Founder, Executive Director, Learn to Cope Inc.
Joanne Peterson is the Founder and Executive Director of Learn to Cope (LTC), a non-profit peer-led support network which began in 2004. Joanne’s journey started as a young girl with siblings experiencing issues with mental illness and addiction. Years later when Joanne discovered that her own son’s experimentation with prescription drugs led to an opioid addiction, she was motivated and empowered to use her voice to bring about change. Today her son is in long term recovery. She designed LTC to offer families the support, education, resources and hope that her family would have benefited from.
After spending several years working with for-profit CPA and legal firms, Eileen returned to the non-profit sector when she joined Learn to Cope as Program Director in April 2017. Her leadership experience at numerous non-profit organizations in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, along with her financial management and legal background, provided her with the knowledge and tools needed to fill the Program Director role. However, it was her personal connection to Learn to Cope’s mission that truly drew her to the organization. As a mom of a daughter in recovery, she knew that she could bring understanding, compassion and hope to the Learn to Cope family. Eileen earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Stonehill College and her Juris Doctor degree from New England Law. She grew up in Newport, RI and currently resides in Taunton, MA with her husband. They are the parents of three adult daughters.
Operations and Marketing Coordinator
Kim is the Operations and Marketing Coordinator for Learn to Cope and manages the Cape Cod LTC chapters. Her professional background includes 20+ years in sports management and marketing. She was introduced to Learn to Cope at an event where she heard Joanne Peterson speak, and after attending a few Learn to Cope meetings, she realized she had a strong desire to work with families. Her passion comes not only from her personal experience with family members who have struggled with substance use disorder, but also from her understanding that substance use disorder is a family disease. Kim is extremely grateful to be working on the Cape, a place that holds a special place in her heart, as she spent her summers growing up in Pocasset. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Boston College and completed the Addictions Counselor Education Program from UMass Boston. Kim currently resides in Norwell.
Kim covers the chapters of Yarmouth and Martha’s Vineyard.
Senior Western Regional Manager
Marcy Julian is the Senior Western Massachusetts Regional Manager for Learn to Cope. Ms. Julian has been an active member of Learn to Cope since 2011, and is a facilitator of the Holyoke group and a past facilitator of the Worcester group. Prior to joining Learn to Cope as a regional manager, she was an Assistant District Attorney with the Hampden County District Attorney’s Office for twenty-two years. Marcy holds a Bachelor’s Degree in History from Ithaca College and a Juris Doctor degree from Western New England University School of Law, and is a member of both the Massachusetts and Connecticut bars. She is also a member of the Western Massachusetts Community Advisory Board to the Phoenix House and serves on a committee for the Family Recovery Council. She has been both a speaker and panelist at many community events addressing addiction and is also certified to train in the administration of Narcan, the opiate overdoes reversal drug. Marcy and her husband reside in Wilbraham, MA. They are the parents of three adult sons.
Marcy covers the chapters of Pittsfield, Holyoke, and Greenfield.
Senior Northeast Regional Manager
Kathy resides in Gloucester, MA and is the Senior Northeast Regional Manager for Learn to Cope. Ms. Day is a seasoned advocate and trained Health Educator with over 13 years of experience working on the North Shore of Massachusetts with individuals and families struggling with substance use, HIV, and Hepatitis C. Ms. Day has served as the Opiate Coordinator for the City of Gloucester Health Department/Healthy Gloucester Collaborative from 2009-2013 on the MassCall2 Opioid Overdose Prevention Program. She is a volunteer with the Gloucester group “Community Members Who Care” and coordinates the Annual Gloucester Overdose Vigil as well as provides education and Narcan training to residents at the Action Inc. Shelter. Ms. Day holds a self-designed degree in Health Issues in Education from The University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Kathy covers the chapters of Cambridge, Gloucester, Ipswich, and Salem.
Senior Southeast Regional Manager
Vicky joined LTC as the Senior Southeast Regional Manager in August 2017, after serving as a volunteer facilitator and spokesperson for Learn to Cope for six years. Prior to joining LTC, Vicky spent 25 years as a Special Education Advocate where she represented over 150 families across Massachusetts, helping them navigate the complicated maze of Special Education. Originally attending Learn to Cope meetings as a parent in crisis in 2011, Vicky is now a grandparent raising her granddaughter. Drawing from her own experience, she is happy to be able to support and assist other LTC members facing similar situations. Vicky represents LTC as a lead stakeholder on the Braintree Community Partnership on Substance Use. She also has several years’ experience in business management. Vicky currently resides in Braintree.
Vicky covers the chapters of Quincy, Dedham, Hanover, Dorchester and Plymouth.
