Representative Susan Brooks and Chief Justice Loretta Rush Join LSC Opioid Task Force Meeting in Indianapolis

October 12, 2018

INDIANAPOLIS – The Legal Services Corporation’s (LSC) Opioid Task Force will hold its first field hearing in Indianapolis on October 17. The task force is comprised of legal aid leaders, health care and public health experts, judges, business leaders, and other stakeholders working to address the implications of the opioid crisis for the civil legal needs of low-income Americans.

Over the past few years, opioid use has emerged as a serious public health care crisis. More than two million Americans currently suffer from opioid-related substance use disorders. Civil legal issues arise frequently for these individuals and for their families, including problems related to child support and custody, child abuse and neglect, domestic violence, housing, health benefits, and employment. 

The hearing will begin with two panels discussing effective medical-legal partnerships. The first panel will highlight Indiana Legal Services’ work with Eskenazi Community Health Center. The panelists are Jay Chaudhary, Managing Attorney and Director of Medical Legal Partnerships, Indiana Legal Services and a task force member; Dr. Ashley Overley, Chief Executive Officer, Eskenazi Midtown Community Mental Health; and Ginny Wood, Visiting Home Nurse, Nurse-Family Partnership, Goodwill of Southern & Central Indiana.

The second panel will discuss Southeastern Ohio Legal Services’ partnership with Sojourner Recovery Services, a youth development organization based in Appalachian Ohio that serves young adults in foster care as well as runway and homeless youth. The panelists are Lisa Brooks, Street Outreach Coordinator, Sojourners Care Network; Baylee Butler, Staff Attorney, Southeastern Ohio Legal Services; Marcus Games, Co-Executive Director and Co-Founder, Sojourners Care Network; and Stephanie Harris, Development Director, Ohio State Legal Services Association, and a member of the task force.

The final panel will explore Indiana’s statewide response to the opioid crisis. The panelists are Brandon George, Executive Director, Indiana Addiction Issues Coalition; Jim McClelland, Executive Director for Drug Prevention, Treatment, and Enforcement, State of Indiana; Chief Justice Loretta Rush, Indiana Supreme Court; and Nicholas Svetlauskas, Bureau Chief of Addiction Services, Division of Mental Health and Addiction, Indiana Family and Social Services Administration. Chief Justice Rush is a member of LSC’s Opioid Task Force as well as Co-Chair of the National Judicial Opioid Task Force.

Representative Susan W. Brooks (IN-5), co-founder of the bipartisan Congressional Access to Legal Services Caucus, and LSC Chair John G. Levi will provide remarks.

The hearing will begin at 1 p.m. at the Omni Severin Hotel Jennings Ballroom, 40 W. Jackson Place. It is open to the public and will also be livestreamed via LSC’s Facebook page. See the full hearing agenda here.

Visit LSC’s Opioid Task Force page for membership information, videos, and other relevant materials to the task force’s work.

Legal Services Corporation (LSC) is an independent nonprofit established by Congress in 1974 to provide financial support for civil legal aid to low-income Americans. The Corporation currently provides funding to 133 independent nonprofit legal aid programs in every state, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories.