Community Legal Services Recognizes Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia with Equal Justice Award

Published on in CHOP News

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) is honored to receive the Equal Justice Award from Community Legal Services (CLS), recognizing our Family Justice Partnership for its ongoing accomplishment in addressing legal matters that impact the health and well-being of patient families.

The Family Justice Partnership marries pediatric healthcare with CLS’s legal work by placing attorneys directly at CHOP’s Karabots Pediatric Care Center, which provides pediatric primary care services to over 30,000 patients per year, a large majority of whom are low-income and faced with substantial legal needs that would otherwise be financially difficult to address.

“This achievement is the result of many people who have demonstrated a collective commitment to advancing the health and wellness of children and their families,” said Peter Grollman, Senior Vice President of External Affairs at CHOP. “The Family Justice Partnership is a multi-partner collaboration created to address the social needs of our patients who face a number health inequities.” Alongside CHOP providers, social workers and a program coordinator, community partners include Community Legal Services and the University of Pennsylvania Law School’s Interdisciplinary Child Advocacy Clinic, who together help to address the legal needs of families in order to promote positive health outcomes.

In 2015, CHOP began a medical-legal partnership pilot, which grew into its formal program, the Family Justice Partnership. Since its founding, the mission of the Family Justice Partnership has been to provide free legal services to address patient and families’ critical legal needs that impact health, such as access to financial benefits, inadequate housing, employment matters, and support with obtaining or maintaining utilities.

“Medical-legal partnerships help clinicians, case managers and social workers address the structural problems at the root of so many health inequities,” added Grollman.

The Partnership emphasizes housing habitability work, to ensure that children and families can live in housing that's free of mold, lead, and pests, primarily in West Philadelphia. More than 1,300 families have been assisted by since its founding in April 2018. 

The Family Justice Partnership also collaborates with CHOP’s Healthier Together Initiative, which address the social determinants of health for children and families living in West Philadelphia.

Contact: Joey McCool Ryan, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, (267) 258-6735 or mccool@chop.edu


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