The FAN Mission and Vision is to raise awareness of the prescription opiate drug abuse epidemic, to reduce the stigma and change the face of addiction, to educate about the dangers of prescription and illegal narcotic use and to support those affected by drug abuse and addiction. Our goal is to encompass change in the perception and treatment of addiction and to be an advocate for change throughout society. Through Real People Sharing Real Stories and factual data, we reduce the stigma attached to addiction and create an open forum for families and professionals to receive valuable insight. We educate to raise awareness and save lives by partnering with insurance companies, medical professionals, legislators, the legal community, public safety, schools, families and friends, facilitating change in the way addiction is viewed and treated. Making a difference one step and one life at a time.
The FAN Okemos/Ingham county chapter was founded following the accidental overdose death of Eric Pavona. Although Eric's parents had worked for the primary health system in Lansing Michigan for over 30 years, they surprisingly found a system and community fractured, disjointed, many times apathetic, and at all times ill prepared to care for a family dealing with opioid addiction.
Following their son's death in August of 2011, Eric's dad Phil shared their story with many in their community and he was astounded and horrified to learn of the many colleagues, friends, acquaintances, and well-wishers who were silently going through the same experiences that they had over the last 2 years. All of them unaware of each other's plight, their children trapped in addiction, their families feeling alone and helpless.
President, The Honorable Donald Allen
Judge Donald Allen Judge Allen was appointed judge of the 55th District Court by Governor Jennifer Granholm on December 22, 2008. He was elected to the bench in 2010 for a six year term. His current term expires January 1, 2017.
Prior to being appointed to the District Court, Judge Allen served as the director of the Office of Drug Control Policy (ODCP). Judge Allen assumed the directorship of ODCP on June 5, 2006, after serving as deputy legal counsel for the Governor on her legal staff. Judge Allen's duties for the executive office included serving as a member of the Governor's senior staff with responsibilities for emergency management and homeland security, civil rights and criminal justice.
Judge Allen is a 1983 graduate of Wayne State University Law School and spent most of his professional career as an Assistant Attorney General in the Michigan Department of Attorney General. He served at the Department of Attorney General from February 1988 through September 2005. His assignments included the Social Services, Revenue, Corrections, and Health Care Fraud divisions where he specialized in litigation. While at the Attorney General's Office, he also served as a member on the Attorney General's Litigation Advisory Board. In his last assignment at the Health Care Fraud Division he served as a prosecutor of high profile criminal and civil defendants.
As a busy, active sobriety judge in the 55th District Court, Judge Allen has seen first-hand the devastation that opioid addiction creates for our young adults and their families.
Vice President, Phil Pavona
Phil was the primary driving force and founding member for an Okemos/Ingham County FAN Chapter. Phil and his wife Pat lost their son Eric to an overdose in August of 2011. In the 2 years that their son Eric struggled with heroin addiction, the family (mom, dad, Eric and 4 sisters) all had the unfortunate opportunity to experience everything from the court and health care systems, jail, rehabs, 12 steps, counseling, and eventually the medical examiner and funeral system. When faced with their son's addiction, Phil was confident that a successful recovery was in their future. After all, Phil was the Pulmonary Services Director at the primary health system in Lansing and Pat was an Intensive care Nurse at the same location. They both had worked there for over 35 years and had many health care and community connections. With all his connections and efforts, Phil found a system and community fractured, disjointed, many times apathetic, and at all times ill prepared to care for a family dealing with opioid addiction. A local FAN community chapter became the avenue to help others faced with this challenge. Phil is active in speaking to local parents and high school students, is the primary force behind Project Eric (peer recovery program for opioid addicts and their families) and is now a trained family peer recovery coach.
Executive Secretary, Amanda Lick
Amanda has comprehensive experience with opioid addiction and its affect on families which is the driving force for her passion and dedication to making a difference in the Lansing area. Amanda completed her Master's in Health & Risk Communication from Michigan State University. She specializes in research and development of communication interventions within the opioid context. Amanda has over 10 years of experience working in the health care industry. On a personal note, Amanda lost her mother to an unintentional poisoning of prescription drugs in the early morning of October 19th, 2007. Amanda watched her mother struggle with an addiction to prescription drugs most of her life. Through this experience, Amanda learned how pervasive addiction can be in families. She also noticed how each family is deeply affected by the behaviors of an addict. Specifically, how the addicts behaviors affect each and every person within the family unit differently and deeply. Because of her personal and professional experience, Amanda is very passionate about supporting other families while they navigate through their own experiences with addiction. Amanda is dedicated to making a difference in her community. She serves on several boards and is involved with many different organizations in the Lansing area such as the President of the Lick Family Foundation, Board Member of the Firecracker Foundation and attendee of the Ingham Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition.
Treasurer, Joseph Lowe
Joe was a career long business manager for two major international corporations. Joe is a co-founder clinician for Wellness InX. He is a Michigan Certified Recovery Coach, received certificate training in ASSIST Suicide Prevention and is an Ingham County Parenting Time Supervisor. He was trained in Peer Recovery and Support and facilitated peer groups at the Merritt-Peralta Institute for Alcohol and Drug Recovery (MPI), Oakland CA. He studied substance abuse assessment, diagnosis and behavioral pharmacology at the University of California, Berkeley Extension. Joe is a US Navy Veteran. Joe knows addiction first hand and is currently in his 8th year of sobriety.
