Posted Wednesday, January 3rd, 2018
Legal Services of Northwest Jersey and Zufall Health are announcing a new medical-legal collaborative project, known as HEAL, that will provide education, case management and legal assistance to low-income Morris County residents.
This innovative pilot program has been made possible by funding provided by the Morris County Board of Freeholders.
“These are important services for our residents in need, and we thank Legal Services and Zufall Health for recognizing and addressing these residents,” said Freeholder Kathy DeFillippo, who is the county governing board’s liaison on human services issues in Morris County.
The medical-legal partnership model recognizes that medical wellness and recovery can be negatively impacted by social factors, such as lack of adequate income, lack of safe housing, and lack of sufficient medical insurance or other third-payer assistance.
A 2015 survey of medical-legal partnerships found that patients who received legal assistance reported improved access to housing and utilities, personal and family stability, and income and insurance needs.
While there are almost 300 medical-legal partnerships nationwide involving hospitals, health centers, schools, legal services organizations, and law schools, HEAL is the first medical-legal partnership focused solely on the needs of people of limited means residing in Morris County.
HEAL will address the legal needs of Zufall’s patients through a collaboration of healthcare and legal professionals. This program will be based at the Zufall Wellness Center at 85 Washington Street, Morristown. At the outset, HEAL will focus on legal issues involving housing, income maintenance and domestic abuse.