South Coast Regional Manager
Linda started attending Learn to Cope meetings in 2010 when one of her family members began struggling with Substance Use Disorder. She became an LTC volunteer meeting facilitator and Narcan trainer that same year, and was instrumental in establishing the New Bedford Chapter in January 2014. Prior to her employment at Learn to Cope in May 2016, Linda worked with the teen parent population at the Department of Transitional Assistance for 35 years. Today Linda participates in community opiate task force meetings and continues to speak out about her family’s experience assist others dealing with Substance Use Disorder, and to help lessen the stigma caused by this disease. Linda holds an associate’s degree from Bristol Community College. She currently lives in Somerset, MA.
Linda covers the chapters of Brockton, Taunton, New Bedford and Attleboro.
Northeast Regional Manager
Kelley joined Learn to Cope in September 2017 as the Northeast Regional Manager covering Haverhill, Lowell and Tewksbury. Seeking peer support as a parent of a child dealing with Substance Use Disorder, she became a member of the Lowell Learn to Cope Chapter in 2010. A few years later she was the driving force behind the founding of the Tewksbury Chapter, and assisted with the establishment of the Cambridge and Haverhill meetings. Kelley is an active member of the Greater Lowell Health Alliance Substance Use Prevention Task Force. She has been a speaker and panelist at many community events centered on the opioid crisis. Kelley is actively involved in community outreach, and is certified to train others in the administration of Narcan. She is the parent of four adult children, and especially proud of her child who is today in long-term recovery. Kelley and her husband reside in Tewksbury.
Kelley covers the chapters of Haverhill, Lowell and Tewksbury.
Western Regional Manager
Peter Babineau joined Learn to Cope in September 2017 as Western Regional Manager. A 24-year veteran of the Hampden County Sherriff’s Department, Peter has worked as substance use counselor, educator and curriculum coordinator. As a person in long-term recovery, he possesses first-hand knowledge of many of the challenges and choices people with Substance Use Disorder and those in recovery face. He is a staunch believer in multiple pathways of recovery and a promoter of healthy family involvement in the recovery process of loved ones, while engaging in wholesome choices and practicing self-care. He serves as an agency spokesperson on addiction treatment in many venues and collaborates on numerous community projects with schools, non-profit agencies, families and correctional departments. Peter was trained in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction which he has taught for the Sheriff’s department and in the community since 2001. Peter resides in Springfield with his wife Maureen, their adult son Austin, and their long-haired Dachshund, Theo.
Peter covers the chapters of Pittsfield, Holyoke and Greenfield.
Carrie Walsh is the Office Manager for Learn to Cope. In her current position, she serves as an integral person in the daily operations of the organization. She coordinates and schedules the Learn to Cope team to ensure organization and efficiency. Mrs. Walsh currently resides in Dighton, MA with her husband and three sons. Prior to joining Learn to Cope, Mrs. Walsh was a stay at home mom for 9 years. She is an active school volunteer and member of the Dighton Baseball League. Mrs. Walsh holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Management from Bryant University.
Patty Conant joined Learn to Cope in March 2017 as an Administrative Assistant where she helps ensure the efficient running of LTC’s central office. Her tasks include receipt and acknowledgement of memorial donations, assisting in the coordination of Ms. Peterson’s schedule, answering and fielding calls, and offering resources for families in need, to name but a few. With a soft, kind voice, Patty is often the person to console individuals in crisis when they call the office looking for someone to lend a compassionate ear and offer understanding and hope. Prior to joining LTC, Patty worked as a Freelance Court Reporter for 25 years. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from Bridgewater State University, and is a long-time resident of East Bridgewater. Patty is the proud mom to two daughters and a son.
Website Communication Specialist
As a mother of a college-aged young woman who fell into addiction to OxyContin then heroin, Mary attended the very first meeting of Learn to Cope with her husband. In the years that followed, Mary was active in the growing organization by establishing its non-profit status, and working on the Fundraising Committee and the Family Overdose Prevention initiative. She also helped create an anti-drug coalition in her community with outreach to the schools, a cable TV show, and community awareness meetings. She is also a Certified Narcan Trainer where she trains Learn to Cope members on overdose education and administration of nasal naloxone. Today Mary is the part-time website communication specialist for Learn to Cope. Mary spends countless hours providing support and resources to those individuals that email our website and monitors our discussion board. Mary is a Certified Medical Assistant on the South Shore. She and her husband live in Abington with their children. Her daughter is in long-term recovery today.
Contact Mary with any questions or comments.
Erin, a student intern with Learn to Cope, is a senior at Stonehill College in Easton, MA where she is studying Criminology and Psychology. Erin had never been exposed to the disease of addiction until it affected her own family. In 2016, during the summer entering her junior year of college, Erin found Learn to Cope while searching for an internship. She returned for a second summer and will continue to work for Learn to Cope as she finishes her final year of college. Erin hopes to receive her Masters in Social Work and obtain a position in the field of addiction and recovery.