Five years after its founding, the Eskenazi Health Midtown Community Mental Health Medical-Legal Partnership in Indianapolis is being recognized with a 2015 Outstanding MLP Award from the National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership.
The local partnership was established in 2010 by Eskenazi Health Midtown Community Mental Health and Indiana Legal Services Inc. Jay Chaudhary, director of the partnership at ILS, spearheaded the effort to get the grant money and start the project.
Receiving the award is very gratifying, Chaudhary said, noting all the individuals involved in the partnership are very dedicated, passionate and care about their patient-clients.
He credited the collaborative nature of the partnership with attracting the national honor. Rather than the health care clinic just referring patients to ILS, the social workers and physicians work closely with the attorney to help untangle the legal issue and provide support to the patient.
The cases that ILS handles as part of the partnership range from civil actions like evictions, debt collection and government benefits to filing petitions for expungement of criminal records.
In particular, the National Center recognized the partnership for its work in reversing an Indiana policy that stopped providing Medicaid waivers to many patients who had been dually diagnosed with developmental and mental health issues. These individuals, whom Chaudhary described as some of the most vulnerable, used the waivers to help provide the support services which enabled them to live at home.
The Midtown-ILS team worked together for more than a year and was able to finally get the waivers reinstated without having to go to court.
Eskenazi Health Midtown Community Mental Health Medical-Legal Partnership will receive the award April 9 during the National Center’s annual convention.