Justice and Health Partnerships

Why are we promoting justice & health?

It is now commonly accepted that people’s physical and mental health is heavily influenced by the “social determinants of health” – that is, the environment where you live, learn, and work. There is also a growing body of research describing the negative impact of health-harming legal needs, which generally overlap with the social determinants of health. For example, mold in an apartment is not only a health issue, but also a legal issue, as landlords are required to maintain housing in a good state of repair. Similarly, a person being cut off disability benefits gives rise to a legal issue, but it is also a critical health issue as it impacts their ability to pay for basic necessities like medication, food, and rent.

Justice & Health Partnerships (“JHPs”), also known as “Medical Legal Partnerships” in the United States, and “Health Justice Partnerships” in Australia and the United Kingdom, are innovative collaborations between healthcare providers and legal professionals that help both individuals and communities to resolve legal problems impacting their health. They are designed to build legal awareness and literacy, increase timely access to legal services, reduce health disparities, and improve health outcomes.

CALC’s JHP has been in operation since January 2016. We have provided training for over 250 healthcare professionals on how to spot legal issues and how to confidently make timely referrals to appropriate legal help. Referrals from healthcare professionals have increased ten-fold since our project began. In 2019 we received our 750th referral. If you’d like to make a referral or get some information on behalf of a patient, please see the link in the sidebar called “how to make a referral.”

You can watch this video to hear our health partners speak about their experience with the project and its impact on their patients. You can also read more about our project by clicking the link in the sidebar called “CALC project resources and reports”.