Chief David Hall, Director
Chief David Hall began his law enforcement career in 1976 after graduating from Michigan State University. Starting as a patrol officer, Chief Hall progressed through the ranks serving the Meridian Township Police Department as a Patrol Sergeant, Sergeant in Community Services, Services Lieutenant and then Captain prior to his 2004 appointment as Chief of Police. Chief Hall is a graduate of the prestigious FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia and a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police and the Mid-Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police. Chief Hall sits on numerous professional boards and is actively engaged not only with his own department but with other law enforcement agencies in the mid-Michigan region.
Throughout his career Chief Hall has worked with many community groups and has directed the Department's outreach initiatives with the Township's various schools, including an extensive effort in drug resistance education in K-12 private and public schools. Chief Hall is an advocate and practitioner of community based policing and has developed his own department around its core elements of engagement, involvement, trust and mutual respect.
Chief Hall's strength is his continual effort to engage the community and encourage their participation in the Department's efforts to prevent, reduce and solve crimes. Together with his community partnership philosophy, Chief Hall views FAN as a valuable partner in efforts to reduce street and prescription substance abuse and for assisting individuals as they struggle to understand the challenges they or their family members face when caught in the grasp of drug abuse.
Jesse Besonen, Director
Jesse Besonen began her law enforcement career as a Police Cadet with the Meridian Township Police Department in 2008. During her time as a Cadet, she completed an internship with the 55th District Court Probation Department. She earned a Bachelor's Degree in criminal justice from Ferris State University in 2009. Jesse was then hired as a 911 Dispatcher but left in February 2010 to accept a position as a Probation Officer with the 55th District Court. She currently operates as a general Probation Officer, one of the Sobriety Court Probation Officers and the Sobriety Court Pre-trial Services Agent.
During her first few years as an employee with Ingham Courty, her eyes were opened to just how wide spread and serious the opaite epidemic is and began researching resources for families and loved ones of addicts. After attending an Opiate Conference in 2011, she discovered the FAN Fraser chapter. Once she learned FAN was starting an Okemos chapter, she practically insisted of becoming an active member.
Ericanne Spence, Director
Ericanne Spence, a licensed Social Worker, has been helping individuals with Substance Use Disorders since 1990. She holds a bachelors degree in Psychology from Michigan State University and received her Master's degree in Social Work from Grand Valley State University. In 1997, after working 15 years in the Grand Rapids area, Ericanne accepted a position with Community Mental Health of Clinton, Eaton and Ingham Counties. She currently holds the position of Director of Substance Abuse Services for that agency.
Ericanne views her role as a social worker within the field of substance use disorders as her life's path and passion. She was honored to join Families Against Narcotics - Ingham/Okemos Chapter as a adjunct Board member a year ago and views the FAN organization as sanctuary of hope/acceptance for those experiencing addiction. .
Marie Hull, Director
Marie is a 1982 education graduate of the University of Michigan. She and her husband Bill have raised 2 children in Okemos Mi. She was a substitute teacher and swimming coach in Okemos for 16 years while raising her children. Most recently, Marie has been working with her extended family on behalf of a family member who is an opioid addict currently undergoing treatment. She continues to experience first-hand the difficulties in dealing with an addicted love one, and in dealing with the care/support system available for the addict. The FAN credo "no family should have to go through this alone" has become a powerful motivator for Marie in her involvement and support of FAN.
Alcohol, Tobacco and other Drugs Health Educator
Michigan State University Student Health Services
Dr. Catherine Ash
Superintendent of Okemos Schools
Dr. John A Baker III MD
Board Certified Addiction Psychiatry; Associate Clinical Professor Michigan State University
Community Recovery Coach-Sister to an overdose death and Aunt to a niece in recovery
Community Recovery Coach--MSU graduate in Recovery from Heroin
Jail Administrator Ingham County Jail
Lansing Community College Student in Recovery from Heroin
MSU Student Sister to a family member in recovery
Rev. Fred Fritz
Pastor, University Lutheran Church East Lansing Mi
Prevention Specialist EISD Prevention Program Services
Dr. Jeanne Kapenga
Retired anesthesiologist and community advocate
Justin King J.D. CAE
Former Executive Director of the Michigan
Association of School Boards (retired)
Charles A Lawler ESQ
Clark Hill PLC
Linda M Peterson MD, F.A.P.M., F.A.P.A.
Chief Medical Officer McLaren Greater Lansing, Psychosomatic Medicine
Robin Reynolds MPA
Executive Director Ingham Health Plan Corporation
Detective Robyn Lynde
Tri-County Metro Narcotics Squad
Dr. Curtis Smith Pharm. D.
Clinical Pharmacist, Sparrow Health System; Professor, Ferris State University College of Pharmacy
Former Legislator, Mom to an addict son in recovery