College of Law Professor Wendy Bach was one of several University of Tennessee professors and community leaders who met with a national policy adviser Thursday to provide insights about drug addiction in East Tennessee.
Anne Hazlett, the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy’s senior adviser for rural affairs, visited the University of Tennessee as part of her outreach to the nation’s rural communities.
Hazlett has worked with the Office of National Drug Control Policy since February responding to what President Donald Trump has declared a nationwide Public Health Emergency.
Throughout the last several weeks, Hazlett has traveled throughout the country to network with rural community leaders and learn how to better support community efforts in combatting drug addiction.
“Here in Tennessee, there’s been a strong recognition that our rural areas are particularly impacted–the resource needs are great–but these are places for hope and opportunity for the future,” Hazlett said. “We, in the federal government, want to be a partner to assist these leaders to build that vision for the future.”
Bach, who teaches in UT’s acclaimed legal clinic, studies the interaction of social support and punishment. Her most recent research focuses on the impact of Tennessee’s “fetal assault” legislation and demonstrates that public health is undermined when the criminal justice system is called to respond to a health crisis.
Bach joined professors from the university’s colleges of nursing and business to share their expertise about the opioid epidemic in Tennessee. Hazlett also met with a number of Tennessee mayors and community partners during her one-day visit.