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Making breathing easier

Legal Council for Health Justice, Chicago Asthma Consortium, and Respiratory Health Association worked collaboratively last session on a new law to  help schools prepare for serious asthma attacks in school.  The legislation (Public Act 99-0843) requires the Illinois State Board of Education to develop a model emergency response protocol, and for school districts to implement their emergency protocols by January 1, 2017. Asthma is a common chronic lung condition that can be controlled through proper medication management and trigger avoidance. It is a leading cause of school absenteeism. Children with asthma miss twice as many school days as other children, on average. “In Illinois, nearly 1 in 6 children have asthma, but over 76% of those children do not have their asthma under control,” said Stacy Ignoffo, Director of Chicago Asthma Consortium. “Asthma that is not controlled properly can lead...

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Some gain, still pain

Illinois’ Stopgap Budget Offers Only Temporary, Partial Relief to Medicaid Recipients and Their Healthcare and Human Services Providers — joint statement from Legal Council for Health Justice and Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law.

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Speech, speech

  On May 5, 2016, our esteemed colleague Justin Hayford, who has been working at the Council for 25 years, was presented with the Liberty Bell award by the Young Lawyers Section (YLS) of the Chicago Bar Association as part of its annual Law Week celebration. It is the highest honor that the CBA bestows on a non-lawyer. Justin recently penned the best letter we’ve ever read to encourage participation in a 25-for-25 campaign to sustain what has been his life’s work and pay tribute to his years of service. Justin also gave this powerful speech at the Liberty Bell reception. We share it with you to give you hope, context, and inspiration. Congratulations Justin. It is an honor to work with you! Let me describe to you the first image produced in western culture of the syphilitic.  I realize this is not the...

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Give him liberty

The Young Lawyers Section (YLS) of the Chicago Bar Association names our very own Justin Hayford its “2016 Liberty Bell Award Winner.” This annual award honors a non-lawyer each year who works in the legal system on behalf of the most disadvantaged.

For twenty-five years Justin has been a case manager and paralegal at AIDS Legal Council (now a program of Legal Council for Health Justice). During his quarter century of service, Justin has tirelessly advocated on behalf of low-income people with HIV who have nowhere else to turn for legal assistance. He has has directly impacted the lives of thousands of clients, trained countless groups of service providers and legal professionals in HIV law, testified before legislative bodies, and taken on various state and local bureaucracies on behalf of his clients.

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Got lead?

While we welcome the ‘John Oliver effect’ that shines a much-needed light on the issue of childhood lead poisoning, what’s repeatedly left unsaid in this and other highly-respected top-tier media outlets is the power and the value of Early Intervention (E.I.) for infants and toddlers exposed to toxic levels of lead. Below is an unpublished letter sent to The New York Times co-authored by the director of our Chicago Medical-Legal Partnership for Children program, Amy Zimmerman, and Anita Weinberg, clinical professor, Loyola University Chicago School of Law and Chair, Lead Safe Illinois which highlights the importance of this federally-mandated program:

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