May 15, 2013

Media Advisory -- Medical-legal partnerships

The benefits of medical-legal partnerships for vulnerable patients and the role of such partnerships in health care reform are among the issues up for discussion later this week at Southern Illinois University School of Law.

“Medical-Legal Partnerships -- Collaborating to Transform Health Care for Vulnerable Patients,” is set for Friday, May 17, at the 15th annual SIH/SIU Health Policy Institute.  The program is in the Hiram H. Lesar Building at the SIU School of Law.

Medical-legal partnerships combine physicians and health care providers, including nurses, social workers and attorneys, into an interdisciplinary team that can proactively address a patient’s unmet social and legal needs.  Both the American Bar Association and the American Medical Association have endorsed the formation of medical-legal partnerships.

Presenters include Dr. Edward Paul, the director of medical education at Yuma Regional Medical Center and a graduate of the SIU School of Medicine,  and Ellen Lawton, the executive director of the National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership at the Department of Health Policy at George Washington University’s School of Public Health & Health Services.

The program begins at 9 a.m.  Reporters, photographers and camera crews are welcome to attend any of the sessions.  To schedule a specific presenter for interview, contact Alicia Ruiz, the law school’s director of communication and outreach at 618/453-8700.

Other presenters are Dr. Robert Pettignano, medical champion/director of HeLP (The Health Law Partnership); Dr. Megan Sandel, associate professor of pediatrics at the Boston University Schools of Medicine and Public Health, and medical director of the National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership; Emily Benfer, clinical professor of law and director of the Health Justice Project, Loyola University, Chicago; Diane Goffinet, senior attorney, Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation, and Joel Teitelbaum, associate professor and vice chair for academic affairs, Department of Health Policy and director of the Hirsh Health Law and Policy Program at George Washington University.

The Medical-Legal Partnership of Southern Illinois (MLPSI) earned 2012 Medical-Legal Partnership of the Year Honors from the National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership.  The local partnership involves Southern Illinois Healthcare and the Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation.

Additional program information is available at