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. 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.
Joanne works closely with her team and families at Learn to Cope to offer peer support. Joanne continues to speak publicly to offer education on the family’s perspective as well as signs and symptoms of substance use and overdose prevention. For full bio see “about us”
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.
Eileen covers the chapters of Dedham & Plymouth.
Director of Program Development & Training
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, Haverhill, Ipswich, Lowell, Salem 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.
Northeast Regional Manager
Bev is a psychiatric and mental health nurse who is especially drawn to those who suffer from depression, anxiety, dementias, issues around grief and loss, Substance Use Disorder and dual diagnosis. Listening to and being fully present for people brings her joy, and when performing duties as a hospice nurse, she considers it a privilege to help others through bereavement counseling. She believes strongly in the connection between the mind and body, and practices daily meditation with her husband. One of her favorite quotes is, “You take yourself, no matter where you go.” Teaching and community service are among Bev’s passions. Her background in business has allowed her to travel internationally as a career instructor for a major corporation. She also serves on several Boards and is a certified trainer for the Alzheimer’s Association. A long time Learn To Cope facilitator, she says that she can’t picture life without Learn To Cope in it.
Bev covers the chapters of Haverhill, Tewksbury and Lowell.
Phone: (508) 404-4153
Western Regional Manager
Magda Colon joined Learn to Cope in October 2020 as Western Regional Manager. She is bilingual – bicultural relocating to the greater Springfield area from Puerto Rico in the 90s. Magda has over 20 years’ experience in behavioral health, community health education and public safety. During those years she gained a great understanding of how mental health and substance use disorder affects family dynamics, the complexity of recovery and the difficulty of managing all of it when English is not your first language. Magda holds a degree in Multicultural Community Health Education from the University of Massachusetts. In her day to day life, she uses her positive attitude and energy to encourage others to work hard and obtain success – “every victory counts”. In her free time Magda enjoys spending time with family, outdoor activities and family vacations. She lives in Springfield with her husband, his adult son and her son.
Magda covers the chapters of Pittsfield, Holyoke and Greenfield.
South Coast Regional Manager/Administrative Support
Prior to joining Learn to Cope as Administrative Assistant in March 2017, Patty worked as a Freelance Court Reporter for 25 years. 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. This attribute along with her personal knowledge of Substance Use Disorder and her passion to help others enabled her to smoothly transition into the South Coast Regional Manager role where she oversees the Taunton, Attleboro, Brockton and New Bedford chapters. Patty holds a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Bridgewater State University and is a long-time resident of East Bridgewater. She is the proud mom to two daughters and a son.
Patty covers the chapters of Brockton, Taunton, New Bedford and Attleboro.
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.
Regional Manager Cape & Islands
Lisa Donoghue is the Regional Manager covering the Cape & Islands. As the mother of three sons, two who have struggled with Substance Use Disorder, she knew she needed support from others who understood her struggles as a parent in this position. It was at the Yarmouth Learn to Cope group that she found the support she was looking for and where she quickly learned that she was not alone in her battle. After years of emotional roller coaster rides herself, Lisa empathizes with families who are often in crisis as they enter the door of their first Learn to Cope meeting. An active member of Learn to Cope since 2014, Lisa has served as a volunteer facilitator and Certified Narcan Trainer. She joined the Learn to Cope staff in March of 2020 with the hope of bringing further awareness of the opioid crisis to the community. She resides on Cape Cod.
Lisa covers the Yarmouth chapter.
Operations and Marketing Coordinator
Kim is the Operations and Marketing Coordinator for Learn to Cope and manages the Hanover and Quincymeetings. 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 on the South Shore.
Kim covers the chapters of Hanover & Quincy.
Central Regional Manager
Terri Nabulsi is a Regional Manager covering the Central Massachusetts Chapters of Gardner and Worcester. As the mom of a son who has suffered from substance use, Terri understands what our families are experiencing. An active member of Learn to Cope since 2011, she helped establish the Worcester Chapter the following year where she became a meeting facilitator. She is a certified Narcan trainer with a passion for bringing awareness and education on the opioid crisis to the community. Terri holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from Assumption College and has three adult sons and one granddaughter. Terri resides with her family in Worcester.
Terri covers the chapters of Worcester and Gardner.
Cell Phone: (508) 404-6699
Events & Training Coordinator
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.
In 2018, Learn to Cope entered into a partnership with Franklin Cook a private consultant and owner of Unified Community Solutions in Boston, Mass. A major focus of his work is peer-led approaches for supporting people bereaved by sudden death.
Franklin is a survivor of his father’s suicide in 1978, and he has been involved in peer support for addiction recovery since 1981. He has been a grassroots advocate for system change in mental health and substance use services since 1999, with a focus on suicide prevention and recovery from addiction. Over the past 20 years, he has implemented numerous community education and training programs, and has worked extensively in project development, management, and leadership.
He is a consultant to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, where he began in 2012 focusing on men’s suicide prevention and now also supports DPH in responding to the opioid epidemic. Franklin’s national advocacy is currently focused on integrating best practices into peer grief support programs; and through his private practice, Personal Grief Coaching, he delivers peer support one-on-one via telephone to people bereaved by sudden death.