Fairbanks presents the 2016 Circle of Hope Award to Justin Phillips

Fairbanks is pleased to present the 2016 Richard M. Fairbanks Circle of Hope Award to Justin K. Phillips. This prestigious award honors an individual or organization for outstanding contributions related to research, education or treatment of drug and alcohol addiction. This year, we recognize Justin Philips for her dedication to reducing the stigma of addiction and the prevention of overdose from heroin and other opioids.

Justin is the Executive Director and Founder of Overdose Lifeline, Inc., an Indiana-based nonprofit organization with the mission to carry the message of hope to individuals, families and communities affected by addiction. The organization focuses on support, education, harm reduction and prevention.

Justin formed the nonprofit in 2014 after the death of her 20-year-old son, Aaron, to a heroin overdose. Justin and the Board of Overdose Lifeline, Inc. have worked to raise awareness of the opioid and heroin epidemic and provide resources for prevention. In 2015 she worked with state Senator Jim Merritt on the passage of SEA 406 (Aaron’s Law) to allow for layperson access to Naloxone. Upon passage of the bill, Overdose Lifeline immediately began hosting public training sessions to educate individuals on the use of naloxone to reverse an opioid overdose.

Under her leadership, ODL secured grant funding to develop an educational program to inform high school students about the risks of prescription opioid abuse and heroin use.  This program entitled, This is Not About Drugs, has been presented to over 5,000 Indiana students, is supported by the Indiana Department of Education, and will be featured at the National Prescription Drug Symposium in Atlanta. Justin was also able to help secure funding from the Indiana Attorney General’s Office to provide naloxone to first responders across the state.

In December of 2015, US Senator Joe Donnelly of Indiana nominated Justin to be a “Champion of Change” as part of an initiative at The White House in recognition of her continued work in the fight against Indiana’s prescription opioid abuse and heroin epidemic.  Senator Donnelly acknowledged Justin as a leading voice for families facing addiction in Indiana through her efforts to advance prevention, treatment and recovery services in Indiana.

With a heart for service and a passion for caring for those in her community, Justin has made a career of serving others in the public sector. This includes previous roles as an educator for Washington Township Fire Department, The People’s Burn Foundation, and most recently the State of Indiana in the Traffic Safety Division. A lifelong resident of Indianapolis, Justin is a wife and a mother of three children, Bryan, Aaron, and Audrey.

We will honor Justin at the Circle of Hope Dinner on Thursday, April 21. Visit www.fairbankscd.org/coh for more information about the event!