Our Team at the Pennsylvania Harm Reduction Coalition

 

Devin Reaves, Executive Director & Co-Founder

Devin 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. He wants to build constituencies of consequence that will lead to meaningful public health policy changes around substance use disorders. Devin is the co-founder and Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Harm Reduction Coalition (PAHRC).

The mission of PAHRC 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 received a Master of Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy & Practice with a focus on community and organizational change and has a BA in Human Services from Lynn University. Devin also serves on the Camden County Addiction Awareness Task Force and the Board of Directors for the Association of Recovery Schools.

 

Erin Russell, Co-Founder

Erin Russell partnered with Devin to co-found the Pennsylvania Harm Reduction Coalition in 2017. She provides expertise in harm reduction fostered through ten years of progressive responsibility in the field. She got her start as a volunteer with Prevention Point Pittsburgh’s syringe services program in 2008, and served on the organization’s board of directors from 2013 to 2018. Erin currently works in a leadership role with the Maryland Department of Health on harm reduction policy development and program implementation, during which she has been instrumental in passing statewide syringe access legislation in 2016 and a naloxone expansion law in both 2015 and 2017 that made naloxone “over the counter” in Maryland. Erin holds a Master in Public Health from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health with a concentration in Behavioral and Community Health Sciences. She supports PAHRC with grant writing, policy development, and strategic planning using giant sticky paper.

 

Sean Fogler, Community Outreach Coordinator

Sean is a person in long-term recovery, physician and certified recovery specialist. He has over 15 years of experience in the healthcare industry working as a physician, and with patients, administrators, and insurance organizations. Sean is active in the recovery community and has a special interest in trauma and substance use disorders in professionals. He volunteers as a peer support specialist for Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers and works to improve public health policy for mental health and substance use disorders. Through his lived experience he educates, informs, and works to battle the shame and stigma that keeps the disease of addiction alive. Prior to beginning residency training Sean worked as a professional equity trader at a boutique firm in New York. He has been an advisor, angel investor and has helped start-ups raise capital and connect with unique high quality investors. Sean’s role at PAHRC involves engagement, education, writing, fund raising and expanding knowledge of the disease of addiction and harm reduction. Sean holds a bachelor’s degree from The University of Toronto, and a Doctor of Medicine degree from Ross University School of Medicine. He completed an internship in Internal Medicine and a residency in Anesthesiology at Hahnemann University Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

 

Jessica Hessler, Community Outreach Specialist

Jessica Hessler received her Master of Public Health in Behavioral and Community Health Sciences and Master of Social Work in Community Organizing and Social Action from the University of Pittsburgh in 2019. While pursuing her undergraduate degree, she became interested in design for social innovation, exploring ways to use design with public service, and from there, she turned her focus to harm reduction, policy and advocacy, and stigma reduction during her graduate programs. After having several people in her life impacted by substance use, she gained a firsthand understanding of the complexities of policies and how they impact support, fueling a desire to advocate for change. She also brings experience from working at various nonprofits, Pittsburgh City Council, and a community foundation, as well as a decade of management experience in the for-profit sector. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Design Studies and Design Management from Arizona State University in 2013. Jessica will support PAHRC with outreach, community organizing, and project management.

 

Amelia Hoge, Digital Engagement Coordinator

Amelia Hoge is a person in long-term recovery, marketing professional and entrepreneur. She has a professional background in digital marketing, social media, copywriting, business development, and coaching. Amelia became interested in online marketing after she launched her first blog in 2015 and quickly discovered her intuitive ability to master a wide range of digital tools. Since then, she has used these skills to support others in increasing their impact in the online space. Amelia is also a certified life coach with a private coaching practice and she currently serves as a lead coach for Inner Glow Circle, an internationally accredited coach training company. Along with 4 years of experience in digital marketing through starting and growing her freelance coaching business, she is currently pursuing a concentrated undergraduate degree in Direct & Interactive Marketing at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. Amelia has merged her holistic background in coaching, business and marketing with her passion for harm reduction, policy and advocacy to support PAHRC through various digital engagement and marketing initiatives.

 


Eva Louise Kreiser, Summer 2019 Intern

Eva Louise Kreiser is an undergraduate student at the University of Pittsburgh studying Linguistics and Legal Studies. They are the founder and current president of the Pitt chapter of Students for Sensible Drug Policy, a grassroots organization empowering youth leaders to end the War on Drugs. In addition, they worked to launch and currently serve as Treasurer for DanceSafe, a harm reduction organization promoting health and safety in the nightlife scene. Finally, they are part of the Western Pennsylvania Anti-Trafficking Coalition and lead educational efforts related to sex work. Post-graduation, they would like to continue their work fighting for sensible drug policy and prison reform. Eva Louise is thrilled to join the team at Pennsylvania Harm Reduction Coalition as it grows and fights for change in our community.

 

Kakyara Muhinda, Summer 2019 Intern

Kakyara Muhinda is a Public Health Undergraduate at Temple University graduating in December 2019. Her passions and goals are to better her community through advocacy, community health work, research, community outreach and behavioral health. Her experiences in providing healthcare to children, individuals with special needs, and the aging population, as well as her energetic and goal-oriented personality enables her to support PAHRC’s mission & vision. Academically, Kakyara’s experience in Society, Drug, and Alcohol Perspectives, Program Planning and Research Methods has empowered her to work within her community to assist those living with substance use disorders and mental health issues. Her long-term goals are to operate her own daycare and to create a non-profit in Uganda, which will assist underprivileged children in obtaining the necessities for completing their education.

 

Julia Gasior, Summer 2019 Intern

Julia Gasior is an undergraduate at Georgetown University, studying Health Care Management & Policy on the Pre-Medical track. Last summer, she worked on Prevention Point Philadelphia’s syringe services program, engaging in public health fieldwork at the only legal SSP in Philly. This experience was instrumental in cementing her fierce drive for equitable and compassionate drug policy. Julia hopes to explore harm reduction and drug policy through as many avenues as possible – fieldwork, clinical research, grassroots advocacy, local-level government, and more – on her road to eventually becoming a physician. She hopes to go to medical school after graduating from Georgetown and eventually treat patients, better integrating harm reduction and public health into clinical care.

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