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Community-partnered legal services for low-income patients advances health equity



UCLA CTSI News Archive

MCLP Los Angeles Legal Team

UCLA CTSI is excited to share a new report about Los Angeles County’s novel Medical-Legal Community Partnership (MLCP), which provides no-cost civil legal help to low-income patients in a healthcare setting. The program launched in 2018 at the L.A. County Department of Health Services, the second-largest county health system in the US. 

The report describes how the program helped address patients’ social needs and explains some lessons learned from implementationincluding during the pandemic. As one key example, patients’ legal issues changed during the pandemic, and the MLCP lawyers also shifted how they delivered legal services.

“The COVID-19 pandemic made clear what health advocates have known for decades: poverty has a direct–and devastating–impact on health. MLCP-LA was founded to address these disparities, and I am so proud of how we worked together to respond to our clients’ growing, critical needs. I hope this report can serve as a roadmap for the development of medical-legal partnerships during a public health emergency,” said Gerson Sorto, Esq., supervising attorney for Medical-Legal Community Partnerships, when interviewed by the National Center for Medical Legal Partnerships. 

UCLA was the evaluation partner which entailed conducting the evaluation plan, statistical analysis and writing the report. UCLA contributors included CTSI co-director and CTSI Community Engagement and Research Program (CERP) co-leader, Dr. Arleen Brown. Additional CERP personnel acknowledged in the report included program director, Stefanie Vassar, associate program director, Savanna Carson and programmer, Jessica Jara.

Take a look at the report and share it widely with your networks. 

Please reach out with any questions to cerp@mednet.ucla.edu

The Los Angeles Medical-Legal Community Partnership is comprised of the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services in partnership with Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County, Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, Mental Health Advocacy Services and Bet Tzedek Legal Services.