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/Regional Manager of Cape and Islands
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.
Trainer/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.
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.
Sourtheast Regional Manager
Jessica Benoit is the Southeast Regional Manager covering the Hanover and Quincy chapters. She is a Licensed Certified Social Worker, having earned her master’s degree in Social Work from Texas State University. Since 2012, Jessica has been employed by Father Bill’s and MainSpring, Inc., where she works with individuals experiencing homelessness in different capacities, including those struggling with Substance Use Disorder. Through this experience she has grown an appreciation for the great sense of hope and strength these individuals have. Jessica’s own personal experience with a family member who struggled for many years, allows her to bring a wealth of knowledge and understanding of the opioid epidemic to the team.
Jessica covers the chapters of Hanover and Quincy.
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.
Northeast Regional Manager
David is a Northeast Regional Manager covering Haverhill, Lowell and Tewksbury. After retiring from the Department of Children and Families in 2015, David became a counselor at the Link House, a men’s addiction treatment program in Newburyport, where he continues to work part-time as a recovery specialist. The father of a daughter with Substance Use Disorder, David first attended the Salem LTC meeting in 2008, and later helped start the Gloucester and Haverhill groups where he was a facilitator. David is a licensed social worker, having earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from the University of Massachusetts and Master of Public Administration degree from Suffolk University. Passionate about helping families and advocating for resources for those suffering from the disease of addiction, David also completed the Addiction Counselor Education Program (ACEP) at UMass Boston. He is the father of three adult daughters.
David covers the chapters of Haverhill, Lowell and Tewksbury.
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
Central Regional Manager
Erin started at Learn to Cope as a student intern in the summer of 2016, and was promoted to employee in 2018 when she became our newest Central Regional Manager. She first heard of Learn to Cope while searching for an internship. Until it affected her own family, she had never been exposed to the disease of addiction, and it was this that sparked her interest in studying the field of addiction. Erin graduated from Stonehill College in May of 2018 with a degree in Criminology and Psychology and is currently pursuing her Master of Social Work degree at Bridgewater State University.
Erin covers the chapters of Framingham, Franklin and Hudson.
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.
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.
Peer Recovery Specialist
If you or someone you know is in or seeking recovery from substance use disorder, or you are a family member or a loved one in need of a listening ear, we are here for you. Our Peer Recovery Specialist is available . . .
- When you are struggling and need someone to talk to
- When you want to talk to someone confidentially.
- When friends or family members don’t seem to understand.
Remember there is HOPE. . . you are not ALONE!
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.