Perinatal LAW’s Medical Partner, MedStar Washington Hospital Center, Wins America’s Essential Hospitals’ 2024 Gage Award for Population Health

The award recognizes activities focused on social determinants of health, such as food insecurity, homelessness, language barriers, and other socioeconomic factors. Through its Safe Babies Safe Moms program MedStar Washington Hospital Center’s Women’s and Infants’ Services (WIS) collaborates with partner organizations, including the Perinatal LAW Project, to address patients’ social and legal needs.

Read the press release.

Watch the video about WIS’ efforts, which includes Perinatal LAW MLP Director Roxana Richardson.

AMA Urges Funding to Expand MLPs Across the U.S. to Address the Maternal Health Crisis, Cites P-LAW

The American Medical Association (AMA) released recommendations to the Administration and Congress for improving maternal health that recognized the value of medical-legal partnerships and specifically highlighted P-LAW (page 6). Read the recommendations. additionally, in an April 11 letter to HHS Secretary Becerra, the AMA referred to P-LAW by name in its recommendations to support perinatal MLPs to address social determinants of health (page 4).

Cancer LAW and Perinatal LAW Testify at the DC Council Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety’s Budget Oversight Hearing

Cancer LAW MLP Director Allison Dowling, Cancer LAW client Toni Monteiro, and Perinatal LAW Medical Champion Loral Patchen advocated for continued Access to Justice funding that supports both MLPs and other critical civil legal services projects in the District.

Allison Dowling’s Testimony

Toni Monteiro’s Testimony

Loral Patchen’s Testimony

Black Maternal Health Week and the ‘Safe Babies, Safe Moms’ program

P-LAW’s Medical Champion, Loral Patchen highlighted the Safe Babies Safe Moms Program and P-LAW’s work to improve health outcomes through legal advocacy during a Black Maternal Health Week segment on Fox5DC.

The Lawyer Who’s Training the Next Generation To Fight for Vulnerable Communities’ Health

HJA Faculty Director Vicki Girard featured as part of Georgetown Faces, a storytelling series that celebrates the beloved figures, unsung heroes and dedicated Hoyas who make our campus special. Read the article.

‘The help is out there’ | DC hospital and law school team up to give expectant mothers help beyond the hospital

WUSA9 featured MedStar’s Safe Babies Safe Moms and HJA’s Perinatal LAW Project collaboration to improve health outcomes for Black pregnant people in D.C. Read and watch the story.

Cancer LAW featured in December 2023 issue of Washington Lawyer

Read the article.

Researchers at MedStar Health and Georgetown Law Find Success in Integrating Lawyers Into Care Teams to Support Pregnant and Postpartum Patients

Medical-legal partnerships (MLPs), which include a lawyer as part of a patient’s care team, can help health systems address health-harming legal needs and better support pregnant and postpartum patients, according to a new research commentary published in Obstetrics & Gynecology. The article offers insights and expert advice from Georgetown University Health Justice Alliance’s Perinatal Legal Assistance and Wellbeing (LAW) Project at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, one of the first medical-legal partnerships in the country to focus specifically on the perinatal period.

Read the press release.

Cancer LAW featured in Ralph Lauren Center for Cancer Prevention’s Minority Health Matters Summer 2023 Newsletter

Read the newsletter.

Early Data From MedStar Health Suggests Addressing Social Risk Factors Through Screening, Support Services, and Digital Tools Can Support Improved Maternal Health

Research by Georgetown Law in partnership with MedStar Health Research Institute finds that legal support to patients with unmet legal needs can be a powerful tool to help address maternal health disparities, particularly among birthing individuals who are a part of historically marginalized or underserved communities and are at a higher risk of poor health outcomes.

Read the article.

The Doctor (and the Lawyer) Will See You Now

Georgetown University Health Justice Alliance’s Perinatal LAW Project presented on its first two years of operation at the during a poster presentation at the 2023 annual meeting of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Read the article.

Ralph Lauren Center for Cancer Prevention — Part of Washington’s Fabric

Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center’s newly dedicated Ralph Lauren Center for Cancer Prevention brings renewed hope that those who have been historically underserved in the Washington, DC, area will now have access to more cancer-related services, potentially turning the tide on the high rate of cancer in the city. A significant grant from the Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation includes support for an HJA lawyer.

Read the story.

Talk Justice Podcast: The Value of Medical-Legal Partnerships

Leaders from Georgetown University’s Health Justice Alliance discuss how the medical-legal partnership (MLP) benefits both law and medical students on the latest episode of the Legal Services Corporation’s podcast, Talk Justice.

Listen to the podcast.

HOYA Summer Medical Academy Inspires School of Health First Year Student

Incoming Georgetown student cites lecture by the Cancer LAW Project’s Allison Dowling as inspiration to enroll in the School of Health. “Her talk showed another side of health equity for me, as well as a career in law that is also at the intersection of health, medicine and policy.”

Read the article.

