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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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HJA SHARES INSIGHTS AND TOOLS DURING SCHOOL-BASED HEALTH ALLIANCE WEBINAR

During a webinar hosted by the School-Based Health Alliance, members of HJA’s leadership team, Ana M. Caskin, MD, and Lisa Kessler, MBA, explained how School-Based Health Centers can work with medical-legal partnerships to provide patients with legal services for issues that directly affect their health, better organize their services and programs to address the social determinants of health and further increase the efficacy of health interventions.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Cura Communitas: Building Health Equity in D.C.

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

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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.

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HJA highlighted at Georgetown’s annual Holiday Open House

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