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The medical-legal partnership (MLP) model combines health and legal services at a single site of care to address social determinants of health and provide holistic care. YLS students participating in an MLP meet with patients at local health clinics and help address legal needs like access to government programs, housing, and custody. The Solomon Center coordinates student participation in five MLPs, working across the continuum of care and life experiences: the Haven MLP, Palliative Care MLP, Pediatric Care MLP, Transitions MLP, and Veterans MLP. Several of these MLPs—Haven and Transitions —work closely with the New Haven Legal Assistance Association (NHLAA), while others partner with different legal service organizations in the area.
The Haven MLP is a partnership with HAVEN, a free clinic operated by Yale medical students every Saturday for uninsured patients, the great majority of whom are also undocumented immigrants. Law student volunteers work onsite at the clinic and meet directly with patients to conduct legal screening and identify issues that should be referred to NHLAA for possible legal representation. Common legal issues include immigration, wage theft, landlord/tenant concerns, and domestic violence. A training session is conducted at the beginning of each semester for interested students who can then sign up for individual shifts.
Palliative Care MLP
The Palliative Care MLP works with NHLAA and a pro bono lawyer to provide civil legal services to palliative care and cancer patients at the Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven Hospital (YNHH). Students in the Palliative Care MLP conduct intake interviews with clients and draft desired documents, such as wills, power-of-attorney agreements, and advanced health care directives. Depending on patients’ needs, students may also work on real-estate transactions and guardianship issues.
Pediatric Care MLP
In 2013, the Center for Children’s Advocacy (CCA) established an MLP in the pediatric primary care center at Yale-New Haven Hospital (YNHH), focusing on issues of childhood poverty and access to services. One student each semester participates in this MLP and works directly with a CCA attorney, Alice Rosenthal. Students engage in both direct client services—working with physicians in the clinic to identify patient-specific and systemic issues, as well as policy research and advocacy.
The Transitions MLP is based in the Transitions Clinic in the adult primary care center at Yale-New Haven Hospital (YNHH) that serves those returning home from prison. It connects these patients to the civil legal services they need, working closely NHLAA’s Reentry Clinic.
Connecticut Veterans Legal Center (CVLC) operates an MLP at VA Connecticut’s Errera Community Care Center (ECCC). Students work directly with the attorneys at CVLC, including Margaret Middleton, CVLC's Executive Director and one of the clinical lecturers for the Veterans Legal Services Clinic. Students provide direct client services, as well as engage in research and advocacy on relevant policy issues.
Please see a student profile on the MLP experience.
On March 3, 2017, the Solomon Center hosted a symposium on medical-legal partnerships: Building an Academic Agenda to Enhance MLP Practice.
Publications & News
Solomon Center Submits Comments to HHS, Yale Law School News (Aug. 2017).
Finding a Cure through the Law, Yale Law School News (June 2017).
Jingyi Cui, Law Symposium Focuses on Medical-Legal Partnerships, Yale Daily News (Mar. 2017).
Mark Hanin (YLS 2017), The Architecture of Medical-Legal Partnerships (Nov. 2015).
Medical-Legal Partnership Staff
Rebecca Iannantuoni is the legal supervisor at the palliative care MLP. She has particular expertise in elder law and planning for persons with special needs. She is a member of the Estates and Probate Section and Elder Law Sections of the Connecticut Bar Association and a member of the National Association of Elder Law Attorneys. She currently is a counsel in Day Pitney’s Individual Clients department representing fiduciaries estate administration and advising clients regarding all aspects of estate planning with extensive experience with Title XIX Medicaid planning. Rebecca received her B.A. from Manhattanville College with Departmental Honors in Political Science and Her J.D. cum laude from Quinnipiac University School of Law.
Margaret M. Middleton (Veterans MLP)
Margaret M. Middleton is the legal supervisor at the Veterans MLP. She is a Visiting Clinical Lecturer in Law at Yale Law School. She also serves as Executive Director of The Connecticut Veterans Legal Center in New Haven, a nonprofit she founded that provides free legal services to low-income military veterans and educates the public on important issues facing the veterans’ community. Previously, she was a Fellow at David Rosen and Associates in New Haven and a law clerk to The Honorable Janet C. Hall of the U.S. District Court in Bridgeport, CT. She is a graduate of Cornell University and the New York University School of Law.
