VA partnership with Bay Area Legal Aid selected for national award

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VA Palo Alto Supervisory Social Worker Lori Buelna (l.) and former BayLegal Veterans Attorney Hagar Dickman (r.), with service dog.

The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) has selected the VA Palo Alto Health Care System’s partnership with BayLegal as one of its winners for the 2021 VHA National Community Partnership Challenge (CPC).

VA Palo Alto Health Care System’s Medical Legal Partnership with Bay Legal Aid’s Veteran Legal Project was selected for recognition by the VHA along with projects in Colorado and South Carolina.  Integrating screening for legal assistance into Veterans’ well-being assessment allows social work to refer to the community partner in order for Veterans to access a cost-free attorney. The partnership is based on the understanding that wraparound legal services coupled with support by culturally competent social workers are essential for Veterans struggling to achieve and maintain health, housing stability, food security, transportation limitations and economic stability, which are recognized barriers to achieving positive health care outcomes.

We are proud of this recognition—and deeply grateful to former BayLegal Veterans Attorney Hagar Dickman, for her extraordinary work leading the BayLegal side of the project.

For further detail on the project and the award, please see