The Case for Access

Working with low-income clients gave this Law student a new perspective on the impact of access in health care

By Meg Maxwell

a stethoscope intersecting with a gavel
Photo: Getty Images

1. In Brief

The Villanova University Interdisciplinary Mental and Physical Health Law Clinic provides legal guidance and representation to low-income clients facing barriers to health care access and affordability. For Charles Widger School of Law students interested in health care law, working in the Health Law Clinic can be transformational. They gain invaluable experience—interviewing clients, conducting research, building cases, filing documents and presenting arguments—but they also feel the profound impact of making a difference for clients.

2. The Advocate

Delann Fraschetti Finch ’22 JD first developed an interest in health care law by witnessing the far-reaching impact of her mother’s pediatrics practice in her native Ponce, Puerto Rico. In applying to work with the Health Law Clinic, she wanted real-world experience advocating for people facing legal obstacles to equitable care.

Delann was also eager to work with Law Professor Michael Campbell, JD, the clinic’s director. She says, “I knew that he would let me do the job by myself, but make sure that I did it right.”

3. Discovery

During her semester working in the clinic, Fraschetti Finch was assigned three clients: One needed help securing Supplemental Security Income benefits; another was fighting to retain medical assistance for a family member; and the third sought help filing for power of attorney.

Fraschetti Finch found the practical application of her classroom knowledge deeply satisfying, and the experience also gave her a new perspective on the real challenges clients face. She reflects, “One of my clients kept disappearing, and I had to struggle to find them. Another client didn’t have home access to the internet, and they didn’t have a car, so even using the computers at the library was a challenge. You really learn to appreciate the barriers that are keeping clients from getting the services they deserve.”

Fraschetti Finch felt proud of the services she was able to provide to her clients. "I let them know that they were heard," she says. "I listened and cared and tried to do something about the problems they were facing.”


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