At a banquet in Atlanta, Georgia on February 13, 2013, Project HEAL, a program of the Maryland Center for Developmental Disabilities at Kennedy Krieger Institute, was named a 2012 Program of Excellence as part of the Hospital Charitable Service Awards, a national program sponsored by Jackson Healthcare.
HEAL (which stands for Health, Education, Advocacy, and Law) is Maryland’s only on-site medical-legal partnership and operates on Kennedy Krieger Institute’s main campus in Baltimore with a small staff of attorneys and law students. It offers parents and children with disabilities free advocacy and legal services in special education matters, denial of public benefits, simple family law, and housing matters.
HEAL and the other nine honorees received $10,000 each to continue their service.
“Project HEAL is a bright light, within the hospital community, of programs that give back in impactful ways,” said Charles R. Evans, the chairman of the awards program.
“This program is invaluable to the many families at Kennedy Krieger facing a variety of legal challenges with limited financial means,” said Maureen van Stone, Director of Project HEAL at Kennedy Krieger. “The $10,000 award will be instrumental in ensuring that we can help even more children to receive the education and services that they need.”
According to statistics from the program, HEAL averages more than 80 cases a year. It also provides limited representation to more than 330 families per year and consults with more than 300 health care professionals per year.
Jackson Healthcare instituted the Hospital Charitable Service Awards in 2010 to identify leading community health service programs, share their stories, and make them models for other programs. This year’s ten honorees were selected from a national pool of 191 nominees. Each nominee had to demonstrate excellence in the following five criteria areas: community impact, innovation, collaboration, transferability, and leading practice.