Building a Foundation for Long-Term Health

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Medical-Legal Partnership is founded on the idea that effective healthcare targets health problems at their source. Because legal needs significantly impact health, community well-being as a whole is more likely to see lasting improvements if these needs are addressed as an integrated part of healthcare.

Our Service Model: Three Critical Areas of Focus

Direct Legal Assistance

Since 2008, more than 1,440 families (4,600 individuals) benefited from legal intervention to enforce basic human rights, improve health and prevent future health problems. Based in Seattle, Washington, the MLP assists with housing, public benefits, education, immigration, consumer protection, family law and more. Depending on the case, MLP attorneys offer advice and counsel all the way to direct representation.

Medical Provider Training

MLP lawyers have trained over 3,000 healthcare and other providers, including doctors, residents, social workers, nurses, law students and daycare professionals, so they are able to identify legal issues to better advocate and intervene for clients. Over the past year, MLP provided more than 500 one- on-one staff consultations. In a provider survey, 92% of respondents reported that MLP trainings substantively informed their medical practice.

System-Wide Advocacy to Improve Health Services

When a legal issue impacts a large group of patients, MLP works to bring about systemic changes. Thousands of clients statewide received services and support through MLP-won policy changes regarding health and prevention for sleep conditions, autism, disability income, and more.

  • In 2011, MLP won a lawsuit that prevented the state from terminating or reducing welfare benefits for more than 8,000 families with disabled children.

  • In 2012, MLP reached an agreement with the state to ensure coverage for an effective autism therapy, affecting more than 9,000 families.

  • In 2016, MLP advocated for raising the private duty nursing reimbursement rate for ventilator-dependent children insured with Medicaid. Legislative changes took effect that summer, impacting approximately 275 families across Washington State.

Learn more about our services and achievements in the Washington MLP report.

Our Partnership Structure

While Washington MLP is administratively based at Seattle Children’s, it is comprised of four healthcare sites and one legal aid partner. The healthcare sites contract with the Northwest Justice Project (NJP) Main Office in Seattle, WA where a dedicated team of MLP attorneys serves patients with civil legal needs. The MLP attorneys from NJP work alongside healthcare teams to remove the barriers to better care for their patients.