Texas A&M Legislation College, Kochkinder present free authorized providers to households

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The Fort Worth-based campus of the Texas A&M School of Law.

Texas A&M School of Law.

As part of an ongoing effort to improve the health of every child, Cook Children’s Health Care System is working with Texas A&M University School of Law (TAMU Law) to create a new medical-legal partnership. The mission of this collaboration is to provide free legal services to patients and families with legal needs that directly affect their health and access to medical care.

Despite a recognized need, the majority of families at Cook Children’s do not have access to legal services. Social workers at the medical center are often contacted by patient families who have failed to qualify for public services, obtain guardianship for their disabled adult child, or communicate with their landlord to resolve unsafe housing issues. These social, economic and environmental factors directly affect a child’s health.

“The health and well-being of our patients are influenced by so many factors that are beyond the scope of traditional medical care,” said Dr. Vida Amin, Medical Director of Cook Children’s Neighborhood Clinics. “An accessible, dedicated resource that our families can turn to for assistance in addressing their legal challenges is an invaluable addition to the family-centered care we seek to provide every day.”

The medical-legal partnership offers law students the opportunity to develop and apply their skills on behalf of clients who cannot afford legal representation.

“We are empowering these children and their families to succeed by improving the quality of their lives by reducing their unresolved legal needs,” said Robert B. Ahdieh, dean of the Texas A&M School of Law.

The collaboration, which officially started in March 2020, has already helped dozen of patient families. Felicia Carey is one of the program’s early customers. Referred to TAMU Law after her sister’s death, she had to take care of three teenagers, including a niece diagnosed with spina bifida.

“It was very difficult at first because I lost the paperwork that allowed me to be the guardian so I could take the kids to the doctor,” said Carey. “A social worker at Cook Children’s referred me to the program and it was phenomenal. You made an intolerable process extremely easy. “

Since Carey finalized her guardianship issues, she’s been working with the TAMU Act on Adult Adoption, Veteran Perks, and Will Development. The program also provides patients and families with access to legal services in the areas of family law, housing, and public benefits.

“Our job is to prepare compassionate attorneys who work tirelessly for their clients,” said Ahdieh. “This is what makes Texas A&M Law part of other law schools. We embody our core values, especially selfless service. “

About cook kids

The Cook Children’s Health Care System is an inspiring promise – to improve the health of every child in our region through the prevention and treatment of disease and injury. Based in Fort Worth, Texas, we pride ourselves on our long and rich tradition of serving our community.

Our nonprofit consists of nine companies – a medical center, two surgery centers, a network of doctors, home health services, and a health plan. This includes the Child Study Center at Cook Children’s, Cook Children’s Health Services Inc., and the Cook Children’s Health Foundation. With more than 60 primary, specialty and emergency care locations across Texas, families can access our world-class specialty programs and network of services to meet their unique needs.

We have worked for more than 100 years to improve the health of children in our primary coverage area in Denton, Hood, Johnson, Parker, Tarrant, and Wise counties. Because of our exceptional care, patients from around the country and around the world travel to Cook Children’s for life-saving pediatric care based on leading-edge technology, exceptional collaboration, and the art of care.