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Pediatric Advocacy Clinic

The mission of the Pediatric Advocacy Clinic (PAC) is to achieve justice and dignity for all low-income children and their families by integrating high-quality legal advocacy into health care settings. As a medical-legal partnership, we pursue our mission by uniting health care providers, attorneys, and social workers to eliminate the effects of poverty on children's health and well-being.

What Is a Medical-Legal Partnership?

Low-income children experience relatively poor health outcomes even when they receive high-quality health care. Today, medical research demonstrates that the social context of poverty contributes to these poor health outcomes. For decades, poverty lawyers, health care providers, and social workers have been fighting poverty—food and income insecurity, housing instability, concerns about safety, adequate education, and access to health care—the problems that are now called "social determinants of health." A medical-legal partnership brings these professional disciplines together, magnifying their impact. PAC helps families stay violence free, live in safe and healthy housing, receive the nutrition they need, earn sufficient income, have access to health care, and receive appropriate educational services.

Why Is It Important?

Social issues clearly affect child health. Children who are allergic to cockroaches and are exposed to them in their housing are 3.4 times more likely to be hospitalized with an asthma attack. Children who move frequently are more likely to fail a grade and have behavorial problems. Children who are hungry have stunted growth and cannot learn. Homeless children have higher rates of asthma, infections and hunger compared to poor children living in housing. Children who witness violence, including domestic violence, can have behavorial problems.

By representing individual families and supporting health care providers in addressing social issues that impact child health, PAC seeks to improve the health and quality of life of low-income pediatric patients and their families.

PAC in the News

NPR: Gap Watch: How Schools Treat Students with Physical Disabilities vs. Emotional Disabilities (June 2015) 

NPR: When the Doctor's Prescription is a Lawyer (May 2015) 

Law Quadrangle Notes: Doctor's Orders: Call Your Lawyer​ (Spring 2015)

Contact Information:

Pediatric Advocacy Clinic
University of Michigan Law School
701 S. State Street
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-3091
Phone: 734.763-1942
Fax: 734.764-8242

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