LSC opioid task force to look at Indiana in first field hearing

The Legal Services Corporation’s Opioid Task Force is coming to Indianapolis for its first field hearing, which will include an examination of Indiana’s statewide response to the opioid crisis.

In the Circle City, the field hearing will begin at 12:45 p.m. Wednesday in the Jennings Ballroom at the Omni Severin Hotel, 40 W. Jackson Place. It is open to the public and will be livestreamed on LSC’s Facebook page.

LSC formed the task force in April 2018 to bring together a variety of stakeholders from health care, legal services, business and the judiciary to examine the impact of the opioid crisis on the civil legal needs of low-income Americans. The primary goals of the task force are to educate and engage with public health officials and others to promote a comprehensive model of recovery.

Indiana has a healthy representation on the task force. Members with Hoosier ties include Indiana Chief Justice Loretta Rush; Indiana Legal Services managing attorney Jay Chaudhary; Abby Kuzma, former assistant attorney general for the Indiana Attorney General’s office and founder of the Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic; and former Indianapolis Colts quarterback Jim Harbaugh.

The Indianapolis field hearing will begin with opening remarks by LSC board chair John Levi and Rep. Susan Brooks, R-Indianapolis. Brooks is the co-founder of the bipartisan congressional Access to Legal Services Caucus.

Three panel discussions will then follow. The first two panels will look at medical-legal partnerships, including Indiana Legal Services’ work with Eskenazi Community Health Center.

The final panel will look at Indiana’s statewide response to the opioid crisis. Panelists will include Rush, who is also co-chair of the National Judicial Opioid Task Force along with Brandon George, executive director of Indiana Addiction Coalition; Jim McClelland, executive director for Drug Prevention, Treatment and Enforcement for the State of Indiana; and Nicholas Svetlauskas, bureau chief of addiction services in the Division of Mental Health and Addiction of the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration.

A full agenda of the Indianapolis hearing can be found here.

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