Our participatory grantmaking alters the traditional process of philanthropic giving by empowering service providers and community-based organizations to define the strategy around a specific issue area or population.
The Medical Legal-Partnership offers patients at Puentes de Salud, a trusted health care provider, the opportunity to meet with attorneys who provide education, consultation and legal representation. Puentes provides the setting – in addition to their clinic where they offer medical, dental and behavioral health services, they have set aside an office for Justice at Work. In turn, Justice at Work provides community legal education in the waiting room and at special events, legal consultations and legal representation as needed.
They are planning to expand their collaboration to address new areas of law and meet an increased demand for legal assistance at Puentes, as clinic hours increase. Their primary goal to enhance wellness is to decrease the barriers to access faced by many low-income families. By proactively collaborating in a single location, both Puentes and Justice at Work are able to identify and serve community members in need of multiple interventions, thus eliminating barriers that currently prevent the community from resolving problems that touch on multiple disciplines.
The interdisciplinary collaboration between also helps to educate both sets of professionals on a variety of issues that are routinely faced by immigrant communities. The cross training of staff increases the knowledge of all parties, so that legal staff are better able to identify and refer clients in need of medical and behavioral health services and medical staff are better able to identify red flags that could indicate an opportunity to provide a legal intervention for a patient.