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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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CHECK it out!

University of Illinois-Chicago (UIC) recently informed us that the Legal Council was chosen to establish a program at UIC to provide legal services to children who are cared for through the Coordination of Healthcare for Complex Kids (CHECK) program. This will allow the Council to grow our children’s program and hire additional legal staff to handle the significant demand. We will be able to bring on an additional attorney and two paralegals for the CHECK program.

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Slip in the name of asthma

The Help Schools Become Better Equipped to Handle Asthma Emergencies (HB6333) is now in the Illinois Senate and scheduled to be heard in the Elementary & Secondary Education: School Curriculum & Policies Committee on Tuesday, May 10th, at 2:00pm. HB6333 would ensure that schools are able to handle asthma emergencies. In the event of an asthma emergency, school staff would have a quick-reference document to follow proper protocol. We have attached a fact sheet with some additional information about the bill. HB6333 Fact Sheet We hope you will consider filing a witness slip in support of the bill. You can file a witness slip here....

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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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