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INGHAM COUNTY-OKEMOS

The FAN mission and vision is to raise awareness of the prescription opiate drug abuse epidemic, to reduce the stigma and change the face of addiction, to educate about the dangers of prescription and illegal narcotic use, and to support those affected by drug abuse and addiction. Our goal is to encompass change in the perception and treatment of addiction and to be an advocate for change throughout society. Through Real People Sharing Real Stories and factual data, we reduce the stigma attached to addiction and create an open forum for families and professionals to receive valuable insight. We educate to raise awareness and save lives by partnering with insurance companies, medical professionals, legislators, the legal community, public safety, schools, families and friends, facilitating change in the way addiction is viewed and treated. Making a difference one step and one life at a time.


The FAN Okemos/Ingham county chapter was founded following the accidental overdose death of Eric Pavona. Although Eric's parents had worked for the primary health system in Lansing Michigan for over 30 years, they surprisingly found a system and community fractured, disjointed, many times apathetic, and at all times ill prepared to care for a family dealing with opioid addiction.


Following their son's death in August of 2011, Eric's dad Phil shared their story with many in their community and he was astounded and horrified to learn of the many colleagues, friends, acquaintances, and well-wishers who were silently going through the same experiences that they had over the last 2 years. All of them unaware of each other's plight, their children trapped in addiction, their families feeling alone and helpless.
 

Phil began to re-trace their ordeal, looking to inform and reform many of the entities along the way. This brought Phil in contact with Judge Donald Allen and Mr. Joseph Lowe, both who had attended a FAN presentation in Detroit. A local FAN community chapter became the best avenue to help other families faced with the challenges of addiction.

FAN's Board of Directors is a mix of law enforcement, parents affected by addiction, concerned citizens, and people in recovery. All are passionate about making a difference and provide their time on a volunteer basis.

MONTHLY MEETING

4th Tuesday of the Month
7:00pm - 9:00pm
University Lutheran Church
1020 S. Harrison Road
East Lansing, MI 48823

All are welcome to attend.
(Children 10 and older please.)
 
CONTACT US:

(517) 349-4642
okemos@familiesagainstnarcotics.org

General and Local Resources

2023 Family Forum Schedule

 Monthly Synopses

EXECUTIVE BOARD

The Honorable Donald Allen
President

Judge Donald Allen was appointed judge of the 55th District Court by Governor Jennifer Granholm on December 22, 2008. He was elected to the bench in 2010 for a six year term. His current term expires January 1, 2017.


Prior to being appointed to the District Court, Judge Allen served as the director of the Office of Drug Control Policy (ODCP). Judge Allen assumed the directorship of ODCP on June 5, 2006, after serving as deputy legal counsel for the Governor on her legal staff. Judge Allen's duties for the executive office included serving as a member of the Governor's senior staff with responsibilities for emergency management and homeland security, civil rights, and criminal justice.
 

Judge Allen is a 1983 graduate of Wayne State University Law School and spent most of his professional career as an Assistant Attorney General in the Michigan Department of Attorney General. He served at the Department of Attorney General from February 1988 through September 2005. His assignments included the Social Services, Revenue, Corrections, and Health Care Fraud divisions where he specialized in litigation. While at the Attorney General's Office, he also served as a member on the Attorney General's Litigation Advisory Board. In his last assignment at the Health Care Fraud Division he served as a prosecutor of high profile criminal and civil defendants.
 

As a busy, active sobriety judge in the 55th District Court, Judge Allen has seen first-hand the devastation that opioid addiction creates for our young adults and their families.

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Vice President

Bio coming soon.

Amanda Lick
Secretary

Amanda has comprehensive experience with opioid addiction and its effect on families which is the driving force for her passion and dedication to making a difference in the Lansing area. Amanda completed her Master's in Health & Risk Communication from Michigan State University. She specializes in research and development of communication interventions within the opioid context. Amanda has over 10 years of experience working in the health care industry. On a personal note, Amanda lost her mother to an unintentional poisoning of prescription drugs in the early morning of October 19th, 2007. Amanda watched her mother struggle with an addiction to prescription drugs most of her life. Through this experience, Amanda learned how pervasive addiction can be in families. She also noticed how each family is deeply affected by the behaviors of a person struggling with addiction. Specifically, how that person's behaviors affect each and every person within the family unit differently and deeply. Because of her personal and professional experience, Amanda is very passionate about supporting other families while they navigate through their own experiences with addiction. Amanda is dedicated to making a difference in her community. She serves on several boards and is involved with many different organizations in the Lansing area such as the President of the Lick Family Foundation, Board Member of the Firecracker Foundation and attendee of the Ingham Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition. 

