TBA Earns Top National Award for MLP Program

INDIANAPOLIS, April 7, 2016 — The TBA today received the 2016 ABA Outstanding Pro Bono Advocacy Award in Medical-Legal Partnership from the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service.

The Award was presented in recognition of the TBA’s outstanding leadership in promoting medical-legal partnerships to the legal community, engaging volunteer lawyers and identifying and building relationships within the medical profession, in part through the  formation of a Medical-Legal Partnership Working Group.

Medical-Legal Partnerships include a variety of collaborative models that incorporate both  health care and legal organizations to address a patient’s health care needs that cannot be remedied by medical intervention alone. MLPs represent a concerted effort to align critical legal services with health care delivery for underserved and at-risk populations while raising awareness and understanding that legal issues are at the root of so many health care issues, from inadequate housing to access to public benefits to domestic violence.

MLPs integrate the expertise from both the medical and legal communities to address and prevent legal issues from having a negative impact on a client. Through these partnerships, the priority becomes  responding to the social determinants of health. Just as a health care provider may make a referral to another specialist based on a particular medical diagnosis, a patient can be referred to a lawyer for screening or assistance for a legal issue.

The TBA’s MLP Working Group was established in 2014 to focus on these unique programs and to consider how the TBA might support their development, growth and sustainability. This group includes individuals from civil legal aid organizations, private attorneys, in-house and  corporate counsel, physicians and representatives from Tennessee’s medical and hospital professional associations and continues to explore opportunities and best practices for supporting and expanding the reach of MLPs in Tennessee.

Past TBA President Jonathan Steen and MLP Working Group Chair Charlie McDaniel accepted the award on behalf of the TBA during the Annual MLP Summit, this year held in Indianapolis. 

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