The physical, mental, and social well-being of individuals and families is particularly vulnerable when problems pertaining to their life conditions persist. These conditions are commonly referred to as social determinants of health. In Philadelphia, many families’ socio-legal needs are unmet. As a result, the high-quality healthcare that community health centers are equipped to provide is hampered by the absence of critical legal advocacy.
Through her Emerging Leader Fellowship, Maggie Eisen worked with the Health Federation of Philadelphia to lay the foundation for and bring to scale an innovative, inter-professional healthcare delivery model that integrates legal staff into the community health center (CHC) setting. This model, known as “Medical-Legal Partnership” (MLP), is consistent with the Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) model of healthcare delivery. Maggie conducted an assessment of the types and volume of unmet legal needs among pediatric patients in Philadelphia CHCs, gathered best practices and lessons learned from MLPs in other jurisdictions, and established an advisory committee for the model. She created an operational plan for a pilot MLP, compiled a report featuring recommendations for bringing a Philadelphia MLP model to scale, and disseminated her findings locally and nationally.