HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Case Western Reserve University School of Law

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Co-creating a Legal Check-up in a School-based Health Center Serving Low-income Adolescents

Lisa P. Kessler (Health Justice Alliance), Yael Cannon (Georgetown University), Nicole Tuchinda (University of Memphis), Ana Caskin (MedStar Georgetown Division of Community Pediatrics), Christina Balz Ndjatou (MedStar Georgetown Division of Community Pediatrics), Vicki W. Girard (Georgetown University), Deborah F. Perry (Health Justice Alliance), Co-creating a Legal Check-up in a School-based Health Center Serving Low-income Adolescents, 15 Progress in Health Partnerships: Rsch., Educ., & Action 203 (2021):

The Problem: Marginalized populations experience health-harming legal needs—barriers to good health that require legal advocacy to overcome. Medical–legal partnerships (MLPs) embed lawyers into the healthcare team to resolve these issues, but identifying patients with health-harming legal needs is complex, and screening practices vary across MLPs.

Purpose of Article: Academic and community partners who collaborate in an MLP at a school-based health center (SBHC) share their process of co-creating a two-stage legal check-up for adolescents.

Key Points: Screening adolescents for health-harming legal needs is challenging. It took ongoing collaboration to refine the process to fit the needs of adolescents and meet the partners’ goals.

Conclusion: Social determinants of health play a significant role in health disparities, and there is a need for innovative solutions to screen and address these in vulnerable populations. Other partners can learn from our experiences to co-create their own approach to addressing health-harming legal needs.

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