LMH-legal partnership helping patients where they are
by Caroline Trowbridge, Lawrence Memorial Hospital
Lawrence Memorial Hospital patients have a new advocate, thanks to the medical-legal partnership between the hospital and the University of Kansas Law School.
Julianne Moreland Davee, who directs the 14-month-old program, told the LMH Trustees that she and interns have helped about 200 patients, who have been referred to her by departments and practices across the LMH healthcare family.
“They understand this partnership is working for patients,” said Davee, who operates from a former patient room on 3-North, which allows her immediate access to patients who need her help.
The type of legal aid Davee has provided ranges from writing advanced directives and protection orders to ensuring a utility company restored service to a cardiology patient.
“We meet patients where they are,” she said. “They have trouble with transportation, so they can see their doctors and their lawyers at the same time.”
She expects use of the program to continue to expand.
“Our referral numbers have doubled from the first two quarters of the partnership,” she said. “We are really doing phenomenal work together.”
Andy Ramirez, LMH’s attorney, praised the work of Davee and the law student interns who have volunteered about 1,000 hours since the program’s inception. He also thanked former trustee John Bullock, who pushed for the program at LMH.
“I remember when this was first brought up at a board meeting, and there were lots of questions and a healthy dose of skepticism about this,” he said. “What was projected to happen has, in fact, happened.”