The Grand Rapids chapter launched in February 2017 through the efforts of Jeanne Kapenga, M.D. Several years earlier, she became alarmed by the increasing number of news reports on the opioid crisis and began attending the Okemos/Lansing chapter meetings to learn more. In 2015, she started contacting community leaders and partnering agencies in Grand Rapids and Kent County, inviting them to come to the table and open up the dialogue about this deadly disease ravaging our community. Mary DeBoer then came on board while sharing her family’s personal journey in losing her son over ten years prior – when there was neither support nor resources due to the stigma of the disease.
The Board and Advisory Board members are working volunteers, passionate about making a difference and committed to providing quality service programming with integrity.
Our monthly Family Forums offer education, resources, and support for those facing the challenges of addiction. We don’t have the answers, but we are holding conversations offering hope, and searching for solutions. For those experiencing grief of a loved one lost to addiction, we offer comfort; for those facing incarceration, we advocate for the provision of medical treatment of this disease; and for those needing other resources, we collaborate in the community in creating them.
There is a sense of urgency with this crisis, termed “the worst man-made epidemic in the history of mankind” by the CDC. We lose more lives nationally each year, than for a ten-year period of the Vietnam War. Opioid overdose deaths now surpass preventable deaths of any other cause including car accidents and guns. We know that all sectors involved must work together in collaboration in finding solutions that will be meaningful.
Our membership includes those from law enforcement, the judicial system, health professionals, education, community advocates, family members, those in recovery, and those considering recovery. We offer Real Stories from Real People in our ongoing efforts for education, treatment, and support. We strive to erase the stigma of addiction through education, that addiction is a medical disease and not simply a moral failing, so that those needing treatment can receive it.
We invite you to join us at our monthly Family Forums to learn more, or to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
1st Tuesday of the Month
Meets at 6 pm
prior to the forum)
7:00 - 9:00pm
St. Mark's Episcopal Church
134 N. Division, Grand Rapids, MI
All are welcome to attend.
(Children 10 and older please.)
Upcoming Forum Topics/Speakers
December: Candlelight Tribute & Narcan Training
January: Grand Rapids Vice Squad Overview
February: Anniversary Program
March: Grand Rapids Police Chief Eric Payne
Check out our Facebook Page for other Events:
FAN I Light Art Therapy Group
Jeanne M. Kapenga, MD
Term Exp 12/20
Jeanne is a private practice physician in the field of addiction medicine, and has been a lifelong community advocate in the Grand Rapids area having spent her youth here. She has seen firsthand the impact of the opioid epidemic on the community, as well as on her patient population. She began attending meetings at the Okemos/Lansing chapter and over a period of time, realized the need for a local chapter. Over an 18 month time frame, she collaborated with many community leaders and families in garnering support for creating this much needed resource. There are many resources for those addicted, but few support systems for their loved ones. She is excited to see the chapter launch in February 2017, providing critical service programs and education for assisting those in need.
Judge William Kelly
Term Exp 12/20
Judge Wiliam G. Kelly has served in the 62-B District Court (Kentwood, MI) since 1979, following in his father's footsteps. He has been active at the state and national levels , teaching judges and judicial associations. He served on the board of directors for the Dispute Resolution Center, the board of trustees for the Grand Rapids Bar Association, and the board of directors for the National Center for State Courts. He has received many prestigious awards for his service. After attending the University College Dublin and the University of Detroit, Judge Kelly taught math in the Peace Corps in Ghana for two years before returning to U of D Law School. He began a Sobriety Court in 62-B in early 2015 and has dedicated his efforts in assisting FAN in its endeavors as he has witnessed the damage the opioid epidemic has caused to people struggling with addiction, their family members, and the community. He is a proponent of treatment programs and the proud father of five children.
Term Exp 12/20
Arlene and her family have enjoyed living in northern Kent County for over 30 years. Her story is the same as countless families that never imagined dealing with substance abuse, only to find themselves frantically searching for recovery services. Arlene and her husband made many expensive and harmful decisions searching for help for their son while in crisis mode. She is excited to be part of the FAN Grand Rapids chapter so she can help others in the community understand addiction and find reputable recovery resources.
Term Exp 12/20
As an attorney practicing in the field of family law since 1987, Donna has seen numerous clients having legal involvement due to their addiction issues, as well as the destructive impact addiction has on the family unit and the community. She has also volunteered professionally in several organizations committed to addressing issues of domestic violence. She is committed to improving the resources available for those involved in the legal system, and their families, to break the revolving door cycle.
Term Exp 12/19
Steve is an assistant United States attorney in Grand Rapids and has been involved in prosecuting federal drug crimes for nearly a decade. He currently heads the Narcotics Unit in the Western District of Michigan's United States Attorney's Office, and has worked with numerous witnesses and victims in prosecuting criminal activity. He has experienced first hand the devastation that this epidemic wields through his professional career, as well as having a family member in recovery.
Term Exp 12/20
Chris has been the Assistant County Prosecutor for Kent County for over twenty years, and has recently been elected county prosecutor. Having grown up in the area, he sees the impact that this epidemic has had in the region and the need for committed resources and support for those affected by addiction and their loved ones. He also realizes that the criminal justice system is not fully equipped to deal with all the ramifications of addiction, and that Families Against Narcotics is a contributing advocacy group for the region.
Term Exp 12/20
Mike is a lifelong Kent County resident who has been employed in financial planning, as well as coaching athletics at a local high school. Mike's involvement with Families Against Narcotics is personal, having a son in early recovery after a decade of struggling with addiction. He has seen the impact that FAN's service work has had in supporting his family's efforts.
Term Exp 12/19
Jayne grew up in Grand Rapids and returned after acquiring her psychology, nursing, and law degrees. She has been practicing family law for over 30 years and has witnessed and endured the addiction struggles of friends, family members, and clients. She is passionate and committed to helping build resources for those with addiction, their loved ones, and the recovery community, in an effort to combat the opioid epidemic.
Network 180Contract Administrator
Red Project, Person in Long Term Recovery
Bruce Springer, M.D.
Addictionist, Pine Rest Mental Health Services
Cara Poland, M.D
Fr. Christian Brocato
Rector, St. Mark's Episcopal Church
61st District Court Administrator
Judge Donald Allen
Sobriety Court judge, 55th District Court
Norman Palm, M.S., D.D.S.
Michigan Dental Association
Lt. Scott Rifenberg
Grand Rapids Police Department
Community Advocate and founder of Meghan's A.R.M.Y.
Kent County Prosecutors Office
Judge Susan Jonas
Sobriety Court judge, 58th District Court
Judge Suzanne Kreeger
Drug Court judge, 8th Circuit Court
Director Alano Club of Grand Rapids
Lt. Alan Roetman
Kent County Sheriff's Department
Medical Outcomes Specialist, Pfizer
Editor/writer, Community Advocate
Joann Hoganson, R.N.
Kent County Health Department
Dr. Michael Shibler
Superintendent of Rockford Public Schools
Karl Roberts, M.D.
Orthopedic Surgeon, Spectrum Health
Michigan State Police
Marketing Director, Sanford House