By Terry Harrell
The Indiana Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program is staffed by five passionate individuals. We all have different specialty areas but are well cross-trained to jump in and do whatever needs to be done. Four of us work in Indianapolis, and we have a northern Indiana liaison in Fort Wayne.
Jill A. Fuqua, JLAP case manager, is our newest staff member, having joined JLAP in February 2017. Fuqua probably has the most interesting background apart from staff member J. Frank Kimbrough. Fuqua was a communications major in college and spent her early professional life in radio. She was known as “The News Chick.” Before joining the staff at JLAP, Fuqua changed her focus and worked as the director of the Indiana Addictions Issues Coalition of Mental Health America Indiana and then as a bureau chief in the Office of Consumer and Family Affairs for the Indiana Division of Mental Health and Addiction. In both positions, Fuqua worked on policy and legislation to help individuals impacted by substance use and other mental health disorders. While working for the Division of Mental Health and Addiction, she oversaw the peer support certification and training program. She also designed and implemented a new Medicaid service for mental health consumers. Her primary role at JLAP is as a case manager, but she also manages our provider relationships and maintains our provider database. If you are simply calling for a referral to treatment or counseling, Fuqua should be your first call.
J. Frank Kimbrough, JLAP northern Indiana liaison, was one of the founding members of JLAP. He was part of a volunteer committee of the Indiana State Bar Association that asked the Indiana Supreme Court to create JLAP. He was then appointed by the court in 1997 to the very first JLAP Committee (our oversight body). When Kimbrough’s term on the JLAP Committee expired, he continued to be one of our most active volunteers. Several years later, we added him to staff as our northern Indiana liaison. Kimbrough lives in Fort Wayne and does much of our case management, speaking and volunteer interaction in the northern part of the state. Before becoming involved with JLAP, Kimbrough had an extensive career as a trial attorney, both as an assistant United States attorney and in private practice. His private practice included representing physicians with licensing issues and interacting with the Physicians Assistance Program. This experience is part of what motivated him to urge our court to create a lawyer assistance program. If you want to hear some great “war stories” about practicing law, ask him about his experiences as a trial attorney.
Terry L. Harrell, JLAP executive director, is a lawyer and social worker with more than 20 years of experience. She worked as an associate for Ice Miller and clerked for Judge William I. Garrard before returning to social work school. After obtaining her MSW, Terry worked in a variety of positions at Midtown Mental Health, The Dawn Project and in private practice. She joined JLAP as the clinical director in 2000 and became the executive director in 2002. In addition to administrative responsibilities, Harrell provides case management to a small number of JLAP participants and provided 17 CLE presentations last year. After winning the bid for Indianapolis to serve as host city for the National Conference for Lawyer Assistance Programs, she became increasingly involved in promoting well-being for judges, lawyers and law students on a national level. She chaired the ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs from 2014 to 2017 and is currently working with the National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being and chairing the ABA Working Group to Advance Well-Being in the Legal Profession. She frequently brings her therapy dog, Gus, to lawyer conferences and law schools.
Loretta A. Oleksy, JLAP deputy director, is by education both a lawyer and a social worker with an extensive history in child welfare, family law and advocacy. She has been with JLAP since 2013 and she has been with the Indiana Supreme Court since 2007. She worked as a domestic violence resource attorney and a family court project manager for the court before joining JLAP. As deputy director, Oleksy does it all. In addition to administrative responsibilities, she manages a full caseload of JLAP participants, primarily judicial officers and law students. Last year she provided 33 CLE presentations, including a three-hour presentation to the Arkansas judiciary. Oleksy frequently brings her therapy dog, Kirby, to lawyer conferences, law schools and support group meetings.
Eric Wood, JLAP clinical case manager, is a licensed addictions therapist with more than 20 years of experience. (He and I decided not to get specific about how many years of experience we have beyond 20.) Wood has worked in a variety of mental health and addictions programs and spent the eight years before joining JLAP working primarily in the treatment of opioid use disorders. Wood also has specialized training as an interventionist. He has studied under Jeff and Debra Jay of Love First, a program focused specifically on substance use interventions. Wood’s primary responsibility is as our clinical case manager, and he currently has the most direct contact with JLAP participants. Wood is also an artist. The photos on the walls of the JLAP conference room are compliments of him. He is also the drummer for the band Whoa!Tiger and the newly created JLAP Jive.•
• Terry Harrell is the executive director of the Indiana Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program. Opinions expressed are those of the author.