The groundbreaking pilot brings critical legal services to vulnerable populations seeking medical assistance throughout the county

LOS ANGELES – Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County and its partners have launched the Medical Legal Community Partnership-LA Health Collaborative, an expansive Medical Legal Partnership that leverages the expertise of Los Angeles’ most prominent legal services organizations to improve health outcomes for individuals, families and communities throughout the County. The project brings critical legal services to Medi-Cal recipients experiencing homelessness, mental illness, and other vulnerabilities that impact their health.

NLSLA, in partnership with the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, Bet Tzedek Legal Services and Mental Health Advocacy Services, has joined the County Department of Health Services’ “Whole Person Care” program—which provides health and social services to the sickest, most vulnerable Medi-Cal recipients—to address the legal issues impacting these populations.

The groundbreaking pilot is the result of the bold vision of former health department director Dr. Mitchell Katz—who looked beyond the traditional delivery of health services to those outside conditions that impact individual, family and community health.

“We are thrilled by the County’s efforts to address barriers that impact health but cannot be treated in a hospital or clinic,” said NLSLA attorney Gerson Sorto, who supervises the project. “We hope to turn this pilot into a permanent part of the county healthcare system, which will significantly improve long-term health outcomes for so many Angelenos.”

The partner organizations have a combined 260 years of effective advocacy experience in areas of law that most impact people living in poverty—including housing, public benefits, healthcare, Immigration, family law and domestic violence, re-entry, special education services, consumer law, Veterans and conservatorships and guardianships. Through individual representation, impact litigation and policy advocacy, these groups seek to improve health and well-being for low-income people in Los Angeles County and across the state.