The Downriver chapter of Families Against Narcotics was founded in 2017 in response to the ongoing epidemic abuse of prescription medication (opioids) and illegal narcotics that impact communities throughout the Downriver area.
The serious nature of this issue is highlighted by the fact that in 2016 alone, over 64,000 individuals died in the U.S. as a result of overdose from an opioid related cause. In comparison, during the 10 years our Country was involved in the Vietnam War, a total of over 58,000 U.S. lives were lost. Downriver FAN membership is comprised of individuals who have experienced first-hand the tragic consequences associated with addiction, along with numerous caring members of our community that represent public safety, government, medicine, business and religion.
The volunteer members of Downriver FAN are passionate about making a difference in our communities. We are dedicated to raising awareness and educating the public, especially students and their parents, about the dangers of prescription drug and narcotic abuse.
Downriver FAN will also provide to individuals in recovery, as well as their families and friends, a place to come together for support and to fight the stigma of addiction, to obtain resources to assist those in recovery, and through the shared experiences of others, knowledge that this disease can be overcome.
We invite all to join us at our monthly forum meetings where guest speakers will provide valuable information about the causes of and treatment of addiction, along with important personal stories from individuals who have suffered the impact of this disease.
MONTHLY FORUMS SUSPENDED THROUGH MAY 1ST DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS
3rd Thursday of the Month
The Turning Point Clubhouse
1605 Fort St.
Lincoln Park, MI 48146
Turning Point Clubhouse is near the intersection of Fort St. and Southfield Rd.
All are welcome to attend.
(Children 10 and older please.)
Hon. Gregory A. Clifton
Judge Gregory Clifton is a member of the 25th District Court which serves the communities of Lincoln Park, Ecorse, and River Rouge. As a result of the ongoing abuse of opioids and illegal narcotics, Judge Clifton and other concerned citizens determined that it was necessary to start a Downriver chapter of Families Against Narcotics to assist individuals and families in the Downriver area who are suffering from the tragedy of addiction. Judge Clifton volunteered to become the first president of Downriver FAN to provide support for those in recovery, as well as to promote the education of students and their parents about the dangers of drug abuse.
Hon. Geno Salomone
Geno Salomone was first elected judge of the 23rd District Court in 2000. Prior to his election he was a practicing attorney, with emphasis in labor law and the public sector. He started the 23rd District Drug Treatment Court in 2002 and the Downriver Regional Sobriety Court in 2014. He has been a past president of the Wayne County District Judge’s Association. He is active in many community activities, including starting the Taylor Reading Corps, the Taylor Farmers’ Market and the Taylor Conservatory. Judge Salomone currently serves as president of the Michigan Association of Treatment Court Professionals.
Jill Blackson is the Deputy Director of Community Care Services and is a Master Level Social Worker. Jill has worked with families, children, and adults with mental health and substance issues for over 25 years. She sits on the Beaumont Taylor Teen Health Center Advisory Board, the Beaumont Taylor Substance Abuse Task Force, and is the secretary for the Downriver Families Against Narcotics chapter. As a life-long Downriver resident, Jill has seen the devastation that this opioid epidemic has caused in these communities and looks forward to working with community partners and community residents to tackle this important issue.
Teresa has been an administrative manager for 15 years, leading people on their career paths specializing in finances, budgets, and expenses. She came to the Downriver area in 1992. After seeing the effects of addiction on the community, she joined FAN in November of 2017. She helped launch the Hope Not Handcuffs initiative in the Downriver area and is their Angel Coordinator for the program. She continues to help place individuals with addiction into treatment and provides them with the support and resources they need to direct them on the right path to recovery. Teresa has also volunteered for the local school district.
Thomas R. McKeown, MD, FACEP
Dr. Thomas McKeown, MD, FACEP, is an Emergency Medicine Physician at Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital. In addition he serves as medical director for 8 of the Downriver Fire Departments, and as quality director for the Department of Emergency Medicine and the hospital. He is an Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at Michigan State University and teaches medical students and residents in the emergency department. He went to medical school at Wayne State University, completed his residency at Henry Ford Hospital, and has lived in the Downriver area for many years. As a result of his work as an emergency medicine physician, he knows first-hand the effects of the opioid epidemic on the individuals, families, and community.
It is a privilege to serve on the Families Against Narcotics executive board. I graduated from Central Michigan University with a B.A. in recreation and parks administration, with a concentration in recreational therapy. I began my career as a recreational therapist at the Coldwater Regional Mental Health Center back in 1987. After working at the CRMHC for 4.5 yrs, I accepted a recreational therapist position at Oakwood Hospital & Medical Center working in their psychiatric unit. I then became director of the Psych Rehab/Partial Hospitalization Program and worked in this capacity for 9 years before becoming Director of Child & Adolescent Health at Beaumont Health. We have child and adolescent health/teen health centers in the following communities: Taylor, River Rouge, Inkster, Romulus, and Westland. I promise to raise awareness of the dangers of prescription narcotics, support those affected by narcotic addiction, and help erase the stigma of addiction.
Simone Calvas works for Beaumont Health, is a substance abuse prevention counselor, and community organizer for four coalitions Downriver: Taylor Substance Abuse Prevention Taskforce, Lincoln Park Substance Abuse Prevention Taskforce, Ecorse Community Coalition, and Downriver Anti-Trafficking Coalition. Simone brings community leaders and neighborhoods together to build bridges through education and resources. "The youth are our priority, they are our future," she says. "We cannot let them be blindsided through this epidemic of substance use and abuse."
Amelia “Millie” Jones is the current vice president of Beaumont-Trenton Hospital. She has been a healthcare administrator for over 25 years in southeastern Michigan. Millie is on the board of directors of the Greater Detroit Health Council and the Southern Wayne County Regional Chamber. Millie’s primary degree is in occupational therapy from Wayne State University, and she has additional business degrees and certifications from the University of Michigan and Walsh College of Business. She has published numerous clinical and business articles related to healthcare. Millie is a lifetime Downriver resident and is invested in bettering the healthcare of her community.
Rose Ann Rudisill
Rose Ann Rudisill is a Vietnam era veteran and CEO of the non-profit organization Downriver for Veterans, which is located in Wyandotte. She also recently successfully completed senior officer school. Rose Ann is a mentor at the Southgate Veteran's Court, as well as a member of the Honor Guard. She additionally assists veterans through the American Legion on a variety of issues, including PTSD and other mental health matters.
Michelle Calvillo is a licensed masters level school social worker who currently serves at an alternative high school in the Downriver area. She has several years of experience in assisting at-risk youth and has over 20 years of volunteer experience with community partners in the Downriver area. She began serving on the board of directors for the Downriver chapter of Families Against Narcotics upon its inception in October of 2017 and is also the chairperson of the Downriver Anti-Trafficking Coalition. Michelle grew up in the Downriver area and is passionate about raising awareness and educating communities on vital issues such as human trafficking, substance use, trauma-informed practices, and resilience.
Wayne County Prosecutor
Director, Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority
Mayor, City of Lincoln Park
Dr. Michael L. Gamble, M.D.
Hon. Jennifer Coleman Hesson
33rd District Court
Superintendent, Lincoln Park Schools
Doctor of Pharmacy
Dr. Joseph A. George, M.D.
Addiction Specialist--Internal Medicine
Executive Director, Downriver Community Conference