HHS Commemorates Disabilities Pioneer Lois Curtis

She was the plaintiff in Olmstead v. L.C. which laid the foundation for disability rights.

Last week, officials from the Department of Health and Human Resources (HHS) honored the life and memory of Lois Curtis, a disability rights pioneer who died of pancreatic cancer November 3.

Curtis was diagnosed with schizophrenia and cognitive disabilities as a girl and was forced into an institution at a young age. In 1995, she and co-plaintiff Elaine Wilson sued Georgia’s health commissioner Tommy Olmstead for their forced institutionalization, and the case went to the Supreme Court. In 1999, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Curtis and Wilson in the case Olmstead v. L.C., which has become a landmark case for disability rights.

“The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) had the honor of working with Lois on some of our Olmstead cases over the years and is grateful for her work and partnership,” said OCR Director Melanie Fontes Rainer. “Her work lives on here at HHS and across the country in advocacy.”

As the Lord Leads, Pray with Us…

  • For Director Rainer as she heads the HHS Civil Rights Office.
  • For Secretary Becerra to seek direction from the Lord as he manages his department.
  • For U.S. health officials as they evaluate the health needs and rights of the disabled.

Sources: Department of Health and Human Services


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