Board of Directors

 

Diannee Carden Glenn (Board President)

Diannee Carden Glenn became an advocate for harm reduction following the overdose death of her son Michael who was a well respected pioneer in the harm reduction movement.  Diannee has a background in law enforcement and the medical field including substance abuse treatment.  She is a board member of North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition and serves as Secretary for the Executive Board of Pitt County Coalition on Substance Abuse and is a member of GRASP. 

Lisa de Saxe Zerden, Ph.D (Vice President)

Lisa de Saxe Zerden is currently a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill School of Social Work. She primarily teaches in the Community, Management and Policy Practice for Masters in Social Work Students. She received her Ph.D. from the Interdisciplinary Social Work and Sociology program at Boston University in 2009 and a Masters in Social Welfare from UCLA. Her research interests include HIV/AIDS, substance abuse, policy practice, and cross-cultural prevention efforts particularly among Puerto Rican injection drug users. Prior to moving to North Carolina, she worked as a researcher at the Center for Addictions Research and Services in Boston, Massachusetts.

Rachel Kilgore, M.Ed, NCC, LPCA, LCASA (Treasurer)

Rachel is a native of Charlotte, NC and moved to Wilmington, NC in December of 2014. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Winston-Salem State University in 2011 and a Master of Education in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Winthrop University in Rock Hill, SC. During Rachel’s graduate program she interned as a Counselor at Charlotte Mecklenburg County Jail- North for 2 years working with adolescent males and 11 months at Carolinas Medical Center Health Clinic. She is currently working as a Licensed Therapist at The Harbor in Wilmington, NC where she provides services to individuals in need of detox and crisis stabilization. She is licensed as Licensed Professional Counselor and a Licensed Clinical Addictions Specialist. Rachel is very passionate about helping people which goes a long with her vibrant and upbeat personality.

Mary Piepenbrink, RN, BSN, MBA  (Vice-Treasurer)

Mary Piepenbrink, RN, MBA is a mother, wife, daughter, sister, aunt, and friend. Mary loves all human beings especially those stigmatized by drug use and drug addiction. Mary became interested in Harm Reduction after learning about the passage of SB20. Mary lives in Wilmington, NC and when not working at IBM she spends time sailing, cooking, drinking wine, playing tennis, and hanging out with her husband Thomas, sons Chanse and Clark, step-daughters Belle and Rhett, and lovable dog Amy Sue. She also spends as much time as possible distributing naloxone and talking to anyone who will listen about harm reduction. One of Mary’s most gratifying life experiences is to hear the story from someone who has saved a life with naloxone. Her hope is to see a legal syringe exchange program instituted in the state of NC.  

Erica Nelson, MSPH (Secretary)                    

Erica Nelson is Director of Health Policy at the North Carolina Hospital Association.  She focuses on behavioral health policy and advocacy outreach, with an emphasis on coalition building. Erica works with private and nonprofit health systems to draft and implement legislative strategies. She collaborates with doctors, law enforcement, local behavioral health management entities, and allied health professionals to develop policies that make it easier for all North Carolinians -- including those living with mental illness, intellectual/developmental disabilities, and addiction disorders -- to get the high-quality, affordable health care they need.  To make all of this collaboration, planning, and drafting a reality, Erica also advocates on behalf of hospitals and health systems before legislators, committee staff, and agency officials. For the last year, Erica has been focused on reducing emergency room stays for behavioral health patients by increasing access to community mental health resources. 

Lucas Vrbsky, GED, MSW

Lucas is a grateful husband, proud father, and amazed grandfather. He was awarded a GED in 1998; a BA with a triple major in African American Studies, History, and Peace & Conflict Studies; and obtained the Master of Social Work in 2009.  He holds several licenses and credentials relating to social work and substance use disorder treatment.  He has worked and volunteered in a variety of settings both behind the walls and in the street: with Veterans experiencing homelessness; with people preparing to release from prison, with youth residing in level three group homes; with incarcerated men in a residential substance use treatment center; with folks on federal parole/probation; with incarcerated men studying GED skills; with undergraduate students on academic probation; with a Congregational Nursing Program; and tutoring youth at a family homeless shelter. He is an active member of the National Association of Social Workers – NC Chapter.

LaShay Avery, MA

LaShay Avery is currently the Regional Manager of Community Partners at Cardinal Innovations Healthcare Solutions. She leads her team in providing training, education, advocacy, and support to individuals and families receiving behavioral healthcare services and those who serve them in other capacities. Some of her efforts include training law enforcement officers in crisis intervention team training. In addition to working for Cardinal Innovations, LaShay is the owner of Q. Avery LLC, where she specializes in wellness and both professional and personal development. As an Enlightenment Consultant, she conducts workshops, book seminars and massage therapy. LaShay takes great pride in the role she plays in having a positive impact in the community. As a resident of Charlotte NC, she enjoys the beautiful outdoors of NC, traveling with her husband and taking her standard poodle Judge for long walks. LaShay appreciates the opportunity to serve on the NCHRC board.

