BSAN Meeting Report, Nov 22 2013

BSAN Meeting Notes
Friday November 22, 2013
Community House, Morganton 7:30 a.m.

Invocation was led by Rev. Frances King of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church. New Members introduced themselves.

Jim Van Hecke greeting the group and invited announcements, which included:

  • Deb Heck from Partners Behavioral Health announced that Catawba County is starting meetings for the county’s Project Lazarus next Tuesday 11/26 at First Plaza on Tate Blvd. in Hickory.
  • Rita Gallagher announced today’s 3pm graduation of the group of men currently at the Flynn Recovery Community.


Joe Marks, Executive Director of the Meeting Place Mission and member of Burke Continuum of Care, was introduced to talk about Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, Nov. 16-24. He invited BSAN members to consider attending Continuum of Care meetings, which are held the first Wednesday of each month at the Foothills Higher Education Building at 2pm. The purpose of the Continuum of Care, he explained, is to move people along the continuum toward self sufficiency. His talk included the following points:

  • This week represents the 30th nationally recognized Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week and the 6th in Burke County.
  • Burke County’s needs as including a day shelter and facilities for women who are homeless.
  • The chronically homeless account for only about 12% of homeless.
  • Jail as “drug treatment” is commonly used to bridge the gap between using addicts and those able to find effective means of recovery.
  • Burke County’s needs include a day shelter and housing for homeless women, children and families.
  • Burke Continuum of Care’s Point in Time count will occur the last Wednesday in January 1/29/2013 as the organization works with other NPO’s and providers to help create the snapshot of the homeless situation in Burke County.


Jim Van Hecke discussed the idea “praxis” which means “informed action.” BSAN has provided a means of networking, taking an inventory of Burke County’s needs and resources as they related to substance abuse, we have begun to re-organize, and now it’s time for each member and participating organization to take active ownership of progress. He introduced Rhonda Cook, who facilitated a discussion, inviting group feedback and individual commitments.


Rhonda Cook led a discussion meant to involve all sectors of the coalition, identifying what BSAN coalition members are currently doing in areas of Youth and their Families through awareness, prevention and education, as well as shifts in policy and tracking of measurable results.

Rhonda listed the 15 Community Segments involved in BSAN, which are: Treatment Providers, Medical, Pharmacists, Law Enforcement, Faith, Recovery Community, Consumers, Human Svc Agencies, Media, Education, Mental Health Orgs, Prisons, Governmental Leaders, Business, Youth and Veterens.

BSAN members presented the following projects completed, currently in operation or being discussed, which include, but are not limited to:

  • Sheriff Steve Whisenant announced that his Department collected 14 pounds of medications during the Take Back Day in October. Last incineration was 200 pounds. Total medications incinerated since installation of drop boxes is 800 pounds. This program has huge benefits to our youth and their families by reducing the risk of pills and other meds falling into the hands of those who will experiment or sell the drugs.
  • Sally Learned announced that CVBH includes youth/teens in their families support counseling groups.
  • Sally also announced CVBH participating in integrative care project managed by LRU.
  • Sheriff Steve Whisenant discussed resources and interest in creating a video series for youth by youth, regarding substance abuse and the effects.
  • Jim Van Hecke discussed NC Injury Free training, which is being led by Robert Murray with Burke Co Schools and Deb Heck with Partners Behavioral Health. This program will assist youth in creating their own video on drug abuse.
  • Sheriff Whisenant is reaching families through is weekly presentations in area churches.
  • Active AlAnon members are in process of establishing an AlAteen fellowship for youth
  • Dr. Joseph Mazzola announced that BlueRidge Healthcare is available as a resource for creation of video library.
  • Rhonda Cook announced that BSAN website re-design includes links to social media, easy to find program links, videos.

Needs identified by the group included:

  • Invite participation by Strategic Alliance of Burke Youth;
  • Day Treatment options, including programming for youth and their families;
  • Chamber of Commerce-initiated Job Creation program, open to felons, ex-offenders;
  • Temp Agencies promote listings of jobs open to felons, ex-offenders;
  • Audience specific video library.

The meeting closed with an announcement regarding the next BSAN meeting, which will be Friday, January 31, 2014. Due to the holidays, BSAN will not meet in December, 2013.

BSAN Mission:

Burke Substance Abuse Network (BSAN) is a coalition of providers, support groups, related agencies and other stakeholders who come together to:  (a) network; (b) identify gaps in service; and (c) strategically plan response to community needs as they relate to Youth and their Families in order to establish a vibrant, Recovery Oriented Community of Care in Burke County.


34 people attended from 11 community sectors, including:


  • Sandra Wade


  • Lisa Cook


  • Rev. Eddie Graves
  • Abdul Haneef
  • Rev. Francis King

Law Enforcement

  • Billy Boughman
  • Bob Pickett
  • Sheriff Steve Whisenant


  • Julie Causby
  • Dr. Brian Guthrie
  • Joseph Mazzola

Mental Health

  • Kerry Hicks
  • Jack McConnell
  • Dr. Don Russ
  • Michael Smith


  • Rhonda Cook
  • Drew David
  • Joe Marks
  • Joshua Singleton

Human Services

  • Allison Lane
  • Sally Learned
  • Renee Lewis
  • Elizabeth Ross
  • Gena Singleton
  • Billy Whisnant


  • Rita Gallagher
  • Deb Heck
  • Mark Merrick
  • Derrick Reynolds
  • Dick Rogers
  • Jim Van Hecke


  • Melanie Franklin
  • Matikia Robinson


  • Karin Cook


Jim Van Hecke Address: 203 White Street Morganton, NC 28655
Telephone: (828) 433-1221





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