What if a doctor could prescribe safe housing for a cancer patient, money to feed a malnourished family, or a change in the law that would allow someone with a disability to live in their own home? That is exactly what the Health and Justice Initiative is seeking to do – assist healthcare providers in using the law as a tool to lower costs and improve health.
Lawyers and doctors are not always thought of as being on the same team. However, our legal advocates are putting these stereotypes aside to train healthcare and social service providers to spot health-harming legal needs and how legal professionals work with the healthcare team to address them. The underlying goal is to work to address the “social determinants of health” that perpetuate the cycle of poverty. As defined by the CDC, the social determinants of health are: “The circumstances in which people are born, grow up, live, work, and age, as well as the systems put in place to deal with illness.” We recently formed a powerhouse of a team that serves as the Health & Justice Initiative Advisory Committee.
An important part of this work is finding willing partners to maximize the benefits of the collaboration. The Center for Justice is working with amazing sponsors, organizations, institutions, and professionals on the following projects, helping to make Spokane a leader in innovative ways to meet the needs of our community: