The Toledo MLPC was developed by local pediatricians and legal services programs to serve low-income pediatric patients and their families in a medical setting.

After a two-year multi-disciplinary planning process, the MLPC program began providing services in 2007 at Mercy Children's Hospital and the Mercy Family Care Center with generous support from the St. Marguerite D'Youville Foundation. In 2008, the MLPC began serving patients at University Pediatrics at the University of Toledo Medical Center. The program expanded to ProMedica Toledo Children's Hospital in 2012.

What We Do

The MLPC provides training to medical providers on identifying legal and social issues which impact health and patient advocacy skills, in-house holistic legal services to pediatric patients and their families, and advocacy on systemic cases, issues, and policies which impact child health and well-being.

Since 2007, the MLPC has received more than 2,000 referrals and accepted hundreds of cases, assisting pediatric patients and their families with various legal matters including obtaining access to health care, public benefits, safe and affordable housing, appropriate special education services, securing custody for relative caregivers, and resolving health related consumer matters. The MLPC has also engaged in significant systemic advocacy on behalf of students with disabilities advocating for improved child find policies, appropriate disciplinary practices for students with mental health and behavioral health related disabilities, and improved services and accommodations for students with disabilities.

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MLPC Toledo
Impact in Our Community

During 2016, the MLPC received 233 referrals from pediatric medical and mental health providers. The MLPC worked on over 300 cases and closed 97 cases (138 cases/applications closed with 97 cases involving legal representation/advice and 41 applications for assistance where the patient/family did not follow through with the referral or was denied.) Of the cases closed, the MLPC successfully resolved 79 cases, achieving 140 positive outcomes, providing assistance to 79 families and obtaining $47,754 in financial benefits for patients and families. Cases which were handled resulted in:

  • Obtained or maintained access to government benefits, including Social Security, access to healthcare, Food Stamps, and other benefit programs;
  • Improved living environment to protect children from health consequences related to the conditions in their homes;
  • Appropriate accommodations or special education services for children with disabilities struggling in school.

The Toledo MLPC is modeled after the first formal medical-legal partnership developed at the Boston Medical Center by Dr. Barry Zuckerman nearly twenty years ago. Since that time, the idea of medical providers and lawyers working together to address the health impacts of poverty and health disparities has spread throughout the country.

The medical-legal partnership model has been endorsed in resolutions by the American Medical Association, the American Bar Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics. There are currently medical-legal partnerships in 294 healthcare facilities in 41 states.

ABLE attorneys and advocates with the MLPC have been able to provide continued services to children and families in Lucas County thanks to generous support from The Miniger Foundation, ProMedica Foundation, The Stranahan Foundation, United Way of Greater Toledo, Legal Aid of Western Ohio, Inc., and a number of private donors.

Who We Are


Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, Inc. (ABLE) and Legal Aid of Western Ohio, Inc. (LAWO) are non-profit regional law firms that provide high quality legal assistance in civil matters to help eligible low-income individuals and groups in western Ohio achieve self reliance, and equal justice and economic opportunity.

By providing access to legal services through a trusted environment, such as a medical clinic, the MLPC reaches families who often do not realize they have legal rights or know how to access an attorney. Approximately 75 percent of MLPC clients have never before requested services from legal aid.

ABLE and LAWO website

ProMedica Toledo Children's Hospital

ProMedica Toledo Children's Hospital is a 151-bed hospital dedicated exclusively to serving the hospitalization needs of children and adolescents in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan. Located in Toledo, Ohio, Toledo Children's Hospital maintains a comprehensive staff of board-certified physicians and provides newborn intensive care physician and pediatric hospitalist coverage 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Post-acute care services include family support and home care programs. These services help children return home as soon as possible, and provide support to help them reach their fullest potential. In addition to comprehensive inpatient programs, Toledo Children’s Hospital also offers intense behavioral intervention in the Autism Early Learning Program for children from diagnosis to age 6. Toledo Children's Hospital has earned The Joint Commission's Gold Seal of Approval™ for its asthma disease management program by demonstrating compliance with national standards for health care quality and safety in disease-specific care. The certification award recognizes Toledo Children’s Hospital’s dedication to continuous compliance with The Joint Commission’s state-of-the-art standards.

Toledo Children’s Hospital is a member of ProMedica, where our Mission is to improve your health and well-being.

Toledo Children's Hospital website

Mercy Children's Hospital

Mercy Children's Hospital is a regional resource for advanced pediatric care located in Toledo, Ohio.

Since 1999, Mercy Children's Hospital has brought together a broad spectrum of physicians, researchers, educators, nurses and allied professionals specializing in the unique needs of children. Mercy Children's Hospital has become the leading healthcare resource in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan.

A regional facility, the scope of capabilities allows Mercy Children's Hospital to provide the most sophisticated treatment protocols. Based on models of state-of-the-art facilities around the country, Mercy Children's Hospital has the full range of sophisticated facilities demanded by advanced pediatric care.

Mercy Health website

Rocket Pediatrics | UT Health

The Rocket Pediatrics practice is staffed by pediatricians and nurse practitioners who are faculty of The University of Toledo (UT) College of Medicine and Life Sciences.

Faculty providers have been recognized as outstanding caregivers and educators, practicing pediatric care that is based on the most up-to-date information and clinical standards.

Rocket Pediatrics is involved in the training of students of several professions, as well as their own pediatric resident physicians. Their practice has participated in the training of many of the pediatricians in northwest Ohio. Rocket Pediatrics believes strongly in the principles of preventative health care, developmental and family support, and the medical home.

Rocket Pediatrics website