The Baraga County Families Against Narcotics (FAN) chapter was formed to offer information, support, and resources to any person who loves someone with substance use disorder (SUD). For decades, families have suffered in silence and struggled alone. Our goal is to change that. Gail Ploe, Treasurer of the newly formed FAN chapter, said, "I once heard a mother talking about how hard it was to deal with her daughter's addiction. She said what made it worse was the shame and isolation. This mom said, 'Addiction isn't a casserole disease,' and then explained. 'When your loved one is facing a serious illness or recovering from an accident, your community rallies around you, and in small towns they bring you casseroles. But when your kid is addicted, there are no casseroles.'" The Baraga County FAN chapter is made up of members who care deeply about their community, and whose lives have been touched personally and professionally by SUD. We are here to walk this path with you. Together we know we can make a difficult journey far less lonely.
2nd Monday of the Month
5:00 - 6:00 pm
Baraga County Health Dept.
303 Baraga Ave.
L'Anse, MI 49946
President Term Exp. 12/24
Sandra Lytikainen has worked for Pettibone in Baraga, Michigan, for the last 20 years in various sales and marketing positions. She is currently their Dealer Development Manager. Sandra met her husband, Mike, in her hometown of Arlington, Texas, and they have been married for 35 years. They moved to the U.P.—where Mike is originally from—to raise their three sons in a smaller community. Sandra was drawn to lead the new Baraga County FAN chapter because she lost her middle son, Benjamin, to an accidental drug overdose in 2016. He will be forever 25. “Bringing FAN to Baraga County is a way to honor Ben,” Sandra says. “It’s also a way to help guide those families that are living with active/recovering addiction issues, because we all know it’s a family disease.”
Vice President Term Exp. 12/24
Rebecca Dove is currently the Community Outreach Coordinator for the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community (KBIC) Office of Child Support, a position she has worked in for the past six months. She previously worked at the Baraga County Shelter Home for nine years as an Outreach Advocate. Rebecca helped bring FAN to Baraga County because she has personal experiences with addiction and what it does to families and loved ones. She also wants to better her community for her children as they grow up. Rebecca believes we need to do better, not only for the people of our community but for our children as well.
KIMBERLEE DE ROSIER-GAUNT
Secretary Term Exp. 12/24
Kimberlee DeRosier-Gaunt (BS, LADC/ADCII) is an addictions counselor licensed in the states of Minnesota and Michigan. She holds an addiction counseling degree from MCTC in Minneapolis and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Currently working on her master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling at the University of Phoenix, Kimberlee will also specialize in grief work by attending Grief Support Specialist training at Northern Michigan University in the fall of 2022. Kimberlee is a recovering alcoholic/addict who received treatment at New Day Treatment Center in October of 2012 and has remained alcohol and drug-free ever since. She took her recovery and ran with it, in hopes of giving back to the community that helped her to get healthy and sober. Kimberlee returned to the Copper Country in 2021 after receiving her addiction counseling degree and substance use experience/recovery for four years in the Twin Cities of Minnesota. She has come full circle and is now a Substance Abuse Counselor at New Day Treatment Center in L’Anse, Michigan. Kimberlee’s motto is: “I not only want to be a part of the healing/recovery process of individuals, but want to be a part of getting the community I am sending them back to healthy and sober.”
Treasurer Term Exp. 12/24
Gail Ploe is a certified alcohol and drug counselor and certified prevention specialist with more than 20 years of experience in substance abuse prevention and treatment. She has worked at the Western U.P. Health Department for most of that time. She also worked as a women’s addiction specialist with Keweenaw Bay Indian Community (KBIC) and is the Project Director of the Facing Addiction through Community Engagement (FACE) Project. Passionate about helping people with substance use disorder (SUD), Gail has walked alongside friends and family struggling with addiction and is very excited to be a part of the Baraga County FAN Chapter.
SHARON GILLIAND-CHEEK, MD
Director Term Exp. 12/24
Sharon Gilliland-Cheek is a board-certified pediatrician who has been seeing patients at Baraga County Memorial Hospital in L'Anse, Michigan, and at the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community (KBIC) Health Systems clinic in Baraga since late 2011. As such, she has been treating U.P. adolescents with mental health issues for more than 10 years. Sharon was a founding member and active in the Baraga County Communities That Care organization for several years, and is supportive of the efforts of FAN in addressing substance use issues in both youth and their families. Besides her training as a pediatrician, she has had specific training in managing child abuse. Before moving to the U.P., Sharon was a lifelong Hoosier and obtained her training at the Indiana University School of Medicine and Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis. Outside of work, Sharon has fallen in love with the outdoors in the U.P. and loves kayaking, snowshoeing, and hiking. She plays the piano, particularly enjoying ragtime.
Director Term Exp. 12/24
Michelle has worked for Great Lakes Recovery Centers since November of 2019 and is currently the Case Manager for the Ripple Recovery Residence in L'Anse, Michigan. She has also become a state certified peer recovery coach. A wife and the mother of two children, Michelle is also a person in recovery. She has used her personal experience and strength to work with clients early on in their recovery and to be an advocate for others in her community. Michelle has 13 years in recovery and overcame many obstacles through hard work and determination. By fighting through the thick and thin, Michelle, who leads by example, has shown others that there is hope. As a certified member of the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association, she helps people deal with stress, anxiety, detox, and more. Michelle is all about bringing awareness and resources to a community that lacks many services and is excited to be a part of getting FAN started in Baraga County.
LISA M. DENOMIE
Director Term Exp. 12/24
As a member of the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community and the KBIC Cultural Committee, Lisa is a continued knowledge seeker, especially for her Ojibwe language and culture. Her career in the early childhood field began in 1997 and she currently serves as the Program Director for the KBIC Early Childhood Program. Lisa’s first introduction to drug/substance abuse occurred in 1995. She says that "being a member of FAN is an opportunity for me to share, assist, and stand up for those who need the support.”