Coming together for veterans

The Mizzou Law Veterans Clinic has announced a new program to partner with medical students from the University of Missouri School of Medicine. This partnership will involve collaboration between the two professional schools with regard to securing Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) disability compensation benefits for veterans.

Mizzou medical students will collaborate with law students and staff at the clinic to review medical records and provide guidance on medical issues. This partnership will enhance the ability of the clinic in its zealous advocacy for veterans.

Mark Buck, a second-year law student at Mizzou, a veteran, a practicing doctor and a Veterans Clinic alum originated the idea for this program.

“During my time as a student working in the Veterans Clinic, I helped dozens of students on their files, recognizing the value my medical expertise provided to their work,” Buck said. I saw the great potential a partnership with the medical school could have and began discussing the concept of a partnership between the two schools.”

Richard J. Barohn, executive vice chancellor for Health Affairs and incoming dean of the MU School of Medicine, is excited about the new collaboration.

“This partnership between the MU School of Medicine and the Mizzou Law Veterans Clinic will capitalize on the knowledge and skills of both medical and law students to secure invaluable benefits to veterans free of charge,” said Barohn, who is a retired lieutenant colonel in the United States Air Force Reserves. “I can think of no greater way to serve those who have served our country, and we’re proud to partner with the School of Law in this important mission.”

Angela Drake, director of the Mizzou Law Veterans Clinic, is looking forward to the professional experience the medical students will bring to the table.

“We are often in need of medical expertise from professionals to help us understand the complicated disability pictures our clients present arising from their military service,” Drake said. “From exposure to burn pits to traumatic brain injury, veterans come to us with voluminous medical records that need careful review and attention. Medical student input will enhance our ability to help deserving veterans in a practical and efficient way.”

Lyrissa Lidsky, dean of the MU School of Law, agrees that teaming up can meet many needs.

“By combining the unique expertise that members of the Mizzou community have, both in the legal and medical field, we can work together to better serve our nation’s heroes,” Lidsky said. “This partnership helps do just that.”

The Mizzou Law Veterans Clinic started in 2014. Students, who are supervised by experienced attorneys, help veterans and their families secure disability benefits at no charge. Since its inception, the clinic has secured more than $10 million in compensation for veterans and their families.

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