Perinatal LAW Project Director and Medical Champion featured in D.C. Safe Babies Safe Moms Video

Roxana Richardson, MLP Director of HJA’s Perinatal LAW Project (P-LAW), and Dr. Loral Patchen, Medical Champion for P-LAW, discuss the D.C. Safe Babies Safe Moms initiative and the role of a medical-legal partnership in improving maternal and infant health outcomes in the District of Columbia.

Watch the video.

Law Schools Continue to Answer the Attorney General’s Call to Action for Stronger Access to Justice and Court Reform on Eviction Prevention

HJA’s efforts to respond to the eviction crisis, as part of an effort by law schools nationally to prevent evictions and its harmful consequences are highlighted at the White House and Department of Justice Convening of Law Schools.

Watch the White House and Depart of Justice Convening of Law Schools recording.

Read the fact sheet about law schools’ efforts to respond to the eviction crisis.

Children’s health equity through community care

HJA’s collaboration with the Georgetown Center for Child and Human Development and MedStar Georgetown Division of Community Pediatrics to provide holistic care to children and their families is highlighted in this Georgetown University Health Magazine article.

Read the Georgetown University Health Magazine article.

School of Nursing & Health Studies Undergraduates Enjoy Capitol Applied Learning Labs Experience

School of Health undergraduates participating in HJA @ The CALL share their experiences and learnings.

Read the full article on the School of Health’s website.

Georgetown Leaders and the Health Justice Alliance Issue a Call to Action in The New England Journal of Medicine

Georgetown University’s president and law and medical center deans join HJA’s co-founder and faculty director Vicki Girard in issuing a call-to-action in The New England Journal Of Medicine to other universities and institutions responsible for training the next generation of health and legal professionals.

Read the full GULC story about the call to action. 

Read the Perspective in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Georgetown Faculty, Students Testify in Support of Resolution to Declare Racism a Public Health Crisis in DC

Vicki Girard, Faculty Director of the Health Justice Alliance, testified in support of a proposed resolution declaring racism a public health crisis at a recent DC Council Committee on Health public roundtable.

Read the full story GUMC story about the roundtable.

Stronger Together: Georgetown’s Health Justice Alliance Clinic Unites Law and Medical Students in Learning and Service

Read a featured story in Georgetown Law’s magazine about how Georgetown’s Health Justice Alliance Clinic unites law and medical school students in learning and service.

Read the full Georgetown Law magazine story.

Health Justice Alliance Responds to COVID-19

While COVID-19 exacts its devastating toll across the world, in Washington, DC, the pandemic has deepened the gulf of health disparities and social injustice.

For the students and leaders of Georgetown’s Health Justice Alliance, a collaboration between Georgetown Law and the university’s medical center, the havoc created by the crisis makes their work — using law as a tool to improve individual and community health and well-being — all the more important and impactful.

Read the full COVID-19 GUMC story.

Health Justice Alliance: Supporting D.C.’s Vulnerable Populations through Health and the Law

Law students like Rachel North (L’20) gain valuable experience at the Health Justice Alliance Law Clinic, working alongside medical students and professionals to make a difference in the lives of children living in poverty by addressing issues related to housing conditions, food insecurity, and unmet educational needs.

Read the full story on the Georgetown Law website.

HJA, MedStar Team Honored for Work on Health Equity with AAMC

Vicki Girard, JD, co-director of the Health Justice Alliance, and a team of investigators from the MedStar Health Research Institute, received an award for their collaborative work on a qualitative and quantitative study which explored the effectiveness of medical-legal partnerships in addressing issues of health equity and community health. The study was completed on behalf of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and was presented during the 2019 MedStar Health-Georgetown University Research Symposium.

Read the full Medstar story.

HJA Comments On Study Showing National Declines In Health Equity

Responding to a recent study published in JAMA Network Open, which found that the health of lower-income Americans has declined over the last 25 years, Health Justice Alliance co-director Vicki Girard, JD, and medical director Eileen Moore, MD, spoke with NPR about the importance of policies that address the social determinants of health, or the settings and circumstances that contribute to an individual’s health outcomes.

Read the full NPR story.

Passion For Health Equity Inspires Undergraduate HJA Collaboration

Since she arrived at Georgetown as an undergraduate student in the School of Nursing & Health Studies, Carolyn Hofley (NHS’19, M’23) was passionate about serving others. She combined this passion with an interest in medicine to help launch GU Students for Health and Medical Equity (GUSHME), which partnered with the Health Justice Alliance to create nearly 200 hygiene kits for students at the School-Based Health Center at Anacostia High School.

Read the full story on the Georgetown Medical Center website.


Seeking Social Justice for Patients, Medical Students Turn to the Law

Leveraging their training, a Georgetown University medical and law student teamed up to help a mother obtain the appropriate learning accommodations for a child with special education needs — a task that while crucial, can be relentlessly tedious for any family — much less one that might already be struggling to make ends meet.

Read the full Georgetown Medical Center story.

