2014 Equal Justice Works Fellow, Holly Hillyer

Holly Hillyer

Name of Host Organization: Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, Inc.
City, State: Toledo, Ohio
Issue area: Health Care
Sponsors: Ohio Legal Assistance Foundation

The Project

Holly worked to improve health outcomes for low-income and minority communities in Northwest Ohio by increasing access to health care and addressing the underlying social determinants of health.

The Inspiration

Need Addressed By Project: 
Vast disparities exist in the quality of health care and health outcomes between the rich and poor and for certain minority groups in our society. These disparities are evident throughout Northwest Ohio. African-Americans report having unmet medical needs at significantly higher rates than whites. Rural residents are much less likely to have health insurance than their urban counterparts. And low-income children suffer from asthma at considerably higher rates than children of high income families. Recent changes to our health care laws such as the Affordable Care Act and Ohio’s Medicaid expansion offer a unique opportunity to remedy these health disparities.
Fellowship Highlights: 
In the past two years, Holly has:
• Provided advice and brief service on issues including family law, immigration, housing, and public benefits cases to over 65 clients
• Submitted civil rights complaints to increase language access services for public transit users, language access services for developmental disabilities services, and public transit in isolated parts of Lucas County
• Drafted a policy brief and sign-on letter educating legislators about preserving Medicaid for pregnant women up to 200% FPL in Ohio's 2016-2017 budget
Where are they now?: 
Now that the Fellowship is complete, Holly will:
• Join for Advocates for Basic Legal Equality as a staff attorney in their Medical Legal Partnership for Children (MLPC)
• Continue my work on improving health outcomes in northwest Ohio, now with a primary focus on children and youth

© 2016 Equal Justice Works - 1730 M Street, NW, Suite 800, Washington, DC 20036-4511