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New Ways to Combat Lead-Poisoning

In 2015, 10,322 kids in Illinois had elevated lead levels in their blood–and that’s only the kids tested. Many children don’t have access or aren’t eligible for the services necessary to help children after lead exposure. Those services are called Early Intervention. According to Dr. Nicole Hamp of the University of Chicago Comer Children’s Hospital: For children who have been poisoned by lead there can be lifelong developmental consequences including lower IQ, decreased academic achievement, and an increased incident of behavioral disorders. However, while the brain of a young child can be more vulnerable to insult, it is also more capable of overcoming injury. Early Intervention (EI) is designed to take advantage of a time in life when the brain is the most plastic and amenable to change. Through an Illinois Council on Developmental Disabilities (ICDD) grant, Legal Council...

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Reaching the Summit

Legal Council for Health Justice participated in the 12th Annual National Medical-Legal Partnership Summit this past April in Washington, DC. This year’s summit theme—Integrating Health and Legal Services to Transform Care Delivery—attracted a fantastic turnout of dedicated MLP (Medical-Legal Partnership) health care providers, MPH researchers, social work, hospital and health care system administrators and lawyers

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Training to Sustain

At Chicago Medical-Legal Partnership for Children (CMLPC) meetings, legal advocates ask questions about cases, share perspectives, and tell success stories. Last week, Sarah Hess, a staff attorney in the UIC Coordination of Healthcare for Complex Kids (CHECK) program, shared a particularly meaningful success.

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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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No place like home

Yesterday, federal district court Judge Charles P. Kocoras issued a court order requiring HFS [Illinois’ Medicaid agency] to “take immediate and affirmative steps to provide the very in-home shift nursing services that HFS approved.”

More than 1200 children have been approved for in-home nursing services based on their high level of medical need. Many of these children are dependent on complex medical regimens for routine bodily functions, such as eating, drinking, breathing, and oxygen regulation. Yet, the State failed to arrange for in-home nursing, resulting in unnecessary and costly institutionalization, heightened risk of medical complications, and diminished quality of life.

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One giant step for early intervention

Our child health advocacy director Amy Zimmerman finds hope for Early Intervention in a notice from Illinois Comptroller Leslie Munger in this information-rich TV news segment by WGN’s Cortney Hall.

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