A National Center Supports Growing Number of Medical-Legal Partnerships to Advocate for the Health of Children

Establishing a national center promoting legal advocacy in pediatric clinics for low-income children

Since 1993, the Medical-Legal Partnership for Children at Boston Medical Center has provided pediatric patients and their families with legal assistance on matters that can affect a child's health, such as lead levels in apartments or access to specialized care.

In late 2005, the partnership established the National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership to support the work of the growing number of such partnerships around the country.

Key Results:

  • The center awarded $675,000 to 26 sites, including three regional coalitions, and provided them with substantial technical assistance to support the establishment of medical-legal partnerships.
  • The number of partnerships nationwide rose from about 30 in 2005 to 72 by the end of 2007.
  • The medical-legal partnership model received recognition from three national health and legal organizations:
    • The American Bar Association.
    • The American Academy of Pediatrics.
    • The American Hospital Association.
  • The national center produced a report for policy-makers on the impact of high home energy costs on children's health.
  • The center established an extensive communications and training program including annual conferences and a one-day curriculum, "Medical-Legal Partnership 101."

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