GREAT LAKES BAY REGION
The Great Lakes Bay Region chapter of Families Against Narcotics was founded in October of 2017 by community members across Bay, Midland, and Saginaw counties in an effort to address the local opioid epidemic.
On December 28, 2016, the local news headline read, “EMS crews in Bay County see 27 overdoses in 27 days,” and at that moment co-founder Lori Ziolkowski, whose daughter was struggling with substance use disorder (SUD), realized her family was not alone. She began researching organizations that were helping stop the epidemic and connected with Katie Donovan from FAN Macomb. During this time, Judge Harry Gill, who presides over the drug treatment court in Bay County, was witnessing firsthand the devastation the epidemic was having on the local community. He had heard Judge Linda Davis speak, and reached out to Phil Pavona from Ingham County FAN. Judge Gill and Lori connected, and together they created an executive board that includes law enforcement, the treatment community, and families that have been directly affected by substance use disorder.
Our monthly FAN Forums exist to reduce stigma, educate our community about substance use disorder, and provide a place of support that welcomes everyone. We also provide free Narcan training--which includes free Narcan for attendees to take home--after every meeting in an effort to reduce overdose deaths. The community quickly embraced the work FAN was doing. Local law enforcement agencies were presented with the idea of launching Hope Not Handcuffs, so people struggling with SUD could get help finding treatment.
On July 24, 2018, eight law enforcement agencies from across all three counties launched the program. Five months later, the local community college and university joined their efforts. The Hope Not Handcuffs program assisted 49 people into treatment during its first 7 months. We continue to explore innovative solutions to end this epidemic and support individuals and families throughout their journey.
2nd Thursday of the month
1961 Delta Road
University Center, MI 48710
All are welcome to attend.
(Children 10 and older please.)
Judge Harry Gill
Honorable Harry Gill is a judge of the 18th Circuit Court, Bay County MI. Upon taking office in 2011, he founded the 18th Circuit Court Felony Drug Treatment Court, which is an alternative program within the criminal justice system. The program is designed to address the needs of defendants who have committed crimes thought to be caused by addiction to drugs or alcohol, through treatment and structure rather than incarceration. Judge Gill is a strong supporter of FAN because through his experience as a judge he has seen firsthand the devastation addiction causes to people and their families. He also has observed that addiction is not hopeless and that people who are provided support and treatment can--and do--enter sustained recovery and lead happy and productive lives. FAN is a major source of this kind of support within our community.
Lori is an associate professor at Delta College, where she has taught marketing and management for the past 10 years. She holds an M.B.A. in marketing, but is most proud of a different accomplishment: M-O-M. She is Amanda’s mom. Together with Kevin, her husband of 28 years, she has fought a 4-year battle against addiction, side-by-side with her daughter, who overdosed on heroin in May of 2013. Thankfully, Amanda survived that overdose and is celebrating recovery since February of 2016. Along with Judge Harry Gill, Lori formed the Great Lakes Bay Region Families Against Narcotics (FAN) chapter in October of 2017, and serves as its vice president. The chapter launched the Hope Not Handcuffs program at eight local law enforcement agencies in July, 2018. Lori is committed to helping others through addiction prevention, stigma reduction, and treatment accessibility.
Alana Brink works as a residential technician at a local treatment facility. She joined Families Against Narcotics when the GLBR chapter was developed in October, 2017. She took the position of secretary at the same time. As a person in long-term recovery, Alana knows firsthand the grip addiction can hold on one's self. She has seen the damage she caused her family and loved ones. As well, Alana knows all about the fight to gain back all that was lost to her addiction and maintain it. She is a certified recovery coach and has many other certifications, ranging from business ethics and boundaries to domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking. Alana has spent her 3+ years of recovery dedicated to helping others in their recovery, reducing the stigma, and assisting in bridging any gaps she can to see others succeed in their journey. She knows bringing awareness is a necessity to helping any community. As a mom of two amazing boys, a loving newlywed, devoted family member, and productive member of society, Alana has the heart and many other assets needed to contribute to FAN.
Barry is a substance abuse prevention consultant who is the director of the Neighborhood Resource Center and the coordinator for the Bay County Prevention Network. Over the past 28 years, Barry has worked with communities, youth, and parents on issues affecting health and quality of life. He is responsible for assessing, planning, and implementing a wide array of programs in the arena of substance abuse prevention. Barry is a graduate of Bay City Central High School, possesses a bachelor’s degree in health sciences and community development, a master’s degree in public health from Walden University, and a master’s degree in health promotion management. A prevention specialist for 20 years, Barry was the winner of the 2017 Michigan Public Health Hometown Hero Award. In his free time, he spends time with his wife and 23-year-old son, and is actively involved in his church.
David has more than 20 years of experience in the field of law enforcement. He understands that every law enforcement agency is only as successful as the strength of the relationships it builds with its citizens and community partners. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice and a Master of Arts degree in Public Administration. David is also a graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Academy (Session #160). David has worked 22 years for the Saginaw Police Department, currently serving as the administrative services lieutenant. Previously, he worked 16 months with the Saginaw County Sheriff Department. He has been awarded the Saginaw Police’s Chief of Police Personal Citation for Esteemed Service, Exceptional Performance Award , Commendation Award, Outstanding Unit Decoration, Meritorious Unit Commendation, and Service Decoration. In 2014, David was also recognized as a Saginaw County Community Mental Health Authority 2014 Special Hero Award Recipient.
Chief Clifford Block
Chief Block began his law enforcement career with the Village of Morrice and Perry Police Departments. He relocated to Midland in 1993 to begin a proud and rewarding career as a law enforcement officer with the Midland City Police Department. He worked his way up the ranks and, after a nationwide search, was appointed as the chief of police on January 30th, 2012. Chief Block has served the department as a member of the Midland SWAT Team, holding positions of operator, sniper, and Team Leader. In addition, he has held roles as a field training officer, firearms instructor, tactical weapon instructor, chemical aerosol instructor, Glock, H&K, and Colt M16 armorer, and accident reconstructionist.
Chief Block received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Science from the University of Michigan in 1991, and his associate's degree in criminal justice from Delta College in 1995. He completed the Eastern Michigan University School of Police Staff and Command in 2001, received his Master of Arts in Leadership in Public Administration from Saginaw Valley State University in 2003, completed the Michigan Police Executive Development Seminar in 2006, and graduated from the FBI National Academy (Session #229) in 2007. Cliff has been an active member of the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police (MACP) since 2004: member of the Alarm Management Committee and former chair; and member of the Legislative Committee, MACP President 2017-2018. Chief Block also belongs to several other committees, boards, associations, and civic organizations.