October 11, 2011
ATLANTA - Associate Clinical Professors Lisa Bliss and Sylvia Caley traveled to Spain to present at the 6th Worldwide Conference of the Global Alliance for Justice Education (GAJE) and the 9th International Journal of Clinical Legal Education (IJCLE) Conference, held jointly at Universitat De Valencia, Valencia, Spain. The Medical Champion for the Health Law Partnership (HeLP), Dr. Robert Pettignano, who is the Medical Director of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Associate Professor at Emory’s medical school, joined Bliss and Caley in the presentations at these two conferences.
Their presentation for the GAJE conference, "Interdisciplinary Solutions to Justice Issues: Collaborating with Physicians to Address the Socio-Economic Determinants of Health," showcased how the HeLP Legal Services Clinic at the College of Law collaborates with physicians and other medical providers. The presentation featured a child’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability case handled in the clinic to illustrate how law students worked together with physicians and medical students to prepare the case for hearing.
The case involved a sixteen-month-old child with sickle cell disease who suffered from recurrent, severe pain crises and other impairments resulting from her illness. The doctors and medical students helped interpret the medical records and tests and made recommendations to the law students about information to emphasize in the client’s testimony. The faculty explained to conference attendees how such interdisciplinary collaboration was essential to address a child’s health needs comprehensively.
"We were able to show educators from around the world how our model of interdisciplinary collaboration can help achieve favorable results for children’s health," said Bliss (pictured above). "Our successful outcome for this child would not have been possible without the collaboration of doctors, law and medical students, and social workers."
The three speakers also presented a paper for the IJCLE conference that was entitled, "A Model for Interdisciplinary Clinical Legal Education: Medical and Legal Professionals Learning and Working Together to Promote Public Health." The IJCLE presentation outlined the HeLP Clinic’s model of incorporating learners from different professions into the clinic experience, and explained how the learners work together for the benefit of HeLP Clinic clients.
"The HeLP Clinic incorporates learners not only from different disciplines, but also from different institutions, which provides a very rich environment in which to investigate issues of culture and distinct approaches to problem-solving," said Caley (pictured right). "Their collaboration benefits clients by introducing students to the obligations and methodologies of other professions engaged in delivering services to patients and clients and facilitating a more informed approach to addressing complex health issues."
Director of Communications