Board of Directors
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. After years of watching family members struggle with opioid addiction starting with prescriptions, she was motivated and empowered to use her voice to bring about change. She designed LTC to offer families the support, education, resources, and hope that her family would have benefited from.
Funded by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MADPH), Learn to Cope has grown to have a full staff who collaborate with communities across the state, spreading messages of prevention, education, awareness, and advocacy. Moreover, LTC has 25 chapters throughout Massachusetts, a chapter in Florida, and a private, online forum that supports over 11,000 members. In each of these branches of LTC, families receive unique support and education from professionals and peers.
Through advocacy and awareness, Ms. Peterson collaborated with MADPH to become the first parent network in the country to provide the overdose reversal antidote nasal naloxone. Today, facilitators are trained and certified to provide overdose education and nasal naloxone kits at each Massachusetts chapter. This life saving education and medication that LTC members receive has successfully reversed over 200 opioid overdoses since December 2011.
With the growth and expansion of LTC, Joanne has been called upon by high-level government and law enforcement officials, coalitions, and educators to assist in their efforts to combat the opioid epidemic. In January 2015, Ms. Peterson was a guest of Senator Ed Markey at the White House State of the Union Address. Then, in October 2015, Ms. Peterson participated on a panel with Attorney General Maura Healey, Mayor Martin Walsh, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton regarding the prescription drug and heroin crisis in Massachusetts. Later that year, she was a recipient of the Advocate for Action award presented by the Office of National Drug Control Policy. In 2016, Ms. Peterson was asked by Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker to participate as a panelist for the National Governor’s Association Health and Human Services Committee in Washington DC to discuss the nation’s opioid crisis. She was invited to the White House to participate in a discussion on the Administration’s efforts to address the opioid epidemic, held by Michael Botticelli, former National Drug Control Policy Director.
Currently, Ms. Peterson sits on the Massachusetts Health and Human Services Emergency Department working group along with the Governor’s Special Commission to investigate and study licensed addiction treatment centers for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. She is a board member of RIZE Massachusetts, a member of the Attorney General’s Interagency Task Force on Newborns with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome, and a part of the Family Advisory Council for the Purdue Pharma Lawsuits. She serves on the Advisory Boards of the National Child and Traumatic Stress Network as well as Harvard University’s Recovery Research Institute, she is also serves on the MCAS (Massachusetts Coalition of Addiction Services) and HEAL Communities coalitons, Plymouth County DA Task Force Executive Committee, Norfolk County DA Coalition, Worcester County DA Task Force.
In 2019, Ms. Peterson served as an impact board member for the Grammy and Tony nominated Broadway hit, Jagged Little Pill. She was brought in by Level Forward Productions and the producers and writers of the show to work with the cast. She also previewed the show’s rehearsals to check for authenticity around the family dynamic and trauma of opioid addiction. The play is based on the 1995 Alanis Morissette album and Academy award winning writer Diablo Cody’s book.
In March 2021 took oath of office to serve on the Opioid Recovery and Remediation Fund Advisory Council by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey. Joanne’s experience working with families harmed by the Opioid crisis for over twenty years she is proud to be the voice for families.
Koren 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 service programs targeting homeless prevention and assistance, gang prevention, drug and alcohol prevention, 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. In addition, Ms. Cappiello oversees programs for youth including: Brockton After Dark, and the annual Mayor’s Summer Jobs Program, along with supervising 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’s Degree in Social Work from Bridgewater State University. She is a licensed social worker in the State of Massachusetts. Ms. Cappiello is 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 where she performed overdose awareness and prevention work throughout the community. In addition to her duties with the Mayor’s Office, Ms. Cappiello works per-diem as a therapist at Northeast Health Services, and as a clinician at High Point Treatment Center. Along with serving as clerk on the Learn to Cope Board, she also serves on the area Board of the Department of Children and Families.
Chuck Gennari is currently the CFO for Strategic Spaces LLC.
Chuck graduated from Mass College of Liberal Arts with a BS in Business Administration. He has held several senior financial positions in banking, high tech and construction.
He has a family member in long term recovery and has been attending LTC meetings for four years.
The resources of Learn to Cope were a critical support component to his family by providing both knowledge and strength during his family member’s transition from active addiction to recovery.
Lori Long is the Director of Community Relations at North Shore Medical Center in Salem, MA, where she oversees the Medical Center’s Community Benefit Programming. In this role she has been instrumental in assuring that substance abuse remains a top priority. When a community health needs assessment identified family support for parents of young opiate addicts was a critical need on the North Shore, she led the charge to bring Learn To Cope to Salem.
Prior to her community role, Ms. Long served 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.
Peggy Murphy is a member of Learn to Cope who attributes her son’s long term recovery to the learnings gained in meetings. She is a founding member of Rally 2 Recovery (R2R), a series of fundraising and educational events for Learn to Cope. Responsible for fundraising and sponsor relations and sits on the executive committee responsible for planning, marketing and outreach (appeared on Worcester Cable Network TV and WTAG radio speaking on the resource Learn to Cope and the Rally). Conceptualized and organizing the first conference on addiction for families and loved ones suffering from SUD supporting LTC. Peggy was the Co-founder and Vice President of the Board of Directors of the Woodstock Education Foundation (WEF). Instrumental in obtaining the Foundation’s non-profit 501c3 status. Responsible for community-based fundraising including an annual appeal, fundraising galas, and the solicitation of local businesses. Peggy was also the Co-founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors of The Rectory School Parent’s Association, an Independent, co-educational, junior boarding (Grades 5-9) and Day School (early childhood). Formed to improve the interaction between students and families, and the school’s administration, faculty and staff in an effort to facilitate student and family acclimation to the school community. Co-founder and Board President of The Children’s Center responsible for establishing the Center’s non-profit 501c3 status under the umbrella of The First Congregational Church of Woodstock, CT. Anchored financial support from Crabtree and Evelyn, Inc. as a corporate sponsor, was responsible for all aspects of licensing and accreditation with the state of Connecticut, hiring a program director, purchasing all necessary equipment and supplies, coordinating insurance policies, and subsequent fundraising efforts to provide scholarships for families in need. Instrumental in obtaining the prestigious National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) accreditation. Outreach Manager for The Last Green Valley, Inc. for the National Heritage Corridor. Partner, Aging Well Partners and Certified Aging in Place Specialist providing guidance and resources for geriatric care management, offering a wide range of services designed to assist families with senior loved ones, at every stage of the aging spectrum.