Title

Addressing the Legal Needs of Refugee Health Partners’ (RHP) Patient Populations: Creating a Roadmap for Establishing a Medical-Legal Partnership (MLP)

Document Type

Presentation

Publication Date

4-2-2015

Comments

Advisor:

R Brawer Jefferson Department of Family and Community Medicine, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA

Abstract

The purpose of the study is to assess the feasibility of creating a medical-legal partnership (MLP) at a student-run medical clinic in an urban setting. A MLP addresses the legal needs of patients (i.e. housing, health insurance, and immigration, etc.) that are related to and impact their ability to manage health conditions, Refugee Health Partners (RHP), a student run primary care clinic, has expressed interest in co-locating legal services at the clinic to address social services that include legal assistance. Currently, RHP has a system of referrals to external legal assistance. However, there is no official protocol for screening patients for legal services, referring patients to legal resources, and then providing following-up on the status of whether the patient’s legal needs were met. The project aims of this study were to identify best practices for integrating MLP services into a student run primary care clinic, identify potential legal issues of the immigrant and refugee population served, and to develop a roadmap for RHP members to create an MLP. Surveys were completed by community stakeholders, MLP experts, and RHP members. In addition, a literature review and community assessment was conducted. The legal needs of refugees and immigrants were identified as immigration, employment, and social benefits. Best practice for creating an MLP included: identifying legal and medical partners, completing a legal needs assessment, implementing I-HELP for screening patients, developing an evaluation method, and obtaining reliable and sufficient funding. The most suitable model for the RHP MLP is the attorney referral or partially integrated model.

Presentation: 28 minutes