031215 Notes


Bob Garrett - Housing

Bob Garrett is the volunteer Executive Director of Fairview Housing for the past 28 years,with 39 year history of residential and commercial development. He has 1,300 low-income multi-family apartments in seven states through HUD, high end condominium development on Boone Lake, redevelopment of a city block in downtown Johnson City and an abandoned hospital into a 73 unit senior housing facility among many other projects. He is currently hoping to redevelop an abandoned Nursing Home to create community based housing and treatment programs for those in recovery.


Stephanie Guthrie - Health

Stephanie Guthrie has worked as Prevention, Education & Outreach Coordinator for Blue Care since 2009. She is certified in both peer support and family support. She is president of her local affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness and serves as Chair for the Behavioral Health Awareness Committee. Her work allows her to work directly with individuals in recovery from mental health and substance abuse issues. She came highly recommended by a member of our Steering Committee who could not be here today.


Lt. Steve Sherfey - Jobs

Steve Sherfey is a Lt. Johnson City Police Department, Criminal Investigation

30 years in law enforcement, B.S. in Criminal Justice, Psychology and Sociology.

Working on Masters in Psychology. Certified Facilitator in Smart Recovery and the InsideOut Program. I was fortunate enough to hear him speak to the need to use his reputation to help his clients get jobs, an absolute cornerstone to a successful recovery.


Prescription Drug Abuse Workgroup
Reviewed Presentation

PFS-Rx Presentation


Talked about "pill mills" - ask legitimate pain clinics for advice about distributing Department of Health Guidelines on Treating Pain

Get more information about current requirements for physicians (Wellmont, State Medical Board) - Can something be included in every class?

Aging population dealing with theft - partner with Area Agency on Aging

Another problem is the way prescriptions have to be written for reimbursement - they have to get medicine on schedule prescribed or pay out of pocket for reduced amounts.

Bob Garrett runs Manna House, residential housing in Johnson City. They require clients to be accountable: pay rent, stay clean. Funded with HUD grant, participate in Homeless Information Management System (HMIS).  Good success rate, approach is one person at a time. Housing is necessary to recovery, need services with the housing. Some of the people have been on street for 30 years; it can take about two years to rebuild the trust to start working on their own solutions.


Project Restart is a new project for Bristol, Niswonger wants one wing of building for pregnant women; facility will house three or four sub-populations in building.


Stephanie Guthrie, Behavioral Health/Mental Health and Substance Abuse specialist. Provides peer support. Most people have have some kind of personal connection to someone with substance abuse. She starts work in hospital, continues in home. Recovery is not linear, but a jagged path of burned bridges; it is hard for family members to stay supportive. Rehab is expensive, it is hard to keep spending money for rehab when relapse is part of the process. It’s hard not to give up and there is not enough money to cover everything. Recovery is also accompanied by other healthcare issues down the line, besides being hard to get a bed when a person is ready to start. TennCare patients are a major challenge - private insurance beds are usually available.


Steve Sherfey, works at Catalyst for Change, uses rational model of behavioral change. Basic survival needs must be met or clients won't make it. Politicians and employers need to care about issue because incarceration is number two in the state budget.  


What tools do you need to stay out of jail? How many of us could remain locked in a room for a year and return to a job when released. Need to teach them to think again. Some clients get out of jail one night and start Smart Recovery Classes the next night. Classes are free on Tuesday and Friday nights at Catalyst. They also offer GED facilitation, and certification for clients to learn to lead classes. Most need drivers' license, never budgeted in their life. Work on a budget to pay probation fees first. Biggest problem to avoid - Xanax and WalMart! Childcare issues. One person at a time Safe Haven needed, someone to call.


Answers to questions asked of panel

NAS can be prosecuted, result is addicted women are not getting prenatal care treatment or they are getting jailed. Same challenge as any other addict returning to home: need to get out of environment they are in, this is often a multi-generational problem, if they are released to go home to the same pressure that got them in trouble in the first place. Six weeks minimum until they are ready to get outpatient services.


Drivers License issues: Minnesota has a program where percentage of what is owed or classes can get driver's license back again.


Smart Recovery Classes: Tuesday and Friday 7PM at Catalyst Health Solutions (926 W Oakland Ave Ste 222Johnson City, TN 37604 / (423) 282-3379)

Things Prevention can do:

  • Put word out about Fairview Housing Residential Recovery - Project Recovery
  • Fight stigma- people don't want to admit problem, issues often arise from mental health self medication attempts, recovery takes years of support. Not bad people, did not wake up one morning to decide to become an addict. Speak out against the little things...jokes, prejudice. It’s about challenging the little things.
  • Be open minded, change family cycle to become self reliant. Talk about being smart on crime as opposed to tough on crime.

UAD Workgroup:

The workgroup discussed ideas for the new implementation plan and feedback from the group.

The group was advised about the application for retail environmental scans, letters to retailers about passing compliance checks, and ABC training provided by the coalition. They gave recommendations that they would like to see more youth involvement especially high school age youth, with educational materials.



Tobacco Workgroup:

Baxter Hood and Johnnie Mae Swagerty were present. They were given the SHS brochures for feedback.


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