TBA Law Blog


Posted by: Elizabeth Todaro on Apr 2, 2015

Medical Legal Partnership

TBA President Jonathan Steen (third from left) gathers with Legal Aid staff and MLP supporters at the March 30 education event in Nashville. Pictured (from left) are Gary Housepian, Executive Director of Legal Aid of Middle Tennessee & the Cumberlands (LAS); Benjamin Danford of Legal Aid of East Tennessee (LAET); Steen; Charlie McDaniel of LAET; Emily Lay of LAET; Chay Sengkhounmany of CINA Nashville; Brian Frye of LAET; and Audrey Dorrough Seamon of LAS.


Close to 100 lawyers and medical professionals from across Tennessee gathered Monday to learn about partnership opportunities between medical community and legal providers that can benefit vulnerable individuals. Produced by the TBA Access to Justice Committee and its Medical-Legal Partnership Working Group, the program was held at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and provided an introduction to Medical-Legal Partnerships (MLPs) and how to promote these programs in Tennessee. It also offered continuing education credit to both the lawyers and physicians in attendance.  

Monday’s event was one aspect of TBA President Jonathan Steen’s initiative to increase support for MLPs in Tennessee and highlighted the potential to improve patients’ health status through integrated medical care and legal support, especially for patients from disadvantaged backgrounds. Presenters included national leaders in the MLP community along with local attorneys and physicians working to implement partnerships in Tennessee.

Dr. Robert Pettignano, professor of pediatrics at Emory University and medical director for the Health Law Partnership in Atlanta, discussed various models and logistics for implementing MLPs.

Charles McDaniel of Legal Aid of East Tennessee addressed the intersection of access to justice initiatives and MLPs and presented a hospital-based model currently operating at Erlanger Health Systems in Chattanooga.

The event also included a panel discussing different aspects of implementing and sustaining MLPs: Dr. Robert Miller, Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center; Professor Daniel Schaffzin, University of Memphis School of Law; and Chay Sengkhounmany, CINA of Nashville. 

Learn more about Medical-Legal Partnership and TBA’s Working Group

Medical Legal Partnership

Dr. Robert Pettignano from the Health Law Partnership in Atlana presents an introduction to Medical-Legal Partnership at the March 30 event at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville.