The Nursing Center for Community Health at UA has received a $50,000 grant over 18 months from the National Nursing Centers Consortium. The grant will facilitate medical-legal partnerships for the patients that visit the clinic.
Some of the patients The Nursing Center for Community Health sees are often underinsured, and many were uninsured before the Affordable Care Act was passed. They treat non-emergency needs such as arthritis, diabetes, breathing problems and many more to the vulnerable and underprivileged members of the community.
The organization believes that health and wellbeing are also affected by factors such as environment, income, and social conditions rather than just diseases and viruses. The medical-legal partnership with Community Legal Aid of Akron will help those in need with legal representation to ensure their constant wellbeing.
“Such help might be for a patient who is in a legal dispute with their landlord over utilities, we’ll put them in touch with a lawyer who will help them,” said Annette Mitzel, director of The Nursing Center for Community Health. They also hope to be working with UA’s School of Law in some of these legal matters as well.
The clinic has six total locations, with the main branch at Mary Gladwyn Hall. A few of their other locations include The Village Clinic, The Care Clinic at Bridges, and The Haven of Rest.
At each location there are nurse practitioners who are able to treat certain illnesses without the supervision of a doctor.
“Wherever there’s a nurse, there’s potentially a student with them at the clinics,” Mitzel said. They also have nurse practitioners at homeless shelters, community health centers, and inner city high rise apartment buildings.
“These are access points for health care to the vulnerable in the community,” Mitzel said. This medical-legal grant and partnership is not yet available at these satellite locations, but they plan on making it available in the future.
The medical-legal partnership has yet to begin but is expected to begin late in the year and start offering legal help along with medical help to the Akron community.