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Bringing lawyers onto the health center care team to promote patient & community health
A planning, implementation and practice guide for building and sustaining a health center-based medical-legal partnership

Resource Topic: Operations, Quality Improvement, Social Determinants of Health (SDOH), Special and Vulnerable Populations, Workforce

Resource Subtopic: Electronic Health Records (EHRs), Health Equity, Population Health, Community, Health, and Housing Partnerships, Policy and Advocacy, Enabling Services (ES), Patient-Centered Health Outcomes, Leadership, Recruitment and Retention.

Keywords: Access to Care, Agricultural Workers, Community Engagement, Documentation, Integrated Care, Medical Legal Partnerships (MLPs), Non-Clinical Services.

Year Developed: 2020

Resource Type: Publication.

Primary Audience: Clinicians Enabling Staff PCAs
Secondary Audience: Administrative Staff Board of Directors C-Suite (CEOs, CFOs, CIOs, COOs, CMOs, etc) Outreach Staff

Language: English

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

Resource Summary: The toolkit has four parts: 1. Outlines nine conversations that a health center team should have with its legal partners to plan for an MLP’s long-term success and to integrate it into the health center’s operations. 2. Is a deep dive into the specifics of how to develop screening, referral, and service delivery workflows. 3. Looks at how integrating legal services can support health center workforce development, with a particular focus on training. 4. Illustrates the types of projects MLPs can engage in to help your health center move upstream to address SDOH and health equity at a policy level.

Resource Details: As part of our work as a HRSA-funded National Training and Technical Assistance Partner (NTTAP), the National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership published a toolkit that provides the health center community with information and resources to start, strengthen, and sustain a medical-legal partnership (MLP). The toolkit can be used both by health centers new to MLP who want help with the initial planning process and by health centers that are already actively providing legal services, but want help facilitating continuous quality improvement conversations to address issues like low/high referral volumes or funding instability. Note: While this toolkit is written specifically for the health center community, much of the guidance and resources will be applicable to teams in other health care settings.

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