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VA Medical-Legal Partnership Readiness Guide

Resource Topic: Social Determinants of Health (SDOH), Special and Vulnerable Populations

Resource Subtopic: Enabling Services (ES), Patient-Centered Health Outcomes.

Keywords: Medical Legal Partnerships (MLPs), Legal Issues, Implementation Tools.

Year Developed: 2019

Resource Type: Publication.

Primary Audience: Clinicians, Enabling Staff
Secondary Audience: PCAs

Language: English

Developed by: National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership (See other resources developed by this organization).

Resource Summary: Veterans are a special population with demonstrated social and legal needs that affect their health and well-being. The VA Medical-Legal Partnership Readiness Guide, developed by the National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership, provides VA medical centers with a step-by-step approach to starting and sustaining an MLP.

Resource Details: More than 30 medical-legal partnerships (MLPs) are currently operating in VA Medical Centers (VAMCs) across the country and many more VAMCs are in the exploratory or planning phases. Drawing upon expertise, examples, and tools from the field, the VA MLP Readiness Guide provides the roadmap for implementing MLP serving veterans. Part I outlines how to lay the foundation for a MLP, including information on defining a target population, finding a legal partner, funding the partnership, developing a memorandum of understanding, and making the partnership visible and accessible. Parts II and III walk VAMCs through screening Veterans for legal needs and training clinical and other staff on meeting those needs, respectively. The tool concludes with lessons learned about building and operating successful partnerships from existing VAMC-based MLPs.

This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of an award totaling $6,375,000 with 0 percentage financed with non-governmental sources. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA, HHS, or the U.S. Government. For more information, please visit HRSA.gov.