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Texas Children's Hospital Is First In Houston To Introduce New Medical-legal Partnership To Bring Sick Children Critical Legal Assistance

Houston Volunteer Lawyers and Walmart support launch of program

HOUSTON, Nov. 1, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Texas Children's Hospital and the Houston Bar Association's Houston Volunteer Lawyers today announced the formation of a medical-legal partnership (MLP) that will provide Texas Children's low-income patients and patient-families with critical legal assistance.  This is the first partnership of its kind to be offered in the Houston area.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20121101/DC04645)

Through the program, a dedicated Houston Volunteer Lawyers staff attorney will provide legal advice and representation to Texas Children's patients and their families with assistance from outside pro bono lawyers.  The project is being funded in part by a donation from Walmart, which created a successful MLP with Arkansas Children's Hospital last year with plans to expand the benefits of MLPs to other major pediatric hospitals nationwide.

"It has always been our mission to help low-income children with all of their medical needs and this program is just another example of how we are doing that," said Mark A. Wallace, president and CEO of Texas Children's Hospital.  "We appreciate the generous gift from Walmart for this beneficial medical-legal partnership that will bring much-needed support to these children who do not have another place to turn for this type of legal assistance."  

MLP is a unique health-care delivery model that brings physicians and lawyers together to tackle health issues that have legal, rather than medical solutions.  This could include negotiating with a landlord to address sub-standard living conditions, such as a mold infestation triggering a child's asthma; helping a family secure Medicaid payment for a specialized wheelchair or home nursing services; or preparing legal guardianships to allow parents to continue making health care decisions for their children with special needs after they turn 18.  

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