March 21, 2022

Grant improves housing stability and advances health equity

Medical-legal partnerships will address legal factors that contribute to poor health.

Contact: Laura M. Lott
808-343-2406 (mobile)

HONOLULU — Kaiser Permanente announced a $150,000 grant to Legal Aid Society of Hawaii to establish medical-legal partnerships. This initiative is part of a national $4 million grant to advance housing security through Kaiser Permanente’s fund at the East Bay Community Foundation. The grant will help clinical and legal aid partners, National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership and HealthBegins, establish medical-legal partnerships in at least 5 Kaiser Permanente regions, including Hawaii. Medical-legal partnerships add legal advisors to medical care teams to address legal issues that contribute to poor health, including substandard housing and housing insecurity.

HealthBegins and NCMLP will help organizations develop, launch, and evaluate medical-legal partnerships. Locally, the grant will enable Legal Aid Society of Hawaii to conduct a data analysis and infrastructure assessment that will lay a foundation for medical-legal partnership initiatives and educate legal aid providers more broadly.

“Unjust housing and housing instability are at the root of many health inequities. Taking care of one’s health comes second when access to a safe and stable home is limited,” said Greg Christian, Hawaii market president, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals. “We’re proud to partner with Legal Aid Society of Hawaii to advance health equity in historically marginalized communities.”

Health and well-being are directly influenced by a wide range of legal needs, especially in the areas of housing. Medical-legal partnerships have demonstrated success in improving health outcomes, lowering rates of hospitalization, and improving housing stability for patients. This is the first time a private, national, integrated health care organization has committed to investing in medical-legal partnerships at this scale.

About Kaiser Permanente

Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, Kaiser Permanente has a mission to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve 12.5 million members in 8 states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal Permanente Medical Group physicians, specialists, and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery, and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education, and the support of community health.