Medical-Legal Partnerships

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.

Haven MLP
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.

Transitions MLP
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.

Veterans MLP
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 to provide direct client services and to engage in research and advocacy on relevant policy issues.  

Please see a student profile on the MLP experience.

 

MLP Symposium and Special Issue of the Yale Journal of Health Policy, Law & Ethics

On March 3, 2017, the Solomon Center hosted a symposium on medical-legal partnerships: Building an Academic Agenda to Enhance MLP Practice. The articles emerging from this symposium were published in a special issue of the Yale Journal of Health Policy, Law, and Ethics: Symposium, "Medical Legal Partnerships" 17 Yale Journal of Health Policy, Law & Ethics 251 (2017):

Susanna D. Evarts and Nathan Guevremont (’18), “Introduction to the Medical-Legal Partnership Symposium Issue,” 17 Yale Journal of Health Policy, Law, and Ethics 251 (2017).

Yael Cannon, “A Mental Health Checkup for Children at the Doctor's Office: Lessons from the Medical-Legal Partnership Movement to Fulfill Medicaid's Promise,” 17 Yale Journal of Health Policy, Law, and Ethics 253 (2017).

Tamar Ezer, “Medical-Legal Partnerships with Communities: Legal Empowerment to Transform Care,” 17 Yale Journal of Health Policy, Law, and Ethics 309 (2017).

Jesselyn Friley, “Ethics of Evidence: Health Care Professionals in Public Benefits and Immigration Proceedings,” 17 Yale Journal of Health Policy, Law, and Ethics 327 (2017).

Joel Teitelbaum and Ellen Lawton, “The Roots and Branches of the Medical-Legal Partnership Approach to Health: From Collegiality to Civil Rights to Health Equity,” Yale Journal of Health Policy, Law, and Ethics 343 (2017).

 

Research

The Solomon Center is emperically evaluating its MLPs to contribute to a critical gap in the legal and biomedical scholarly literature by completing an interdisciplinary, quantitative study.  The Solomon Center is seeking to hire an epidemiologist/biostatistcian to lead this work, information on the position and how to apply can be found here.

 

Publications & News

Emily A. Benfer, Abbe R. Gluck '00, and Katherine L. Kraschel, "Medical-Legal Partnership: Lessons from Five Diverse MLPs in New Haven, Connecticut," 46 The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics 602 (Oct. 2018).

Wack ’18 on Interprofessional Student Hotspotting Collaborative, Yale Law School News (Apr. 2018).

Solomon Center Submits Comments to HHS, Yale Law School News (Aug. 2017).

Finding a Cure through the Law, Yale Law School News (June 2017).

Sharon Pope Receives Hartford County Bar Association President’s Award for Excellence (May 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).

Photo of Rebecca Iannantuoni

Rebecca Iannantuoni (Palliative Care MLP)

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.



Photo of Lisa Puglisi

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 an M.D. from Albert Einstein College of Medicine and completely her residency training at Yale.



Photo of Alice Rosenthal

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.



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Alexis Smith (Haven & Transitions MLPs)

Alexis Smith is the legal supervisor at the Haven and Transitions MLPs. Smith is the Executive Director at New Haven Legal Assistance Association (LAA). Prior to joining LAA, Smith was an attorney at Greater Hartford Legal Aid for six years, where she practiced in the education and employment units. Smith 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.



Photo of Emily Wang

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 B.A. from Harvard University, an M.D. from Duke University, and a M.A.S. from the University of California, San Francisco.