew to St. Vincent Charity Medical Center, University Hospitals, and now the Cleveland Clinic. Today, medical-legal partnerships are in 450 health organizations across the country, and Cleveland remains a leader.
This article was published in Legal Aid's "Poetic Justice" newsletter, Volume 19 Issue 1 in May 2022. See full issue at this link: “Poetic Justice” Volume 19 Issue 1 – Legal Aid Society of Cleveland (lasclev.org)