The Health, Education and Legal assistance Project: A Medical-Legal Partnership at Widener University (“HELP: MLP”) provides free civil legal services to individuals in order to improve their overall health and well-being. Our work would not be possible, however, without the assistance of our partners, who provide invaluable support and resources:
The Foundation for Delaware County
The Foundation for Delaware County, located in Chester, PA, provides several high impact, evidence-based public health programs that save lives in Delaware County. HELP: MLP is partnered with its Healthy Start and Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) programs. The Foundation provides comprehensive services for pregnant women, and families of young children age 0-24 months. Embedded in the Chester community since 1997, Healthy Start has contributed to a reduction in the infant mortality rate for southeastern Delaware County to 15.7/1000 for black non-Hispanics, 4.3/1000 for Hispanics and 2.5/1000 for white non-Hispanics. For comparison, in 1995 the black non-Hispanic infant mortality rate was 22/1000 in southeastern Delaware County.
Healthy Start seeks to provide holistic services to women and families in order to reduce rates of infant mortality. In 2010, it was one of three Healthy Start projects nationwide to be awarded funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration to integrate attorneys to increase family advocacy. HELP: MLP works closely with Healthy Start and NFP and their clients, addressing unmet legal needs in an effort to reduce stress and improve overall health outcomes through access to greater resources and legal assistance.
Philadelphia Nurse-Family Partnership and Mabel Morris Family Home Visit Program
The National Nurse-Led Care Consortium operates the Nurse-Family Partnership and Mabel Morris Family Home Visit Program in Philadelphia County. Philadelphia NFP works to partner expecting mothers with nurses who, through an intensive home visitation model, work to not only provide care, but assess a family’s needs for additional services through the child’s first two years of life.
This model has been shown to produce a number of important outcomes, including improved prenatal health, increased maternal employment, and decreased involvement with the juvenile and adult criminal justice systems. Nurses working closely with expecting mothers through home visits can effectively identify unmet civil legal needs, connecting them to HELP: MLP’s experienced attorneys, who can provide invaluable assistance that reduces maternal stress and leads to greater health outcomes for both children and mothers.