Our Team

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.

 

Jessica Hessler, Director of Operations

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.

 

Sean Fogler, Director of Development and Education

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, fundraising 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.

 


Amelia Hoge, Director of Digital Media

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 completed a concentrated undergraduate degree in Direct & Interactive Marketing from 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.

 

Anna Martin, Program Associate

Anna Martin received her Master of Public Health in Health Policy and Management from Temple University in Philadelphia in 2020. During her undergraduate time, she developed a passion for creating safe communities through systems changes and risk mitigation. She began working in public health emergency preparedness and planning where she developed an understanding of the role of policies, politics, culture, and community design on safety and health. At a similar time, she also gained experience in working with nutrition research and food policy, further emphasizing the impact of both effective and harmful policies on community health. Throughout her life, she has seen the impact of substance use on friends and family members and has understood the ways that equitable—and inequitable—policy development and implementation affect communities. She supports PAHRC’s Director of Outreach and Education by working on outreach and education, community organizing and capacity building, and resource distribution.

 

Maggie King, Summer 2020 Intern

Maggie King is a rising senior at Wellesley College in Massachusetts, majoring in Political Science. She is a Philadelphia native and has been in recovery since 2017. Maggie's book "Pregame: Alcohol, Addiction and Recovery Through the Eyes of a College Student" gained recognition on Book Authority's "10 Best New Alcohol Addiction Books to Read in 2020." In 2019, Maggie established substance free living on her college campus and obtained grant money to join forces with Babson College and Olin College to foster a substance free community for college students in the Boston area. Her professional and personal goals focus on empowering those affected by addiction and their families through community organizing and legislation.

 

Autumn Yates, Summer 2020 Intern

Autumn Yates is a Master of Social Work student at the University of Pennsylvania. Previously, she earned her Bachelors of Social Work with a minor in Peace and Conflict Studies from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. As a BSW student, she was an intern with the North Carolina chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, where she was able to gain experience lobbying and working with social workers across the state. She's excited to be interning with the Pennsylvania Harm Reduction Coalition and is passionate about furthering access to harm reduction services in Pennsylvania and across the United States. While Autumn is not a person in recovery, she is a proud ally! She has a family history of substance use which led her to the field of harm reduction and drives her desire to influence change in creating safer drug policies and ending the war on drugs. Her interests include criminal justice reform, prison abolition and community organizing as a way to expand access to public health programs.

 

Eva Louise Kreiser, Summer 2020 Intern

Eva Louise Kreiser is an undergraduate student at University of Pittsburgh studying Linguistics and Legal Studies. They founded the Pitt chapter of Students for Sensible Drug Policy, a grassroots organization empowering young 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. Post-graduation, they plan to pursue law school and continue their work fighting for evidence-based drug policy and criminal justice reform that promotes to rights and dignity of our community members.  Eva Louise is thrilled to be back on the team at Pennsylvania Harm Reduction Coalition for a second summer as we push for positive change for people who use drugs.

 


Elsa Carey, Summer 2020 Intern

Elsa Carey is a recent graduate from the University of Pittsburgh where she received a B.S. in Biological Sciences with a Community Health Assessment Certificate. She currently volunteers with Prevention Point Pittsburgh and Family House, and was a member of The Association Of Women in Public Health and the Pitt Pulse, a creative science magazine, at Pitt. She is passionate about providing mental health and substance use treatment services to marginalized and underserved populations., and hopes to continue this in the future. She will be joining PULSE Pittsburgh in the fall, working with a non-profit organization to give back to the Pittsburgh community.

 

Rebecca Bongiovanni, Summer 2020 Intern

Rebecca "Bekk" Bongiovanni is an activist, parent, and person in recovery motivated to amplify the voices of, and demand policy change to support, stigmatized populations.  She received a BA of Psychology with a focus on gender and human sexuality from Rutgers in Camden in 2013, and is currently pursuing a Masters of Social Work from Widener University. Bekk has worked in the field of addiction as a Navigator and Recovery Specialist for the Opioid Overdose Recovery Program in New Jersey for the past year, learning first hand the barriers involved in the current recovery services system, and the great need for harm reduction in the community.

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