The Medical-Legal Partnership for Children in Hawai'i is a unique collaboration between the William S. Richardson School of Law (University of Hawai'i at Mānoa) and Kōkua Kalihi Valley Comprehensive Family Services, a community health center. We seek to address and improve the social determinants of health that impact child and family well-being.
Since April of 2009, MLPC lawyers and doctors have worked on-site at KKV health center to provide direct legal services to over 450 families. MLPC attorneys and law students often meet with families right in the exam rooms, while children wait for their vaccinations and booster shots. MLPC has reached hundreds more through "Know Your Rights" outreach and educational workshops.
MLPC also partners with the communities we serve to identify and address systemic advocacy and health policy issues. This includes working with the Micronesian community to advocate for access to federally-funded healthcare and collaborating with immigrant families, civil rights attorneys, and other advocates to ensure language access rights. We also train UH Law and other graduate students in this model of direct service and public health policy issues, developing a robust curriculum alongside other UH Schools and Departments.
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Our work was featured in the University of Hawaii's Alumni Magazine (August 2014), and in UH Law School's 40th Anniversary magazine (May 2013) and newsletter (Fall 2014). Click to see!
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