"The Nursing-Legal Partnership has made me more effective at my job, for sure. I have a better understanding of clients’ rights
and the ways they can advocate for themselves.” - Philadelphia Nurse-Family Partnership home visiting nurse
When nurses and lawyers work together, it's a powerful combination. The Nursing-Legal Partnership (NLP) fully integrates health and legal staff. Lawyers are housed on-site in the same offices with maternal-child public health nurses. Trainings have prepared the entire nursing staff to spot potential legal issues impacting family health. Nurse-attorney consultations happen nearly every day at the lunch table and around the water cooler.
Since NLP was launched, nurses say they are more effective at their jobs, and better equipped to address social determinants of health.
Michelle Blain is a first-time mother enrolled in Philadelphia Nurse-Family Partnership. Since 2016, she has worked with NLP Managing Attorney Jordan Mickman to address unsafe living conditions in a rental apartment, including faulty plumbing, mold, no heat, and no fire alarm system. After representing Michelle in Municipal Court and later on appeal to the Court of Common Pleas, the court ordered the landlord to refund $9,600 in rent payments to Michelle. The NLP legal team is now working on enforcing the judgment (i.e., making the landlord pay the judgment) for Michelle.
Michelle (pictured at left, with NLP attorney Rachel Mark) was recently featured in a news article published on March 16 by PlanPhilly, a project of Philadelphia public broadcasting station WHYY. She tells her story in the online feature "To Reduce Unfair Evictions, Tenants Need Lawyers."
Welcoming Gabriella Kim as NLP Nurse Liaison
Gabriella received her BSN from the University of Pennsylvania and has worked in the field as a Philadelphia Nurse-Family Partnership nurse for three years. In her new role as NLP Nurse Liaison, Gabriella (pictured at right with a proud Philadelphia Nurse-Family Partnership graduate) will serve as a bridge between legal staff and nursing staff. Read her bio on the Nursing-Legal Partnership staff page.
Public Health Nurses Active on Policy Issues
In March 2017, Philadelphia Nurse-Family Partnership home visitor Erin Blair testified twice in front of Philadelphia City Council during public hearings on Philadelphia's eviction crisis. Erin shared client stories and described how homelessness impacts the health of mothers and babies.
Members of the NLP team will present at the Annual Medical-Legal Partnership Summit in Maryland next month. Visit the poster session and receptionon April 6 or the Partnering with Home Visiting Programspresentation on April 7 to hear from NLP staff and evaluators. Please reach out to Dr. Katherine Kinsey at email@example.com if you would like to connect at the Summit.