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Medical-Legal Partnership

Evolution or Revolution?

By Pamela C. Tames, Colleen M. Cotter, Suzette M. Melendez, Steve Scudder & Jeffrey Colvin

A growing number of medical-legal partnerships are devoting their resources to preventive legal care, with the goal of reducing health and legal disparities. The legal and the medical professions are rooted in service to the public. Both are committed to serving those in need, and the effect of that commitment is intensified when many lawyers, in particular ones associated with legal aid, law schools, the private bar, and hospital general counsel, collaborate with health care providers in medical-legal partnerships to protect and improve the lives of vulnerable populations. All medical-legal partnerships provide legal assistance in the health care setting. They seek to transform health and legal institutions and practices and to influence policy making to improve the well-being of vulnerable populations. The National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership offers expert advice in planning and implementing sustainable medical-legal partnerships.

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