Justice and Health Partnership Community of Interest

About the Community of Interest

Coordinators: Brea Lowenberger, Director of CREATE Justice, College of Law, and Erin Wolfson, Community Engagement Specialist, Division of Social Accountability, College of Medicine

The Justice and Health Partnership Community of Interest is a collaboration between CREATE Justice, College of Law and the Social Accountability Division, College of Medicine. A ‘Community of Interest’ (CoI) brings together individuals who are “interested in a common problem so they can develop and share new knowledge that will help improve understanding and action around that problem”.

The proposed objectives of this CoI are to, on the topic of justice and health, continue to foster collaboration among interested stakeholders by:

  • Establishing a platform (online and offline) for those who are engaged or would like to be engaged in the exchange and development of knowledge;
  • Fostering research connections;
  • Encouraging action-oriented collaboration on potential ‘on the ground’ partnerships among justice and health practitioners, including community-based organizations and agencies that are already engaged in interdisciplinary practice;
  • Inspiring interdisciplinary teaching and learning opportunities; and
  • Sharing, establishing, and supporting the implementation of best practices through capacity building and knowledge sharing. 

Project background

The Justice and Health Partnership COI has emerged in the context of the 2017 Dean’s Forum on Access to Justice and Dispute Resolution. In its deliberations, the forum identified justice and health partnerships as one of the critical components of access to justice. For more information, read the students’ report on Expanding Engagement: Creating Connections Between Delivery of Justice and Health Services [law.usask.ca, Winter 2017 Student Policy Discussion Paper] and  Follow-Up Report & Summary Notes on Expanding Engagement: Creating Connections Between Delivery of Justice and Health Services [law.usask.ca, Winter 2017 Summary Notes].

As a first step following the forum, a lecture on “Expanding Engagement: Creating Connections Between Delivery of Justice and Health Services” was delivered by Michele Leering, founder of the Rural Justice & Health Partnerships Project, on October 18, 2017 during the second annual Saskatchewan Access to Justice Week.  This lecture attracted attendance and interest from campus and community members from the justice and health sectors alike. For a link to the recorded lecture, please email justicehealth_coi@usask.ca.

Building on the interest of stakeholders in the 2017 lecture, a provincial conference was held in 2018 on establishing Medical-Legal Partnerships (MLPs) in Saskatchewan. With the support of the Saskatchewan Health Research Fund, CREATE Justice and the College of Law, in collaboration with the College of Medicine, hosted a conference to share interim findings from our MLP project. The goal the conference was to disseminate the knowledge learned so far through our work, research, and analysis, and to facilitate an opportunity to network and discuss interests and concerns related to developing MLPs in Saskatchewan, drawing on the expertise of conference speakers and participants.

In response to ideas that arose at the conference, further consultation and coordination unfolded during 2019-2020 to identify potential pilot sites to meet intersecting justice and health needs. Further consultation and the implementation of next steps arising from those consultations are currently on hold due to COVID-19.

In the interim, CREATE Justice was invited and has taken part in the Justice and Health Partnership Measuring Impact Advisory Committee, supported by the Law Foundation of Ontario.

Get involved

We are interested in serving as conveners of people who are interested in justice and health partnerships and are seeking suggestions, ideas, and input to establish this CoI. Please email us at justicehealth_coi@usask.ca to share your interest in the objectives of the CoI. 

To subscribe to our listserv, which will enable you to communicate and receive communications from others about justice and health partnerships through our electronic email list, please email justicehealth_coi@usask.ca with "subscribe" in the subject line. 

Questions about the Justice and Health Partnership COI? Email justicehealth_coi@usask.ca.