Jarrod Barron
Treasurer

Jarrod obtained a bachelor of arts with distinction from the University of Michigan in 1994, majoring in economics and political science, and both a Juris Doctorate and a Master's in Business Administration from Boston University in 1997. He practiced law for fifteen years, primarily in the areas of business, tax, real estate, estate planning and asset protection. He currently is employed as an IT buyer, bidding out, negotiating and managing multi-million dollar software system purchases. He is married and has three children, one daughter and two sons. He is trained as a Recovery Coach through the Connecticut Community for Addiction Recovery, and has spent many hours assisting recoverees and their families directly in arresting their drug and alcohol addictions and rebuilding their lives. Jarrod himself is in sustained recovery.

BOARD MEMBERS

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Captain Chris Rozman
Director

Chris began his law enforcement career after graduating from Michigan State University in 2001. He progressed through the ranks at the Michigan State University Police Department, starting as a patrol officer before working as a detective, sergeant, and lieutenant. He became a captain in 2019 and currently oversees the Investigative Division while also filling the role of Public Information Officer. Chris has a Master’s Degree in Culture, Change, and Leadership from Cleary University and is a person with a passion for community outreach and support. He has helped start several initiatives, including the Special Victims Unit to assist survivors in a trauma-informed manner and the Community Care Unit to integrate a holistic model of mental health response. Chris views FAN as a valuable partner in efforts to reduce street and prescription substance abuse, and for assisting individuals as they struggle to understand the challenges they or their family members face when caught in the grasp of addiction.

Jesse Besonen
Director

Jesse Besonen began her law enforcement career as a police cadet with the Meridian Township Police Department in 2008. During her time as a cadet, she completed an internship with the 55th District Court Probation Department. She earned a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice from Ferris State University in 2009. Jesse was then hired as a 911 Dispatcher, but left in February of 2010 to accept a position as a probation officer with the 55th District Court. She currently operates as a general probation officer, one of the Sobriety Court probation officers, and the Sobriety Court pre-trial services agent. During her first few years as an employee with Ingham Courty, Jesse's eyes were opened to just how widespread and serious the opioid epidemic is and began researching resources for families and loved ones of people with substance use disorder. After attending an opiate conference in 2011, she discovered the FAN Fraser chapter. Once she learned FAN was starting an Okemos chapter, she practically insisted of becoming an active member. 

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Jim Keel
Director

Jim Keel earned his bachelor of arts degree from Western Michigan University in 2007, majoring in criminal justice and psychology with a minor in sociology. He is a Certified Addiction & Drug Counselor (CADC) and Certified Clinical Supervisor (CCS-DP) through the Michigan Board for Addiction Professionals (MCBAP). Currently the Program Coordinator at the House of Commons--a residential substance abuse treatment facility through Community Mental Health Authority of Clinton, Eaton, and Ingham Counties--Jim has worked with youths and adults in both residential and outpatient settings over the last 15 years. He is married and has one daughter. Jim is also an animal lover who currently has one German Shepherd dog and three rescue cats. (Every time he walks into Ingham County Animal Control, he walks out with a rescue cat!) He is honored to be a board member of Families Against Narcotics.

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Sarah Kenney
Director

Sarah obtained her bachelor's of science degree from Central Michigan University in 1999, majoring in sociology and minoring in substance abuse prevention and education. She added a master’s degree in social work, with a certificate in addiction studies, from Michigan State University in 2018.  Sarah is a certified Prevention Specialist through the Michigan Board for Addiction Professionals. She has been an employee of the Ingham County Health Department (ICHD) for 20 years, and currently works in the Health Promotion and Prevention department.  Through her work at the ICHD, Sarah has had the opportunity to support prevention efforts in Ingham County and provide education around issues related to substance use disorder.  She has provided extensive training on overdose prevention, including the use of Narcan throughout the county.  She has both personal and professional experience related to the impact substance use disorder has on individuals, families, and communities. Sarah is passionate about reducing the stigma associated with substance use disorder and promoting multiple paths to recovery. She is honored to be a part of the board for Families Against Narcotics. 

