Start Date

7-11-2014 8:00 AM

Description

Research shows that nearly all of the low-income people in the United States have at least one civil legal problem that negatively affects their health. Family Advocates of Central Massachusetts (FACM) is a medical-legal partnership that aims to improve the well-being of vulnerable families by helping patients address legal issues linked to health status, such as access to necessary public benefits, substandard housing, education issues, immigration status, and protection from abusive relationships. The partnership includes Community Legal Aid and its subsidiary, Central West Justice Center, and three medical partners: UMass Medical School, UMass Memorial Children’s Medical Center, and Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center. Medical providers are the sole community connection for many low-income families. Without legal care that is coordinated with medical care, they face an uphill battle in overcoming the social determinants of health that contribute to pervasive race- and class-based health disparities. When families ask their providers for help with issues that cannot be resolved in an exam room or with a prescription, FACM steps in. The poster will facilitate an interdisciplinary community-research dialogue about evaluating the social determinants of health. We are reassessing our existing outcomes measurement tools to better measure, evaluate, and share the health impact of medical-legal interventions. We welcome input from researchers and community organizations about alternative validated measures that may help us measure and demonstrate the connection between access to legal services and improved health.

Keywords

low income patients, legal aid, law, health impact

Comments

Poster presented at the 2014 UMass Center for Clinical and Translational Science Community Engagement and Research Symposium, held on November 7, 2014 at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, Mass.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.

 
Nov 7th, 8:00 AM

Measuring the Health Impact of Medical-Legal Interventions on Low-Income Patients

Research shows that nearly all of the low-income people in the United States have at least one civil legal problem that negatively affects their health. Family Advocates of Central Massachusetts (FACM) is a medical-legal partnership that aims to improve the well-being of vulnerable families by helping patients address legal issues linked to health status, such as access to necessary public benefits, substandard housing, education issues, immigration status, and protection from abusive relationships. The partnership includes Community Legal Aid and its subsidiary, Central West Justice Center, and three medical partners: UMass Medical School, UMass Memorial Children’s Medical Center, and Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center. Medical providers are the sole community connection for many low-income families. Without legal care that is coordinated with medical care, they face an uphill battle in overcoming the social determinants of health that contribute to pervasive race- and class-based health disparities. When families ask their providers for help with issues that cannot be resolved in an exam room or with a prescription, FACM steps in. The poster will facilitate an interdisciplinary community-research dialogue about evaluating the social determinants of health. We are reassessing our existing outcomes measurement tools to better measure, evaluate, and share the health impact of medical-legal interventions. We welcome input from researchers and community organizations about alternative validated measures that may help us measure and demonstrate the connection between access to legal services and improved health.

 

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