Restoring Justice: Integrating Legal Care into Oregon’s Healthcare Systems

Combining the power of law and medicine

Treating illness by treating symptoms is healthcare that comes too late. Social and environmental factors—things like the availability of health insurance, working conditions, housing conditions, income level, and personal and family stability—often determine the underlying health of a community long before a doctor’s visit turns up a specific issue. In response, medical providers have been forming partnerships with legal aid providers to move toward a more complete vision of healthcare.

These medical-legal partnerships get at the root of medical problems impacting low-income communities by seeking solutions to wider systemic problems through legal and policy changes. Medical-legal partnerships bring lawyers into the health care setting to help individual patients, while helping medical providers navigate the legal system and transform policy and practice.

Legal Aid Services of Oregon and Kaiser Permanente have recently formed such a partnership. In today’s video, meet two advocates doing the work. Shannon Garcia, a staff attorney at Legal Aid Services of Oregon, and Althea Ender, a community clinic integrator at Kaiser Permanente, work hard every day so that Oregonians will have access to justice as they face complex health-related legal needs.

“The legal system is often viewed as a very fixed entity,” says Garcia, “but this partnership has given us the opportunity to rethink how we approach the work and how we approach the problems as they’re emerging.”

By making a donation today, you’ll help legal aid attorneys and health care providers respond to the needs of low-income Oregonians with holistic legal and medical care.

Your donation helps ensure that this medical-legal partnership can continue to address legal problems that impact the health of low-income communities. Your support helps advocates like Shannon and Althea seek solutions to wider systemic problems through legal and policy changes.

The Campaign for Equal Justice invites our entire legal community–including you–to join us in restoring justice in Oregon. If you have already donated, thank you! Your support is making a difference.

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