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Elder Law Clinic to go on temporary hiatus beginning in December

The Elder Law Clinic will go on temporary hiatus beginning in December and will move from its current location at the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center Sticht Center to Wake Forest University’s Reynolda Campus, according to Clinical Professor and Managing Attorney Kate Mewhinney.

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center has been a generous host to the Elder Law Clinic since 1991.

“We are committed to continuing our collaborative service and teaching after the program relocates,” Mewhinney said. “The law school is pleased that the medical school faculty will continue to help to teach the law students.  Older adults facing health issues have been well-served by our multidisciplinary approach.”

In a statement regarding the move, Dr. Jeff Williamson, medical director of the Sticht Center on Aging at Wake Forest Baptist Health, said, “The Elder Law Clinic has been, and will remain, a valuable partner in our service to older patients and our teaching mission. While their program will be relocated, due to the opening of the new Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center in the Sticht Center, we plan on continuing and strengthening our collaborative work and teaching.  This unique partnership between the medical and legal professions has proven to be of benefit to our patients and our medical staff.  We are committed to keeping it a vital part of the community.”

The clinic will re-open in the law school’s expanded space in the Worrell Professional Center in fall 2013.

Mewhinney will continue her participation in teaching medical learners about legal issues of older patients, and as part of the medical center’s Ethics Committee. Medical-legal partnerships like this have been endorsed by both the ABA and the AMA in recent years.  Wake Forest’s Elder Law Clinic is a member of the National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership.

“When we resume in the fall of 2013, we will continue to give priority to referrals from Wake Forest Baptist Health,” Mewhinney said. “Our leadership in collaborative work for elders is a national model, so we hope to return to the medical center in the future.”