May 18, 2018
6 - 9 PM
in the auditorium at Lehigh Valley Hospital - Cedar Crest (1200 S. Cedar Crest Blvd., Allentown, PA 18103)
John Shinholser, Judge Craig Dally, Devin Reaves, Dr. Abby Letcher, Brooke Feldman, Donna Jacobsen, Michael Loy, Travis Snyder, Marianna Horowitz, Samantha Osterlof
Abby Letcher, MD, is a family physician whose practice is dedicated to the idea that healing happens in relationships. She moved to the Lehigh Valley in 2003 and helped build the Valley’s first and only federally qualified health center, the Neighborhood Health Centers of the Lehigh Valley. She has had the privilege of working with innovators from the Lehigh Valley Health Network Department of Family Medicine. She has been inspired by community and team members in the Lehigh Valley Super-utilizer Partnership, and now has immersed herself in learning and healing with people with addictions at NHCLVs Center of Excellence for Opiate Use Disorders. Abby is a graduate of Yale University and the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Medicine.
Brooke M. Feldman is a person in long-term recovery and social justice advocate. After losing her mother at a young age due to addiction and spending her adolescent years cycling through Philadelphia's behavioral health and juvenile justice systems, Brooke began her own recovery journey at the age of 24. Since that time, Brooke has served in a variety of professional and volunteer roles targeted at making wellness and recovery available to all. Brooke also recently completed her Master of Social work degree at the University of Pennsylvania's School of Social Policy and Practice. Brooke sees recovery as less about luck or grace and more about people having access to the types of harm reduction, treatment and recovery support services they need, when they need them and for however long they need them.
Devin Reaves, MSW, is a person living in recovery since 2007. He is a community organizer and grassroots advocacy leader. Devin has worked on the expansion of access to the lifesaving medication Naloxone, implantation of 911 Good Samaritan policies, and the development of youth oriented systems. Devin is the co-founder and Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Harm Reduction Coalition (PAHRC) whose mission is to promote the health, dignity, and human rights of individuals who use drugs and communities impacted by drug use. Recognizing that social inequity, criminalization, and stigma silence those affected most, we advocate for policies that improve the quality of life for people who use drugs, people in recovery, and their communities. Devin is a graduate of Lynn University and received a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy & Practice with a focus on community and organizational change.
Donna Jacobsen didn’t imagine seven years ago that she would be an inspiration for other parents facing crises through their child’s disease of addiction; she was wondering if her daughter and their family might survive. Donna’s personal recovery sparked her passion for advocacy. Since then, she has been an unstoppable champion of addiction awareness and recovery in the Lehigh Valley. Donna is a parent group leader for Lehigh Valley’s Parent Support Groups, a member of Caron’s National Leadership Council, and regularly shares her story with parents at the Caron Family Education Program. She has spoken at countless town hall meetings and forums throughout the Lehigh Valley and the state. She represented parents at Governor Wolf’s roundtable discussions twice and participated in a community forum with Attorney General Josh Shapiro. She and her family received the Louise Wright Family Award for the work they do to advocate and educate in their community. She currently serves on the Family Education Committee for the Rally in the Valley and is a board member of Recovering Adolescents and Friends Together, Inc.
John Shinholser is president and co-founder of The McShin Foundation and co-founder of CARE Talks, LLC. The McShin Foundation, founded in 2004, is named for its two recovering co-founders, John Shinholser and Carol McDaid. Shinholser and McDaid have dedicated their lives to helping individuals and families in or seeking recovery from the disease of addiction. John is a United States Marine Corps veteran and he owned and managed a successful contracting business for over 30 years. In 2005, Shinholser received the prestigious America Honors Recovery Award from the Johnson Institute—one of six recognized (nationally) who have been affected or afflicted by alcohol and other drug addictions, and have given back to their communities so that future generations may know the possibility and power of recovery. Under John’s leadership, McShin won the Recovery Community Organization of the year Award for the United States, a.k.a. The Joel Hernandez Award, presented by Faces and Voices of Recovery in a Washington D.C. ceremony in June of 2011. Also under John’s tutelage McShin won the national SAMHSA Recovery Month 2011 Flicker Award. John’s work has been featured in Addiction Professional Magazine, Newsweek, and countless newspaper articles. He has been in many news broadcasts, was a guest on ABC’s Face the Nation and has appeared in national documentary films including The Anonymous People. John co-wrote the Recovery Coach Manual and travels the country providing authentic recovery coach training. John currently resides in Hanover, VA with his wife and daughter. He has been clean and in successful long-term recovery since August 10th 1982.
