GRAND Traverse

Each day in our country, more than 100 people die from opioid drug overdoses--nearly 50,000 in 2016 alone. Our community has not been spared. In one month alone, there were three fatal overdose deaths due to opioid drugs, including a 19-year-old Traverse City Central High School graduate. Deaths due to overdose now outnumber the number of traffic fatalities nearly two to one.

In 2015, Robert Cooney, the Grand Traverse County Prosecuting Attorney, was alarmed by the trends he was seeing. He started the Grand Traverse County Drug Free Coalition to bring together community agencies and individuals to explore answers.  Prosecutor Cooney became acquainted with Judge Linda Davis and learned about Families Against Narcotics through his friendship with her.  He was greatly impressed with the group and wanted to start a chapter in Traverse City.

In February of 2018, Kathy Jones, a local pharmacist, was attending the annual convention of the Michigan Pharmacists Association when she heard Phil Pavona speak about FAN. She was deeply touched by his words and the hope they offered.  She had experience with addiction and the pitfalls of finding help through current channels and knew families who had lost loved ones to this terrible disease.  Kathy felt that forming a chapter in Traverse City was a real possibility.  Phil had given her his phone number and she called him Sunday night on her way home.  He answered, and so began the start of Grand Traverse Area Families Against Narcotics chapter.
Once she returned, Kathy contacted Prosecutor Cooney as part of the process of starting a new chapter.  Together they began gathering a formidable group of individuals. Because of the relationships formed through the Coalition, Prosecutor Cooney was able to bring together judges, the local school superintendent, local police chief, a psychiatrist specializing in the treatment of addiction, and the CEOs of some of the local addiction treatment services, among others, as directors. He and Kathy also included family members, recovering people, and the local manager of HUD programs. These people are passionate about working together to be a part of the solution to the tragic situation happening in the Grand Traverse area.



1st Thursday of the Month

Central United Methodist Church
 222 N. Cass St.
Traverse City, MI

All are welcome to attend
(Children 10 and older please)


Judge T.J. Phillips
Term Exp 12/20

Judge Thomas J. Phillips was elected in 2000 and re-elected in 2006 and 2012 to serve Antrim, Leelanau, and Grand Traverse Counties.  Prior to election, Judge Phillips was the managing partner for Running, Wise, Ford, and Phillips. He joined the firm in 1975 and became a partner in 1977.  Judge Phillips grew up in the Detroit area and graduated from University of Detroit High School.  After graduating cum laude from the University of Notre Dame with a Bachelor's in business administration, he went on to receive his law degree at the University of Michigan Law School.  After law school, Judge Phillips served in the Naval Judge Advocate’s General Corps as a lieutenant during the Vietnam War.  While a Navy JAG, he was awarded the Freedom Award from the NAACP for his work with black sailors.  Judge Phillips started a specialized domestic violence court in 2003, an eviction diversion court in 2012, a drug court in 2016, and a community outreach court in 2017.  

Robert Cooney
Term Exp 12/20
Vice President
M. E. Conlon M.D. PhD FAPA
Term Exp 12/20

Dr. Lyn Conlon moved to Traverse City in 1998 after living in Baltimore, MD, where she did her residency in psychiatry at Sheppard Enoch Pratt Hospital. Conlon also served as outpatient chief resident and a psychiatric consultant for Emergency Psychiatry Associates. After moving to Traverse City, she not only started her private practice, but also started working as a staff psychiatrist at Community Mental Health and Munson Medical Center, where she eventually became the medical director for the inpatient psychiatric unit. She's also the psychiatric consultant at the Grand Traverse Correctional Facility. Conlon became the medical director at the Lighthouse Neurological Rehabilitation Center in 2009. She is an associate professor at Michigan State University, teaching both family practice and psychiatry. In 28 years as a psychiatrist, she has served in multiple capacities in professional associations and on multiple committees, most recently with Families Against Narcotics and the Grand Traverse County Drug Free Coalition. Conlon is proactive in her community, is passionate about her profession, and has received multiple honors and rewards. She has had her work published and has given numerous educational and informational speeches to educate both professionals and the public about mental health and addiction. She acknowledges the part the medical community has played in the current crisis and wants to be advocate for change and education.

Gerry Morris
Term Exp 12/20

After serving almost 30 years with the federal government, Morris retired.  As a Vietnam veteran, he served honorably off the coast of Vietnam on the USS Kitty Hawk from 1965-1967.  He has a master’s degree in organizational management and has provided classroom and individual instruction at the graduate, undergraduate, and high school levels. Morris is a former Traverse City Board of Education member, serving as president of that board for three years. He was also the finance officer for the board of the National Cherry Festival. Morris is the board president of Project Unity for Life. Project Unity for Life’s mission is providing persons who have experienced a substance use disorder (SUD) and/or incarceration the opportunity to be a substance-free, responsible, community member.

Bob is the elected Grand Traverse County prosecuting attorney. He has served in that office for nearly 25 years and was first elected in 20I2. Concerned about the rise in opioid-related overdose deaths and crime, Bob spearheaded an effort in 2014 that led to the formation of the Grand Traverse County Substance Free Coalition and a separate Five County Coalition that have helped raise public awareness about the problem and introduced substance use disorder education in our public schools. They have also initiated the formation of a drug treatment court and, most recently, launched the first Northern Michigan chapter of Families Against Narcotics. Bob serves on the board of the Michigan Association of Treatment Court Professionals, whose mission is to provide leadership to treatment courts throughout the state of Michigan.  