Lisa Puglisi (Transitions MLP)
Dr. Lisa Puglisi is an Assistant Professor of Medicine, a primary care physician and director of Transitions Clinic New Haven at the Yale Primary Care Center, a program specializing in providing primary care and social service linkage to individuals returning from incarceration to the community. In this role she works directly with the MLP students to identify civil legal needs that influence the health and success of patient reentry. Dr. Puglisi leads educational interventions to expand knowledge and exposure of internal medicine trainees to the health impacts of incarceration to improve medical care for this population. She received her undergraduate degree from Tufts University and MD from Albert Einstein College of Medicine and completely her residency training at Yale.
Alice Rosenthal (Pediatric Care MLP)
Alice Rosenthal is an attorney for the Center for Children’s Advocacy and coordinates the MLP at Yale-New Haven Hospital. She represents children and families on legal issues affecting the health and well-being of children, such as housing, public benefits, healthcare access, and education and works collaboratively with hospital staff and providers. Prior to working at the Center for Children’s Advocacy, Rosenthal worked as an education law attorney at Advocates for Children of New York, representing children involved in the child welfare system on access to an appropriate education, first as an Equal Justice Works Fellow and then as a project director. Prior to law school, Rosenthal worked as an advocate on children’s issues with Good Shepherd Services and the Center for Court Innovation. Rosenthal received a B.A. in Psychology and Social Welfare from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a J.D. from Rutgers Law School-Newark. She is admitted to practice in Connecticut and New York.
Alexis Smith (Haven & Transitions MLPs)
Alexis Smith is the legal supervisor at the Haven and Transitions MLPs. Alexis is the Executive Director at New Haven Legal Assistance Association (LAA). Prior to joining LAA, Alexis was an attorney at Greater Hartford Legal Aid for six years, where she practiced in the education and employment units. Alexis obtained her B.A. from Duke University and her J.D. from the University of Wisconsin Law School. She has served as president of the George W. Crawford Black Bar Association and Secretary of the Connecticut Bar Association. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for Connecticut Center for Arts and Technology (CONNCAT) Discovering Amistad, Highville Charter School, and Elm City Internationals.
Sharon Pope (Palliative Care MLP)
Sharon Pope is the legal supervisor at the palliative care MLP. She has particular expertise in elder and disability law. She is a member of the Academy of Special Needs Planners and the Settlement Planning Committee and has earned certification as a Medicare Set-Aside Consultant. She was formerly a principal at CzepigaDalyPope, a Connecticut law firm with full elder law & estate planning capabilities and an in-house trust department. The firm is particularly trained in the nuances of trust and estate law and the many fiduciary duties that must be adhered to. Pope currently serves on the Executive Committees of the Elder Law Section, the Estates and Probate Section, and the Veteran's and Military Affairs Section of the Connecticut Bar Association. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Hartford County Bar Association and is the Past Chair of the Elder Law Section. In 2006, she was awarded the Pro Bono Award by the CBA. Pope is a member of the Connecticut Trial Lawyers Association and the CLE committee. She has presented programs nationally on topics relevant to settlement planning and has authored articles of interest to the members of CTLA. Pope was appointed Professor Emeritus status at the University of Hartford when she took an early retirement in order to practice law. She is frequently invited to speak on topics of interest and is active in the community. She contributes to many nonprofit organizations, including the Alzheimer's Association of Connecticut, Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, and Easter Seals Capital and Eastern District. Pope is an adjunct professor at UConn Law School teaching an Elder Law clinic. She is a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution.
Emily Wang (Transitions MLP)
Dr. Emily Wang is the medical partner at the transitons MLP. She is an Associate Professor at the Yale School of Medicine and Co-Founder of the Transitions Clinic Network. Dr. Wang’s research focuses on promoting health equity for vulnerable populations, especially individuals with a history of incarceration, through both prison and community based interventions. She has developed expertise in training former prisoners to become community health workers and researchers through community based participatory research methods. She is Co-Founder of the Transitions Clinic Network, a consortium of 15 community health centers nationwide dedicated to caring for recently released prisoners and defining best practices for the health care of individuals leaving prison. In 2012, the Transitions Clinic Network was awarded the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation Award to provide care to over 2,000 high-risk, high-cost patients returning from prison and to train and employ former prisoners as community health workers. Dr. Wang is the principal investigator on a number of NIH and institute-funded research projects, including a NHLBI-funded project to improve cardiovascular outcomes in patients with a history of incarceration. She was a member of the Institute of Medicine’s Health and Incarceration Workshop (2012) and Means of Violence Workshop (2014). Dr. Wang has a BA from Harvard University, an MD from Duke University, and a MAS from the University of California, San Francisco.