Doctors, Lawyers Team to Aid Children's Health

Dr. Deborah Frank

hide captionDr. Deborah Frank, pictured above examining one of her patients, has called on the hospital's lawyers to help her save children in need.

Rachel Gotbaum
Kenya St. Fleur

hide captionKenya St. Fleur, in her mother's arms, and five siblings pose in their subsidized six-bedroom apartment — a vast change from their previous two-bedroom slum. Lawyers from the Family Advocacy Program helped save Kenya from malnutrition.

Rachel Gotbaum

The number of poor children in America grew last year for the third year in a row — the fastest rate in a decade, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The increase is a bad sign for the state of children's health: studies show that poor children get sick far more often than better-off kids.

But doctors at a hospital in Boston have come up with a new way to tackle poor children's health problems and they're getting help from a group that they usually view as their enemy: lawyers.

As part of our series on low-wage America, NPR's Daniel Zwerdling reports on the Family Advocacy Program of Boston Medical Center.

Correction Dec. 10, 2004

The audio for this story implies that the Massachusetts State Health Insurance Agency paid for taxis to take children to doctor's appointments AND schools. In fact, local school districts covered transportation to their schools.

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