Christopher Hindbaugh
Term Exp 12/19

Hindbaugh has worked in the behavioral health field for over 20 years.  A native of Michigan, Hindbaugh obtained both his undergraduate and MSW from Western Michigan University.  He spent the early part of his career working in a variety of hospital-based programs around the Chicago area before returning to Michigan to run a youth crisis center. He subsequently spent 3 years as a program officer for a community foundation. In 2009, Hindbaugh moved to Traverse City, where he is the current CEO of Addiction Treatment Services. He contributes a wealth of administrative, program development, and business skills to that organization. Since taking over ATS, the company has more than doubled in size and is now the region’s largest treatment provider. That success earned Hindbaugh a spot on the 2010 “40 under 40” list (an honor he sadly no longer qualifies for).  In 2012, Hindbaugh was honored with an award from SAMHSA for his organization's efforts to promote recovery principles in the region.  Additionally, the Recovery Month event Hindbaugh organized that year was featured in the documentary "The Anonymous People."  Thus, Hindbaugh now serves as a National Recovery Month planning partner facilitated by SAMHSA in Washington, DC.  In January of 2015, Hindbaugh was invited along with other "leading experts in the field" to the first-ever "Office of National Drug Control Policy Forum: Access, Recovery, and the Affordable Care Act." That event was held at White House and hosted by the director of the White House's Office of Drug Control Policy, Michael Botticelli.  In March of 2016, Hindbaugh accepted yet another national award on behalf of ATS. This award came from the National Council of Behavior Health, who bestowed their “Change Maker” award on the organization at its annual conference.  "As an optimist by nature, I strive to bring my outlook to all that I do, be it personal or professional," Hindbaugh says. "That is how all positive change happens.  First, believe that it can.  Addiction is a community issue and I hope to foster a community solution we can all believe in."  

Paul Soma
Term Exp 12/19

Soma currently serves as Superintendent for the Traverse City Area Public Schools. He began working with Government Financial Officials Association (GFOA) in 2013 and is currently leading TCAPS through the Strategic Financial Planning process. Soma helped pioneer the application of Lean principles to school district management and co-authored the book Transforming The Way We Do Business, a book about incorporating Lean principles in K-12 organizations. He is recognized as a leader in the state working for equity in school funding. Prior to being named superintendent, he held the positions of chief financial officer and chief operating officer. Soma has presented at state and national conferences on a variety of topics related to the management of public school systems. Before coming to Traverse City, he was executive director of business affairs at Romeo Community Schools, finance manager for the Walled Lake Consolidated School District, and a senior accountant at Deloitte & Touche. Paul and his wife, Kitty, have three children; two in college and one attending TCAPS. Paul is passionate about TCAPS and enjoys attending any and all events that showcase the talents of TCAPS students. In his leisure time he enjoys bass fishing. 

Nancy Dow
Term Exp 12/20

Nancy believes being a mom is one of life’s greatest blessings. She is the mother of four beautiful daughters. But on April 8, 2017, her life forever changed when her daughter Dana lost her battle with addiction to an accidental overdose of prescription opioids. Dana lives on through Nancy as she advocates daily to help educate and spread awareness about addiction. Most importantly, Nancy works to break down the stigma and shame that surrounds addiction, which makes it more difficult for those suffering from this disease to reach out for help. One of Dana’s greatest gifts, when she was in recovery, was helping others. Many women live healthy lives in recovery today because of Dana’s kindness. Nancy joined FAN so she could be Dana’s voice of Love & HOPE, helping others in our community who are struggling with addiction, and offering support to the families affected as well. It is also her mission to educate others who do not understand addiction, so that together, as a community, we can make a positive difference. Dana’s favorite quote was “BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”. Please help honor Dana’s memory and join Nancy in living this way.

Alisa Korn
Term Exp 12/19
Anne Grizzel 
Term Exp 12/19
Ken Kaufman
Term Exp 12/19

Ken Kaufman retired as senior vice president of manufacturing and engineering for Dow Corning Corporation in 2016 after a 35-year career. Originally from the Detroit area, Ken and his wife Ellen moved to Midland in 1981, and subsequently relocated to Traverse City upon retirement. Ken's community activities include serving as treasurer and board member for the United Way of Northwest Michigan and as a core team member on the Five County Substance Free Coalition of Northwest Michigan. Ken is also a board member of the Silver Lake Improvement Association, past president of the Michigan Chemistry Council board, and a 4th degree member of the Knights of Columbus. He holds a BS in Chemical Engineering from Wayne State University and an MBA from Central Michigan University.

Ricky McCallum
Term Exp 12/19
Chip Cieslinski

Chip Cieslinski is the President/CEO of Catholic Human Services, which provides a wide range of
social services within the 21 counties of Northern Lower Michigan. Chip and his wife located to
northern Michigan in May of 2016 after serving as COO of Catholic Charities of Southeast Michigan,
in the Archdiocese of Detroit. He has worked for over 30 years as both a treatment provider
and administrator. Chip has had a long-standing passion for treating mental health and
substance use disorders, particularly with the education and prevention component. There is
an unmet need for both that he wants to work with other treatment providers and community
members to meet.

Judge Mike Haley
Term Exp 12/19
Dale Ostema
Term Exp 12/18

Dale is the senior pastor at Central United Methodist Church in Traverse City, where he has served for 11 years. He has pastored several other UM churches in Northern Michigan over the past 30 years. He hopes to leverage the resources of the church to help make a difference in the current opioid epidemic.


Kerri Lynn Meyer
Person in recovery

Robin Sommer

Advocate for Opiate Awareness and Prevention

“Stop the Silence, Speak the Truth”  

Dr. Christine Nefcy

Medical Director, Munson Medical Center, Traverse City

Chief O’Brien


Renae Fogarty 

Director Grand Traverse County Drug Free Coalition

Dr. Cindy Berck 

Director Human Resources Traverse City Area Public Schools

Families Against Narcotics
18900 15 Mile Road

Clinton Township, MI 48035

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