VLS launches new partnership

Veterans Legal Services and the VA Boston Healthcare System recently launched a new medical-legal partnership to provide free civil legal assistance to income-eligible veterans. VLS will run a monthly legal clinic on the campus of the Brockton VA, which provides both inpatient and outpatient services.

The Brockton VA campus features medical care, mental health services, a domiciliary for veterans struggling with housing instability, and a residential rehabilitation unit for women suffering from both PTSD and substance use disorders, among other services. The campus is also home to a Women’s Health Center.

VA personnel from the Boston Healthcare System will make all referrals to the clinic, which VLS will staff through a combination of staff attorneys and pro bono support.

Studies have shown that medical-legal partnerships lead to significant improvement in patients’ overall well-being, including a reduction in their perceived stress. By bringing legal services into medical settings, patients are able to more readily access specialized supportive care for their unmet legal needs.

“Veterans Legal Services is honored to partner with the Boston VA Healthcare System to provide high-quality and high-impact civil legal assistance,” said Sarah Roxburgh, Esq., VLS’s co-executive director and chief of operations. “Civil legal aid is an essential service, and VLS is proud to contribute to the holistic care of VA patients.”

The new partnership with the Boston VA Healthcare System is in addition to VLS’s existing clinic partnerships, which include the Bedford VA Healthcare System; the New England Center and Home for Veterans, in Boston; the Chelsea Soldiers’ Home; and the Norfolk County Veterans Treatment Court, in Dedham.

“We’re thrilled to offer veterans free civil legal assistance here on the Brockton VA campus in partnership with Veterans Legal Services,” said Rachel Seed, veterans justice outreach coordinator with the VA Boston Healthcare System. “Offering legal support services on-site will help local veterans access the integrated care they need through referrals from professionals throughout the Boston VA Healthcare System.”

The launch of VLS’s newest medical-legal partnership was made possible in part through a grant from the Bob Woodruff Foundation, which is dedicated to ensuring that impacted veterans, service members, their families, and their caregivers thrive long after they return home.