Legal Aid Can Improve Health
Collaboration between attorneys and health care providers solves problems in patients’ lives and leads to more holistic care. Our medical-legal partnerships have been changing lives in WNC since 2006 by identifying and addressing “social determinants of health,” the conditions in the places where people live, learn, work and play that affect a wide range of health risks and outcomes.
We address problems like access to care, substandard housing, and domestic violence that exacerbate illness and injury and can reduce the effectiveness of treatment plans.
When patients’ housing, educational, safety and financial needs are met, medical interventions can have optimal impact. Moreover, the need for ongoing medical care may be decreased.
Resource Intensive Comprehensive Case Management Team (RICCM)
A partnership between VAYA, Mission Health, RHA Behavioral Health, Inc., and Pisgah Legal Services (PLS) offering case management and legal services to high emergency department users with behavioral health needs.
PLS helps these clients secure Social Security Disability benefits, often through the SOAR program, and also addresses other legal needs.
Western North Carolina Community Health Services (WNCCHS)
In 2022, PLS and WNCCHS created a partnership to offer all PLS services to WNCCHS patients through an on-site Medical Legal Partnership Staff Attorney.