KU News Release
Jan. 12, 2011
Contact: Mindie Paget, School of Law, (785) 864-9205
Sunflower Foundation taps KU law graduates for advocacy initiative
LAWRENCE — For the third year, the Sunflower Foundation has tapped nonprofit leaders with ties to the University of Kansas School of Law for a yearlong program that helps participants develop the expertise to become powerful voices for the Kansans they serve.
Eunice Lee-Ahn, a 2010 KU law graduate and the school’s 2010-11 Medical-Legal Partnership Post-Graduate Fellow, and Cara Greve, a 2006 KU law graduate and director of the Kansas Hospital Association’s Workforce Center, are among 15 members of the third Sunflower Foundation Advocacy Fellowship class.
A recent study conducted on behalf of the Sunflower Foundation showed that only 40 percent of health nonprofit leaders in Kansas think their mission calls for participation in public policy, and of these, only one-third spend more than a few hours a week as advocates to the state legislature during its session.
The foundation believes that increasing the number of nonprofit health leaders who advocate on behalf of their constituents informs public policy and leads to real solutions for those in need.
The fellowship program includes six sessions over the course of a year, including one visit to Washington, D.C. Topics include how to develop advocacy strategies, build coalitions and grassroots efforts, navigate the political process and work with the media.
Lee-Ahn, who has a joint degree in law and social welfare from KU, brings the social work perspective to the practice of law as well as to the supervision of law students in the school’s Family Health Care Legal Services Clinic. The clinic provides legal assistance to indigent clients referred through a Kansas City, Kan., medical clinic.
“The medical-legal partnership is a model that recognizes that socioeconomic factors, not just access to health care, impact one’s health status and takes a comprehensive approach to address health disparities and inequalities,” Lee-Ahn said. “Policy advocacy is an essential component if you have any serious intention to minimize health disparities and inequalities due to social factors.
“I hope to take away from the fellowship the tools, skills and knowledge to incorporate policy advocacy into clinical legal education as well as to inform what I do as a public interest lawyer to meet my commitment to social justice.”
In addition to her law and social welfare degrees from KU, Lee-Ahn earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree in Korean studies from Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea. In law school, she interned in the Civil Defense Unit of the Missouri Public Defender Office and at Douglas County Legal Aid, an in-house legal aid clinic at the law school that represents clients in municipal court and juvenile justice cases.
Greve led the creation of the Kansas Hospital Workforce Center in 2008 and has directed its operations while on staff at the Kansas Hospital Association since that time. Her current role involves advocating on behalf of Kansas community hospitals. Before joining the association, Greve served as the policy analyst and government affairs liaison at the Kansas Association for the Medically Underserved.
In 2004, Greve helped begin development of the KU School of Law Externship Clinic. The program now incentivizes law students to pursue pro bono legal work with nonprofit organizations in exchange for course credit.
Greve has a bachelor’s degree in biology from Baker University, a master’s degree in health services administration from the KU School of Medicine and a law degree from the KU School of Law.
Past KU law participants in the Sunflower program include Elizabeth Weeks Leonard, professor of law, and Trinia Arellano, a 2009 KU law graduate and the 2009-10 fellow to the school’s Family Health Care Legal Services Clinic. Arellano is now part of the Department of Health and Human Services Emerging Leaders Program in Washington, D.C.
The Sunflower Foundation is a charitable organization with a mission to serve as a catalyst for improving the health of Kansans.
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