The Health Law Partnership (HeLP) is a community collaboration that works to help low-income children and their families address socio-economic needs and legal challenges that adversely impact access to care and their health and well-being. Local partners include Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Emory University School of Medicine, and Morehouse School of Medicine, as well as the Atlanta Legal Aid Society, the Emory University School of Law, and the Georgia State University School of Law.
HeLP has a dual role in expanding public health legal services to vulnerable patient populations, as well as providing interdisciplinary medical and legal education and training to students, social workers, and health professionals. Typical legal cases addressed by HeLP include housing issues, medical and other benefits, family law, special education, domestic violence, employment issues, and the drafting of wills and advanced directives. HeLP won the 2014 national Outstanding Medical-Legal Partnership Award recognizing programs that have made legal care part of the delivery of health care for vulnerable people and that have demonstrated significant impact on patient care and clinic practice.
Since 2012, the Georgia Health Policy Center assists HeLP with evaluation of the program. Over this time, evaluations have documented HeLP’s success in aiding families with legal needs impacting health, supporting improved health outcomes, increasing positive attitudes and perceptions towards using a multidisciplinary approach to addressing socioeconomic determinants of health, increasing physician satisfaction, securing otherwise unreimbursed Medicaid payments for services, and saving hospital employers in continuing education costs annually.