June 12, 2018
St. Peter’s Health Partners (SPHP) in New York’s Capital Region recognized how patients with serious medical conditions often encounter legal problems that present barriers to their recovery. For example, patients with advanced cancer may need legal assistance relating to benefits, housing, employment, wills, advance directives, custody and more. To address this growing need, SPHP last year joined with the Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York and Albany Law School to form a Medical-Legal Partnership (MLP). The SPHP MLP offers free legal services to low-income patients with qualifying health-related legal problems. Drawing on the design and experience of MLPs elsewhere across the country, (see http://medical-legalpartnership.org/), the SPHP MLP established formal rules regarding eligible patients, eligible legal problems, and the referral and acceptance process.