Going beyond health care to end the vicious cycle in which
illness and disease are both cause and consequence of poverty
The Mount Sinai Medical-Legal Partnership (MSMLP) provides legal services for Mount Sinai’s most vulnerable and needy patients, in order to address and resolve the legal and social issues that often contribute to their poor health. By addressing the non-medical determinants of illness, MSMLP is working to improve the overall health of our community and end the vicious cycle in which illness and disease are both cause and consequence of poverty.
Our Patients' Needs
MSMLP is present in each of our six hospitals addressing a wide range of factors that impact our patients’ health. The most common cases relate to housing, immigration, income maintenance and end of life issues. There are many laws that establish rights related to these problems but, whereas people of means have access to a lawyer to exercise these rights, the thousands of Mount Sinai patients that live below the poverty line seldom have access to a lawyer. It is well established that the vast majority of low income individuals, as many as 70 per cent, do not have access to lawyers even for such critical matters as child custody and immigration. When the health of the individual is jeopardized, the lack of legal help is even more important.