We have made lots of progress in the last couple of years on bringing in public libraries as partners and access points for legal information.
Its time to think about other such partners. Given that money is going to be moving to community based health centers under health care reform, (doubling usage) and given that the new head of the DOJ Access to Justice Initiative has a deep background in this area, it would surely make sense for us to push forward in this area.
Just as LSC is funding templates for online public library-based legal information access points, so we should be building such models for health centers. It would make sense to build at least conceptual designs as soon as possible.
This initiative would work well with the range of emerging medical-legal partnerships, (although it does not necessarily need to be limited to them).
Indeed, there is now an organization of medical legal partnerships — a natural partner in such an initiative — How about a Online Medical Legal Information Initiative? From the Partnership’s website: Medical-legal partnerships integrate lawyers as a vital component of the healthcare team. Through direct service, transforming institutions and influencing policy change, MLPs address the non-medical determinants of health, including income supports for food insecure families, utility shut-off protection during cold winter months, and mold removal from the home of asthmatics.)
Lets make it happen.