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Nicole Mutusko
Director

Nicole Matusko graduated cum laude from the honor’s college at Grand Valley State University with a bachelor’s degree in political science in 2005. While at Grand Valley, she was the co-founder and president of the Grand Valley Law Society and was a Michigan Merit Scholar. She went on to graduate with honors from the University of Notre Dame Law School in 2008, where she was awarded the Arthur May Award for Excellence in Trial Advocacy. Despite dabbling in many other areas of practice while in law school, Nicole knew her career would be in prosecution. She joined the Ingham County Prosecutor’s Office in 2009 and has had many assignments in the office, including prosecuting child physical and sexual abuse, intimate partner violence, sexual violence, complex drug trafficking, and health care fraud. Currently the liaison to the adult treatment courts in Ingham County, Nicole is also a member of the Ingham County Treatment Court Foundation and serves on the PAAM Drug Initiative Committee. She believes that treatment courts are a valuable aspect of the criminal justice system, because the goal of integrating treatment and recovery through the court system can often be overlooked. Nicole is excited to be a FAN board member and to bring awareness and accessibility to the treatment courts in Ingham County.

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Josh Corts
Director

Josh has been in recovery for more than five years and currently works as a peer recovery coach for the Community Mental Health Authority of Clinton, Eaton, and Ingham Counties. For most of his teens, and into his early 20s, Josh battled drug and alcohol addiction, was in and out of jails, hospitals, and psychiatric units, and was either couch surfing or living on the streets. He found recovery after going to treatment 17 times. Josh is certified by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and holds a developmental credential with the Michigan Certification Board for Addiction Professionals (MCBAP) as a Certified Peer Recovery Mentor (CPRM). He has worked closely with drug and treatment courts in the tri-county and surrounding areas, and has many connections in the criminal justice field. Josh says, “I have dedicated myself to helping anywhere I can by using my experience as a way to reach people in ways that others cannot.”

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Becky Pena
Director

Becky graduated from Michigan State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1983.  She has worked at WILX-TV in advertising sales for almost 20 years. Becky became involved with FAN after working on a public service campaign with Sheriff Gene Wriggelsworth. This led to an introduction to Phil Pavona and Judge Allen and the important work they do with FAN. This connection allowed Becky a greater understanding of the importance of their work when they successfully helped friends suffering from substance use disorder. 

Becky’s continued interest in being involved with FAN comes from the personal experience of losing her dad to addiction. Honored to serve on the FAN board, Becky believes that the real capability of people in recovery offers legitimate hope that others might not suffer the consequences of this disease. 

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Mia Smith
Director

My journey began in jail. I knew my way wasn’t working, and I had to change drastically. My probation officer came to me and offered a solution: Glass House, and I took it. There I found a way to forgive myself, to push forward against all odds. After I got my CCAR certification, I came back 18 months later and became a residential technician at Glass House. From there I became a PRC at the main office and at Safe Harbor. I then got another job offer at Lifeboat. Shortly after I was hired into Lifeboat, I got hired into the Assert team at the McLaren emergency room. I then left that position to become a manager at Life Boat and for the outreach initiative. I am proud to say that I am a grateful recovering meth addict and alcoholic. I’ve been clean for 4 years and 3 months. Now I own my own business, doing commercial and residential cleaning. I’m also buying a five-bedroom house in East Lansing. In the depth of my despair, I never thought these things were possible for me. I didn’t know choosing recovery was going to change my life forever, but it certainly did. I am living proof that there is a way out.

ADVISORY BOARD

John Hood 

Superintendent of Okemos Schools

Gary Bunge

Pastor, University Lutheran Church

 

Dr. John A. Baker III MD

Board Certified Addiction Psychiatry; Associate Clinical Professor Michigan State University

 

Grego Dagner

32-Year-Old in Recovery from Heroin 

Scott Wrigglesworth

Ingham County Sheriff

 

Andy Schor

Mayor of Lansing, Michigan

 

Aaron Emerson

26-Year-Old in Recovery from Heroin

Dr. Jeanne Kapenga
Board Certified Addiction Medicine Specialist

Phil Pavona

Certified Peer Recovery Coach

Charles A Lawler ESQ

Law Offices of Clark Hill PLC

Trina Poland

Person in Recovery & Certified Peer Recovery Coach

Linda M Peterson MD, F.A.P.M., F.A.P.A.

Chief Medical Officer, McLaren Health of Greater Lansing

 

Robyn Lynde

Team Leader, Tri-County Metro Narcotics Squad

 

Carol Siemon         
Ingham County Prosecuting Attorney

Dr. Curtis Smith

Clinical Pharmacist, Sparrow Hospital; Professor, Ferris State University College of Pharmacy


Linda Vail  MPA      
Health Officer, Ingham County Health Department

Darin Southworth

Jail Administrator, Ingham County Jail

 

Wellness INX

Case Management/Assessment/Screening/Prevention/Training Services/Peer Recovery

Elizabeth Montemayor

CPS Section Manger, Ingham County Health & Human Services

Ashley Meyers

Certified Pain Nurse/Management Educator, Sister to an Overdose Victim

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