The Walter Rand Institute and Rutgers-Camden Law School recently concluded a legal needs assessment of patients at the Cooper Rowan Clinic (CRC) and Camden Coalition of Healthcare providers (CCHP) Link2Care Initiative. WRI was contracted to determine the legal needs of a sample of patients at these locations. To complete this work, WRI researchers conducted focus groups and surveys with staff members at both sites, as well as short surveys designed to elicit a better understanding of medical patients’ needs. Researchers found similar needs at both locations, including assistance paying for medical bills, access to health/medical care, and securing stable housing.
The last several years have seen a wave of legally-informed care for vulnerable and disadvantaged patients expand across the country. Based on the strategic idea that legal problems can impede a patient’s ability to follow medical directives, Medical-Legal Partnerships (MLPs) are being developed. MLPs work to detect and address legal issues that impact the health and well-being of individuals. Backed by theoretical research and documented success, MLPs incorporate legal representation at medical institutions in order to improve patients’ health outcomes. The findings in the report highlight the need for a Medical-legal Partnership to serve Camden City and neighboring areas.