HJA featured in new resource highlighting the role medical-legal partnerships play in school-based health

The Health Justice Alliance’s collaboration with MedStar Georgetown’s School Health Center at Anacostia High School is featured in a new fact sheet created by the National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership on embedding legal services in school-based health centers.

Read the fact sheet.

Medical-Legal Partnership Makes Health Inroads for D.C. Children

The Health Justice Alliance’s partnership with MedStar Georgetown Community Pediatrics is featured in MedStar Georgetown University Hospital’s 2018 Report to the Community.

Read the Report to the Community.

Building a Systems Approach to Community Health and Health Equity

The Health Justice Alliance is part of a MedStar Georgetown team working with the American Association of Medical Colleges to examine how medical-legal partnerships can help reduce health disparities. Our team joined nine other academic health center teams to present recent activities, successes, and challenges around this project.

Watch the AAMC webinar.

Training Future Doctors To Assess Oral Health

Nearly a year ago when Amanda Corwin (M’20), an aspiring pediatric physician, was asked to lead an oral health disparities research project, she was a bit hesitant. “I’m in medical school, not dental school,” she thought. Today, not only has she taken on the role, but her findings were on display at the MedStar Health Research Symposium on April 30.

As a health justice scholar at the School of Medicine and the daughter of two lawyers, Corwin is also part of Georgetown’s Health Justice Alliance (HJA), a medical-legal partnership that trains future generations of lawyers and medical professionals to work together to improve the health and well-being of children and families. The research, which she did in conjunction with Maya Sandalow, a project researcher who works with the Georgetown Center for Child and Human Development, looked at the effectiveness of an oral health training program for first-year medical students interested in volunteering at HOYA Clinic.

Read the full Oral Health Disparities story.

Georgetown’s Health Justice Alliance, O’Neill Institute Welcome World Bank President Jim Kim

When 2L student Brian Fiske (L’19) was growing up, he was aware that his grandfather, Tom White, was a generous man who wanted to give back to those less fortunate. He remembers reading a 2001 article in Time about White’s extraordinary philanthropy. And at his grandfather’s house in Massachusetts, Fiske got to know several Harvard-trained doctors White was helping. One of the doctors was Jim Yong Kim, now president of the World Bank.

A 2017 documentary, “Bending the Arc,” tells the amazing story of how, with White’s financial support, Kim, Dr. Paul Farmer and activist Ophelia Dahl founded the NGO Partners in Health in the 1980s — and ended up changing health care treatment models in poor countries around the world.

“For my family, this is a very moving and important film,” Fiske said. “I thought it could have an impact on some of the law students.”

So Fiske arranged to bring the film to Georgetown Law on March 7 for a screening, hosted by Georgetown’s Health Justice Alliance and the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law. Even better, Fiske also invited Kim, for a remarkable discussion.

Read the full World Bank story on the Georgetown Law website.

Georgetown Health Justice Alliance honored at the annual Paul Robert Carey Foundation “Shining Spirit” Breakfast

The Health Justice Alliance and HOYA Clinic were honored on December 6, 2017 as the Medical Awardee at the annual Paul Robert Carey Foundation “Shining Spirit” Breakfast in New York. Accepting the award on behalf of Georgetown, Vicki Girard, spoke of Paul’s legacy and of his family’s choice to honor him by helping people battling cancer and other diseases to access vital quality of life needs and services, ”

Like the Carey Foundation, the Health Justice Alliance believes that there is more to health than good health care: the motto of the Medical Center at Georgetown is “cura personalis” or care of the whole person. And consistent with the Carey Foundation’s vision, it recognizes that a lot of being healthy, especially for people living in poverty, has to do with social issues—housing conditions, food security, safety, education, and employment. Which is why the motto of the Law Center is also relevant: law is but the means, justice is the end.”

Georgetown Health Justice Alliance honored as US Marines Campus Heroes on Fox5

The Health Justice Alliance was honored as a “Campus Hero” by Fox 5 morning news for its work in bringing law and medical students together to address the legal barriers to good health facing people living in poverty in Washington, D.C.

Watch the news clip on Fox5.

Annual Colloquim Addresses Health Disparities in D.C.

HJA co-Director Vicki Girard and Dr. Ana Caskin, deputy medical director of the HJA and medical director of the Student Health Center at Anacostia Senior High School, spoke at At “Strategies for Reducing Health Disparities,” a colloquium held as part of the 10th annual GUMC Fall Convocation about the medical-legal partnership model as a way to prevent legal crises that could have health effects and contribute to health disparities.

Read the full GUMC press release.

Cura Communitas: Building Health Equity in D.C.

The Health Justice Alliance’s partnership with the HOYA Clinic was featured in Georgetown Medicine Magazine.

Read the full Georgetown Medicine Magazine story.

Law Class Of 2017 Contributed $81M Worth Of Pro Bono Legal Services

The National Jurist included the Health Justice Alliance as an example of innovative pro bono work being done by law students.

Read the full National Jurist story

HJA highlighted at Georgetown’s annual Holiday Open House

Read the full Open House article.