LAC’s DC staff this week participated in a meeting of the Addiction Leadership Group (a convening of national drug and alcohol organizations) to thank outgoing Congressman John Sullivan (R-OK) for all of his work on behalf of the addiction field through his co-chairmanship of the Congressional Addiction Treatment and Recovery (ATR) Caucus. Congressman Tim Ryan (D-OH), also a co-chair of the ATR Caucus, participated in the meeting and discussed priorities for the new Congress that will begin in January. Legal Action Center appreciates all of Congressmen Sullivan and Ryan’s great work on behalf of people in need of treatment and those in recovery. We look forward to continuing to work with the ATR Caucus in the next Congress.
Dr. Robert Fullilove, the associate dean for community and minority affairs at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and a member of LAC’s board, was awarded the Allan Rosenfield Award for Public Health and Social Justice by the Public Health Association of New York City at its annual awards ceremony which was held on November 15th. The award is named after another long-term member of LAC’s board who died in 2008.
Headlines on Our Issues
New York – State/Local
Retiring State Senator Tom Duane published an article in the most recent issue of Achieve, GMHC’s quarterly journal on HIV prevention, treatment, and politics, in which he reviewed his major legislative achievements in HIV during his years in the Senate and listed other legal changes that he felt the State still needed to pursue. The article can be found by clicking here and then scrolling to page 24.
On November 9th, Mayor Bloomberg released his midyear November Financial Plan, which included approximately $1.7 billion in budget cuts over the next two years. Among the many programs to be cut were several initiatives supporting individuals with HIV/AIDS.
November 16th was the original deadline under the Affordable Care Act for states to make a number of key decisions about health insurance exchanges. Instead, on November 9th, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius sent a letter to the governors informing them that the administration would extend the deadline for states to submit health exchange plans to December 14th and, in some cases until February 15th, 2013. Then, on November 15th, she sent a letter to the Republican Governor’s Association, informing them that she was also extending the deadline for states to decide whether to create their own exchanges to December 14th. A number of states have yet to announce their decisions, with many saying that the Federal government has not yet provided them with enough guidance to make such a decision.
The administration is also expected to release a number of new rules regarding the Affordable Care Act in the coming weeks. An outline of some of the topics that will likely be covered can be foundhere.
In recognition of Veteran’s Day, Veteran’s Treatment Courts were the subject of a number of news pieces around the country, including an op-ed by Matt Stiner, the Director of Justice for Vets, in the Huffington Post. Mr. Stiner was also interviewed by Diane Rehm on NPR.
From Our Partners
The next Brooklyn re-entry consortium meeting is on Thursday, December 6th from 1 – 4 pm at the Brooklyn ACCES-VR office at 55 Hanson Place, room 346 in Brooklyn. The Brooklyn re-entry consortium is a space for service providers to discuss and improve services needed by individuals who were previously incarcerated and transitioning back into the community. The focus of the meeting will be on life after incarceration, highlighting participants of the ComALERT Program. To attend, please RSVP to Wendy Hersh at 718-722-3005 or [email protected].
Faces and Voices of Recovery has launched a new online survey in partnership with Alexandre Laudet, Ph.D., Director of the Center for the Study of Addictions and Recovery at the National Development and Research Institute (NDRI). The survey seeks to document the lives of people who have achieved recovery from addiction to alcohol and other drugs. It will be available online through December 31st, takes about 10 minutes to complete, is available in English and Spanish, and is for anyone who considers themselves to be in recovery from alcohol and other drug problems. All answers are completely confidential. We encourage all our readers who are eligible to participate.
On November 11th, AM-New York published an interview with Soffiyah Elijah, the executive director of the Correctional Association of New York. In the interview, Ms. Eljah outlined many of the problems that exist in New York State prisons, including issues around mental health, substance abuse, HIV, and rape and other forms of abuse.
“Hospital Toolkit” offers new resources for hospitals treating patients with substance use disorder