Advocating for Policy Change: Examples Emerging From a Medical-Legal Partnership in Primary Care

The authors studied the impact of integrating legal services into healthcare settings. They focused on advocacy initiatives arising from the Health Justice Program, a collaboration between the St. Michael’s Hospital Academic Family Health Team, Neighbourhood Legal Services, and other local community legal aid clinics.

Over a four-year period (2015-2018), seven distinct cases of policy advocacy emerged from the program, covering disability support, workplace reviews, citizenship barriers, housing, medication programs, safe injection sites, and social assistance.

The findings show that a medical-legal partnership results in policy advocacy, addressing issues from both the health and legal teams, with likely greater impact than if each group had acted alone.

This study outlines how medical-legal partnerships can identify and address social determinants of health through policy advocacy.



Authors: Nishwa Shah, Kim Radford, Steve Durant, Rami Shoucri, Jennifer Stone, Navindra Persaud, Andrew D. Pinto

Year: 2024