Board of Directors
Founder, Executive Director, Learn to Cope Inc.
Joanne Peterson is the Founder and Executive Director of Learn to Cope; a non-profit peer-led support organization that was started in 2004 for families dealing with addiction. Joanne is also a parent of a son in long term recovery from opioid addiction which all began with OxyContin. Learn to Cope (LTC) is a unique solutions-based support, advocacy and educational organization for family members of those addicted to opioids and other drugs. Learn to Cope has a website which provides a private support forum with over 6,300 registered families locally and nationally, as well as 16 current chapters throughout Massachusetts, and 1 chapter in Rhode Island which hold weekly meetings. LTC provides peer support and education with the focus on coping with the danger, stress and emotions related to this situation. LTC provides informational resources regarding the disease of addiction and realistic strategies for treatment and recovery based on the real-world experiences of members. LTC provides training on overdose prevention including recognizing the signs, symptoms, and risk factors of opioid overdose and how to save the lives of family members if they should see these symptoms. When LTC became a program included in the Massachusetts Department of Public Health Narcan Pilot Program, it was the first parent network in the nation to provide the overdose reversal antidote, Narcan (nasal Naloxone) to its members. Of the 104 volunteer parent facilitators, over 40 are certified by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to train members on overdose prevention, narcan administration, and enrollment in the Narcan pilot program. Since LTC become a pilot in Massachusetts in December of 2011, there have been 40 members to date that have saved a life using Narcan. LTC has been successful in getting many young people off the street and into the treatment they need while also helping families to cope with the journey of addiction and find their own recovery.
Learn to Cope has been recognized both locally and nationally through many media outlets including: Time Magazine, the New York Times, Renew magazine, A&E’S Intervention, NPR Radio, Cape Cod Times, Brockton Enterprises Wasted Youth” series, Geraldo at Large, FOX News, Boston Globe, Boston Herald, WCVB TVS Chronicle and participated in a follow up documentary for the Emmy winning Current TV’S “OxyContin Express” which aired in May 2011. Joanne and LTC members were interviewed on the Katie Couric show and NBC Nightly News with Kate Snow. Joanne has testified numerous times at the State House in Boston, in Congress in Washington D.C., and at several FDA meetings. Joanne is a member of the expert panel for Brandeis University Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) Center of Excellence, a committee member for the nation FED UP Coalition, and a member of the Board of Directors for the Recovery Research Institute. On behalf of Learn to Cope, Joanne has received numerous awards for advocacy regarding the dangers of Prescription drugs in many communities in Massachusetts.
Maureen Boyle, an award-winning writer, is the Director of the Journalism Program at Stonehill College. Before joining the college full-time, she was a reporter at newspapers throughout New England and was part of the reporting team at The Enterprise of Brockton which produced “Wasted Youth” and “Deadly Surge,” the acclaimed series on heroin addiction among teens and young adults in the region. She joined the Board after leaving daily journalism.
Koren H. Cappiello, CPS, MPA, MSW, LICSW
Koren Cappiello is the Director of Community and Social Services for the Office of the Mayor, in the City of Brockton. In her role, Ms. Cappiello oversees and manages over $2.5 million in city grants related to social services from homeless prevention and assistance to gang prevention, drug and alcohol prevention/resources and elder services. She also serves as the Mayor’s representative on numerous committees and coalitions, and collaborates with community partners to pursue additional grant funding. Ms. Cappiello also oversees programs for youth including: Brockton After Dark, the annual Mayor’s Summer Jobs Program, and supervises the AmeriCorps Promise Fellow assigned to the Mayor’s Office.
A graduate of Stonehill College, Ms. Cappiello also holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from John Jay College of Criminal Justice in NYC and a Master’ss Degree in Social Work from Bridgewater State University. She is a Licensed Certified Social Worker in the State of Massachusetts. Ms. Cappiello is also a former Peace Corps volunteer having served in Cape Verde, West Africa for two and a half years. She is the former coordinator of the Brockton Mayor’s Opioid Overdose Prevention Coalition. In that capacity Ms. Cappiello coordinated and created a solid coalition and performed overdose awareness and prevention work throughout the community. Ms. Cappiello also works per-diem as a therapist at Northeast Health Services and as a clinician at High Point Treatment Center, and she serves on the Area Board of the Department of Children and Families, as well as Learn to Cope.
Hillary Dubois is the present Coordinator of the Brockton Mayor’s Opioid Overdose Prevention Coalition. This position has Ms. Dubois working with various key stakeholders throughout the City of Brockton to educate the community including active opioid consumers, individuals in recovery, their loved ones, service providers and the community at large on the risks factors of an overdose as well the signs and symptoms, and ultimately how to save lives. The Coalition is funded by the MassCALL2 grant through the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Bureau of Substance Abuse Services.