Marianna Horowitz was born and raised in south central Pennsylvania and has been the Program Coordinator for PRO-A (Pennsylvania Recovery Organization Alliance) in Harrisburg since 2014. She is an ambassador for the organization’s mission to expand recovery opportunities and eliminate stigma. Marianna is passionate about finding innovative solutions to assist people suffering from Substance Use Disorder. As a person in long term recovery, she knows it is necessary to continue to engage in vital work to improve systems and expand access to recovery services. Residing in Camp Hill, she is the mother of three, and currently attends Harrisburg Area Community College where she is pursuing a degree in Social Services.
Marisa is a Brooklyn based actress and producer. She found acting at an early age, and after graduating from NYU Tisch she pursued a professional acting career. Soon, she became disillusioned with acting and was attracted to the instant gratification of clubs and drugs. Marisa found herself in a treatment facility at 25 years old for heroin addiction.
Marisa says acting saved her life, knowing she had other options besides a life of addiction. In treatment, she met Lawrence Sacharow who was on staff and casting his Off-Broadway play THE CONCEPT, which chronicles addicts in treatment. Marisa was cast in his show and Lawrence became a mentor, encouraging Marisa to pursue acting fulltime. She joined Michael Howard’s Master Class and found a channel for the guilt, shame and resentments that she carried into recovery. Marisa credits working on THE CONCEPT and honing her acting craft as the two things that kept her clean.
Since then, Marisa has been seen in films on the festival circuit, television shows aired on HBO, ABC and ID Discovery, and in NYC theater. She has been in numerous commercials and is the voice of many audiobooks for audible.com. She was a lead in the Official Cannes Film Selection "YOU & I," directed by Christopher Scott, opposite Blake Gibbons.
Marisa produced, wrote and acted in the short film Grace, based on her struggle with heroin addiction, and is in the final stages of preparations for a festival run. She is in development on a feature film loosely based on the short film.
Marisa is a member of SAG/AFTRA and AEA; and is on the programming committee at NYWIFT (NY Women in Film and TV).
Michael Loy is a performance management director for one of the leading drug and alcohol treatment providers in Pennsylvania. Prior to his current role, Michael worked with adolescents, gaining 10 years of experience leading and developing programs, creating staff development models and writing and teaching a corporate-wide approach for client centered drug and alcohol treatment. Alcohol and drug free since November 4, 2002, he has spent the better part of the last 16 years sharing his personal experiences of abuse and recovery along with a solution based approach for the path to long-term recovery. He is passionate about this work and believes in the continuum of care as a crucial component in the recovery process. Through blogs and presentations to at-risk groups, he brings his passion to help remove the stigma of addiction and leads towards a positive recovery journey.
Samantha Osterlof went from varsity cheerleader, to heroin addicted mother, and then fought over a decade through active addiction. Prescription painkillers and eventually heroin led Samantha to the brink of death and brought her to her knees. With treatment, support from her family and those in long term recovery she has been able to overcome the horrors of addiction with over six years in active recovery. She recently completed her Master’s Degree with honors from Saint Joseph University and is happily married with two children. Samantha is a firm believer that treatment works and recovery is possible. She currently works for Summit BHC and it is her life's passion to provide treatment and advocacy to those who are still struggling with the use of drugs and alcohol.
Stephanie Spencer, Esquire is the Judicial Law Clerk to the Honorable Craig A. Dally and the Administrative Coordinator of the Northampton County Problem Solving Courts, inclusive of a Drug Court and a Mental Health Court. Prior to coming the Court, she worked at Community Services Group in Bethlehem, PA, providing services to developmentally disabled and mentally ill adults. Originally from the state of Maine, Attorney Spencer is a graduate of Muhlenberg College in Allentown and Temple University, Beasley School of Law in Philadelphia.
Travis Snyder is a native of Schuylkill County and person in long term recovery from a substance use disorder. He has not used a mind or mood altering chemical for over 6 years. As a result of this choice, hard work, and a healthy lifestyle, his focus and awareness remains on recovery. He is able to live a life where positive things can happen every day. Today, he is a graphic designer, screen printer, community organizer and fitness competitor. He believes his "calling" is to always create moments, events and inspiration, and to bring positive loving energy to the people and spaces around him. He does this one day at a time, with the unconditional love, support and mercy from God, family, friends and a growing recovery community he founded called "The Skook Recovers."