Medical-Legal Partnership and Community Commons
Lehigh Valley Health Network’s (LVHN) Department of Community Health received support from The Dorothy Rider Pool Health Care Trust for a Medical-Legal Partnership and a Community Commons initiative.
The Medical-Legal Partnership (MLP) is a model that places lawyers in a health care site to provide assistance when social and legal issues surface as barriers to personal and family health. For example, when low-income patients reference mold and mildew problems in their apartment, the legal assistance can prompt landlords to resolve the issue that served as a trigger for the child with pediatric asthma. An attorney and paralegal from North Penn Legal Services (NPLS) have been assigned to oversee the MLP at LVHN.
Community Commons is a data platform tool that provides access to thousands of sources of public data, allows participating organizations to safely and securely upload local data, and allows users to layer and map data in a way that can provide a deeper, and in some cases, neighborhood-level assessment of needs. The ability to merge and analyze data at a neighborhood level provides users with a better understanding of the issues that influence health and will lead to better use of resources and greater ability to measure progress. The tool can be applied to many health factors including obesity, education, housing, opioid use, and mental health.