- Office of Attorney General Maura Healey
Media Contact for AG Healey Announces Appointments to the Opioid Recovery and Remediation Fund Advisory Council
BOSTON — Attorney General Maura Healey today announced her appointment of three inspiring leaders to the state’s Opioid Recovery and Remediation Fund Advisory Council to advise on expenditures from the state’s newly created Opioid Recovery and Remediation Fund: Dr. Charles Anderson, President and CEO of the Dimock Center in Roxbury; Joanne Peterson, the founder and executive director of Learn to Cope; and LaToya Whiteside, a staff attorney at Prisoners’ Legal Services.
“A vital part of our work to combat the opioid crisis is expanding substance use services and getting families the help they desperately need,” said AG Healey. “I am honored to appoint Charles, Joanne, and LaToya to the Council. They will bring invaluable perspectives to support treatment and recovery and will strengthen our state’s response to this crisis.”
The Fund, which will receive recoveries from AG Healey’s opioid litigation and settlements, will be used by the Executive Office of Health and Human Services to expand access to opioid use disorder prevention, intervention, treatment and recovery throughout the state, in consultation with a 20-member advisory council. Members of the advisory council represent racially and socioeconomically diverse communities, have public health expertise or personal experience concerning opioid use disorder, and are committed to reducing disparities in health outcomes for underserved communities.
Dr. Charles Anderson
Dr. Charles Anderson is the President and CEO of the Dimock Center in Roxbury, which serves communities in Boston and across the state with accessible behavioral health care including inpatient, residential, and outpatient substance use treatment and recovery services.
Dr. Anderson has served in a wide variety of roles over the past 25 years in the Boston-area health care community, including co-chairing the committee on Building Strong Families and Communities as part of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care’s Birth to School-Age Task Force.
“At the Dimock Center, we see the tremendous toll that the COVID-19 pandemic has taken on people with opioid use disorder,” said Dr. Anderson. “The Opioid Recovery and Remediation Fund will provide critical resources to meet the increased need for prevention and treatment. I am deeply grateful for the leadership of the Attorney General, Governor, and Secretary of Health and Human Services in supporting our vulnerable citizens, and I am honored to be part of this important advisory council.”
Dr. Anderson received his bachelor’s degree from Princeton University, an MPH from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, an MD from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and an MBA from the Boston University Questrom School of Business.
Joanne Peterson is the founder and executive director of Learn to Cope, a non-profit, peer-led support network that offers education, resources, and peer support and hope for parents and family members coping with a loved one who suffers from substance use disorder. Peterson founded Learn to Cope after experiencing substance use disorder in her own family. Peterson designed Learn to Cope to offer others the support and resources for families in crisis.
“I would like to thank Attorney General Healey for my appointment to this advisory council,” said Peterson. “For the past 17 years, I have dedicated my life to supporting families that have been torn apart by the crimes of Purdue Pharma and the Sackler family either by the loss of their loved one or by helping them seek recovery. I am grateful and honored to represent them and be their voice at the table.”
Among other roles, Peterson is a board member of RIZE Massachusetts, a member of AG Healey’s Family Advisory Council, and serves on the advisory boards of the National Child and Traumatic Stress Network as well as Harvard University’s Recovery Research Institute.
LaToya Whiteside has been staff attorney at Prisoners’ Legal Services since October 2018, where her work has been focused on forging community connections and improving the experiences of Black and brown prisoners and their families. She is a graduate of the Shriver Center on Poverty Law’s Racial Justice Institute (RJI) – a national leadership program grounded in a commitment to racial equity as an integral and essential part of anti-poverty advocacy. As a result of her work in RJI, she created the Racial Equity in Corrections Initiative at Prisoners’ Legal Services, on which she serves as the managing attorney.
“I am extremely grateful to the Attorney General for appointing me to this important council,” said Whiteside. “All too often those who have been ensnared in the criminal legal system due to systemic racism, unaddressed mental health and substance use issues, and poverty are overlooked when solutions are put forth that impact them. I am honored to serve on this council and to help bring those voices to the table.”
Whiteside was recently named as the 2021 Racial Justice Fellow through Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation. She is a graduate of Spelman College and Rutgers School of Law. After law school, she served as a federal law clerk to the Honorable Chief Judge Petrese Tucker in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Prior to attending law school, Whiteside worked in the mental health field as a substance use disorder counselor in North Carolina.
The first money going into the fund will be $10 million from AG Healey’s recent settlement with McKinsey & Company, resolving claims arising from its role working for opioid companies, helping those companies promote their drugs, and profiting from the opioid epidemic.