Lisa de Saxe Zerden, Ph.D (Vice President)

Lisa de Saxe Zerden is currently a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill School of Social Work. She primarily teaches in the Community, Management and Policy Practice for Masters in Social Work Students. She received her Ph.D. from the Interdisciplinary Social Work and Sociology program at Boston University in 2009 and a Masters in Social Welfare from UCLA. Her research interests include HIV/AIDS, substance abuse, policy practice, and cross-cultural prevention efforts particularly among Puerto Rican injection drug users. Prior to moving to North Carolina, she worked as a researcher at the Center for Addictions Research and Services in Boston, Massachusetts.

Roberto Hess, MSW, LCWSA                                                                  

Roberto is a Adult Copestone Psychiatric Social Worker at Mission Health Systems.  He received an Associates in Human Services from Asheville Buncombe Technical Community College with a Substance Abuse Studies concentration and has a Social Work degree from Western Carolina University. Roberto comes from an Air Force family in Eastern NC and currently resides in Asheville, NC.  Roberto Hess has worked professionally with criminal offenders, survivors of sexual assault, veterans and the active duty members of the U.S. military, individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders, people who use drugs and the elderly. Roberto enjoys playing drums, writing poetry, reading, relaxing on the beach, hiking, flying in airplanes, going out to eat and drinking coffee (soy vanilla lattes).

Rev. Michelle Mathis

Michelle Mathis is the co-founder of The Olive Branch Ministry, an interfaith harm reduction ministry in western North Carolina. She has worked in harm reduction, focusing on HIV/AIDS education and prevention for over 5 years. She serves as an associate minister at Exodus Missionary Outreach Church, where she also ministers to those in recovery from addiction, those previously incarcerated and the homeless population in her area. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for ALFA, the local AIDS service organization. She and her wife reside in Hickory, North Carolina, where they enjoy spending time working in the community and spending time with their children, Buddha Jayne and Saraiah. 

Detective Sergeant Ronald Martin

Ronald Martin works part-time as one of NCHRC’s Law Enforcement Safety Advocates. He is a former Detective Sergeant and is a dedicated, committed Law Enforcement Professional with over 20 years of experience in the New York City Police Department (NYPD). At the NYPD, he trained officers to a highly proficient level of community patrol, enforcement and public security. He supervised narcotics teams conducting street level buy and sell operations and warrant executions. Furthermore, he managed mid to high-level narcotic cases involving pen wires leading to extensive criminal prosecution. Ronald also consulted directly with the Chief of Police and the Mayor of New York City on issues of internal misconduct. He has also conducted and investigated various criminal offenses while working as a team member in conjunction with the Secret Service, DEA, ATF, and FBI.  At NCHRC, he advocates for needlestick and overdose prevention measures for officers in North Carolina and for more dialogue between drug users, sex workers and law enforcement to create a safer communities.

Cindy Haynes, MSA-PA, CHES

Cindy is the Chronic Pain Coordinator at the Duke Division of Community Health.

 

 

Research Advisory Board 

Corey Davis, JD, MSPH 

Corey Davis’s research focuses on the effects of law, policy and practice on the health, rights and dignity of drug users and other stigmatized people. As a researcher, he has published on the effects of law, policy and policing on the health of drug users as well as the legality of public health interventions such as SIFs, and was presented by the International AIDS Society with the Young Investigator Award for work on the effects of a police crackdown on Philadelphia’s syringe exchange program. As an attorney, he has litigated civil rights cases before administrative agencies and in the state and federal courts. He directed the Harm Reduction Legal Project at Prevention Point Philadelphia from 2005 through 2008 and has worked with the University of Pennsylvania, the North Carolina Institute of Medicine and the Center for Health Law, Policy and Practice. Corey is currently Staff Attorney at the National Health Law Program, where he focuses on public health and health reform.

William (Bill) Zule, DrPH

Since 1989 William (Bill) Zule has been involved in research to reduce the spread and progression of HIV and the hepatitis C virus (HCV) among people who use drugs. He obtained his doctor of public health (Dr.P.H.) degree from the University of Texas School of Public Health in 1996. He was an Instructor at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio prior to joining RTI International in 1999. His current research focuses on how different types of syringes influence HIV transmission among people who inject drugs and on the development of low intensity computer tailored HIV/HCV prevention interventions. His activities also involve initiating campaigns to translate research findings into wide- spread practice in order to broaden the impact of his research. He has been a member of the Board of NCHRC since 2006.