Medical Legal Partnership

What We Do

The Medical-Legal Partnership (MLP) is a national model in which healthcare providers screen their patients for health-harming legal needs and connect them to legal support services that can help them resolve issues that may be hurting their health. In Waco, Family Health Center is piloting an MLP program is partnership with Greater Waco Legal Services. With financial support from Episcopal Health Foundation, Family Health Center physicians are asking patients to answer a few simple questions about issues they face that may ultimately impact their health. If patients demonstrate a need for legal help in resolving health-related issues, Family Health Center refers them to Greater Waco Legal Services for support.

Who We Serve

As a federally qualified health center, Family Health Center serves a large percentage of low-income patients in McLennan County. Patients served by Medicaid, CHIP, Medicare, or with no insurance at all, often find themselves struggling financially. These patients often face a range of challenges that keep them from being healthy, and some of these challenges have legal remedies. The Medical-Legal Partnership serves low-income patients who cannot afford an attorney to resolve the issues that are harming their health.

How We Impact

There are a number of common challenges faced by low-income patients that negatively affect their health. Patients (especially children) who live in poor housing conditions are more prone to asthma and similar conditions. Often such housing conditions are the result of a landlord who refuses to properly maintain or repair a rental property. With legal support, these patients can resolve this issue, which both improves the quality of their housing and makes it easier to manage their related health conditions. Low-income patients who have barriers to employment or have been inappropriately denied government benefits face difficult financial decisions, sometimes choosing not to fill their prescriptions so that they can put food on the table. With legal support these issues can be resolved, which in turn allows low-income patients to afford their medical care and basic necessities.

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