Prior to Ms. Dubois’ work with the Coalition, she worked with a variety of different populations, including adult males released from prison at a transitional housing unit in Dublin, Ireland, who all had substance abuse issues, with approximately half of the clients being addicted to heroin. Ms. Dubois then worked in various roles with at-risk adolescent girls, their families, and other collaterals in a group home and STARR program funded by the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families.
Ms. Dubois holds a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Criminology from Stonehill College, as well as a Master’s of Science degree in Criminology from Northeastern University.
John F. Kelly, Ph.D.
Dr. John F. Kelly is an Associate Professor in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, Associate Director of the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH)-Harvard Center for Addiction Medicine, and Program Director of the MGH Addiction Recovery Management Service (ARMS). He serves as a consultant to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, the US Department of Education, and to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) as a scientific reviewer. He also serves as a Board Member on the Executive Committee of the American Psychological Association, Division on Addictions, and as an Associate Editor for the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, and the journal, Addiction. Dr. Kelly has conducted research in many areas pertaining to substance use disorder treatment outcomes, recovery management, and the effects of continuing care. His recent research has focused on enhancing the continuum of care, the translation and implementation of evidence-based practice, addiction and criminal justice, addiction treatment theories and mechanisms of behavior change, and reducing stigma associated with addiction.
Carol Kowalski, RN, MSN, CADAC
Carol Kowalski is the Site Director for High Point’s Meadowbrook Campus, a 184 bed in-patient addictions treatment center in Brockton for men, women and adolescents. She is a Certified Addictions Registered Nurse (CARN) and has worked in the field of addictions for over thirty years. She is currently a committee member of the Board of Registration in Nursing’s Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Program which monitors nurses in their recovery. She is also a member of the International Nurses Society on Addictions and the Brockton Mayor Opioid Overdose Prevention Coalition.
Lori Long is the Director of Community Relations at North Shore Medical Center in Salem, MA. In this role, which she has held for 13 years, Ms. Long oversees the Medical Center’s community benefit programming, and has been instrumental in assuring that substance abuse is one of the priorities addressed. When a community health needs assessment identified that family support for parents of young opiate addicts was one of the critical needs on the North Shore, she led the process of bringing Learn To Cope to Salem.
Prior to her community role, Ms. Long served for 20 years as an attorney in the health care and non-profit field, working for state government, a large Boston law firm, and then as general counsel to a hospital organization.
Marguerite Egan Roberts, RNC, MS, NP
Marguerite Roberts is Director of the Family Resource Center in Behavioral Health at the MassGeneral for Children at North Shore Medical Center in Salem. She co-founded the Pediatric Behavioral Health Resource Center in 2003, for families and professionals, and helped to establish the North Shore chapter of Learn to Cope in 2007. Ms. Roberts coordinates that weekly group for parents.
Ms. Roberts has extensive experience in co-developing family education programs, including: Grief After Substance Passing North Shore, Sibshop Collaborative of the Northeast, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Teacher for Teens and Adults at the acclaimed North Shore Recovery High School and community; as well as a researcher on MBSR in Teens.
She has been Member of Clinical Advisory Board at MassGeneral for Children at NSMC, the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, Board Member of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Greater North Shore, a Pediatric Health representative for Danvers CARES; and served on the drug prevention coalition, the Lynn Overdose Prevention Committee, and the Hamilton-Wenham Drug Prevention Coalition.
Diane Hickey possesses a vast amount of experience working with addiction, and her passion for helping those suffering is innate. her journey towards this point began in the early 1980s when she and her former husband moved to Florida to find recovery. However, it wasn’t easy for her husband who had early bouts with relapse; thus she began attending Alanon. There, Diane learned that addiction was an inherited disease, recognizing the obstacles that arise when caring for someone who struggles with a substance abuse disorder.
Diane became a critical care nurse in a large hospital, and after a few years, moved up to a management position. She worked alongside other managers, learned policies and procedures, mentored other nurses, and became an advocate for patients. Diane earned the honor of employee of the year, and in 1991 her and another woman opened up a women’s halfway house. At the time, there were very few places in Fort Lauderdale that provided a safe environment for those dealing with addiction to build self-esteem and recover from substance abuse disorders. When, after 25 years in recovery, her husband relapsed and eventually passed away, Diane’s determination to help others only grew.
Diane now has over 32 years experience working with all stages of families in crisis as well as with adults dealing with co-occurring and substance abuse disorders. She has an extensive background with regard to this field, having worked with men and women in detox, drug and alcohol treatment, outpatient treatment, aftercare, sober living, and recovery. Most recently, Diane has worked at Cornerstone Recovery Center in financial, facilities, and operational matters. She knows first-hand what it takes to build and operate an effective drug addiction treatment center, and continues to use her own understanding of the disease of addiction to help others.