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Health Law and Policy Project (HeLPP)

HeLPP is a pro bono organization established by a number of Penn Law students a few years ago. We focus on volunteering our legal skills to contribute to improving health care – in any number of ways – in the Philadelphia area and beyond.

PolicyLab at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP)

We work with CHOP’s PolicyLab on various projects running the gamut of health law and policy. Generally, we conduct legal research analyzing how various federal and state laws address a specific issue (e.g., mandatory vaccination laws, “shared decision-making” in health care, etc.) Our write-ups are then used by PolicyLab employees to inform policymakers, state legislators, and other professionals in an effort to make improvements in U.S. health care.

Sayre Health Institute

This is a collaboration with Service Link, a project started in the Medical School where trained  students assist Sayre Health Center patients to access services that improve health and quality of life (e.g. utilities assistance, referral appointments, SNAP [food stamps], and other public benefits). The project mobilizes volunteers to connect patients and their families with the basic resources they need to be healthy. The project will also be expanding to other community sites during this upcoming year.

Know Your Rights Projects

We do several one-time events throughout the year during which West Philadelphia residents come in to hear speakers we have arranged inform them about various health-related legal issues.  Volunteers survey the community to figure out what the more pressing issues are at the time, and then the speakers are organized to target those issues through straightforward presentations that the community can freely attend.  Volunteers also help advertise the event so that as many people as possible can benefit from the program.

Short-term ad hoc projects

We are working to develop a variety of shorter projects with local public interest organizations.

New partnerships with local or national health-related organizations:

We are always looking to expand. Please let us know if you have any ideas!


If you have any questions, ideas, or if you would like to participate, you can contact HeLPP at