BSAN Meeting Minutes – March 2016

Fifty people were present at the Morganton Community House on Thursday, March 25 2016 for this 7:30am breakfast meeting.

Joe Marks asked BSAN members for updates:

Peer Support Specialists Needed – Tristan Killian mentioned the upcoming April 1st commencement of the current Flynn Recovery Community residents. He announced that the integrated hub’s PQA Healthcare, Inc. currently has 40 referrals that want supported employment services, but that Burke Integrated Health does not have the staff to serve. The hub is seeking a peer support specialist w/ a bachelors degree. Those interested in applying should contact Burke Integrated Health.

Poster Contest – Julie Causby from AccessCare reported that the agency is sponsoring a poster contest on May 15th in 3 counties around substance misuse/abuse. Students should have posters done by April 13 at 7pm. County winners and grand prize winner will be recognized county wide and all submissions will receive free entrance to a Crawdads game. Connect with Julie at for poster contest rules.

Televised Heroin Programming – Joseph Martinez from First at Blue Ridge reported that WLOS ABC 13  is hosting a “Your Voice, Your Future” Town Hall Meeting. The topic is “The Heroin Epidemic in WNC.” The purpose of the Town Hall is to raise awareness about heroin addiction and the alarming overdose rate in our mountain counties. The event will be held at the WNC Ag Center in Fletcher, NC on Thursday, April 21st; live programming starts at 7:30pm and it will be streamed live our website and broadcast live on channel 13.3. People interested in attending should RSVP by Friday, April 1 by emailing

Girls Empowerment Summit – Sarah Dergins from Burke Recovery announced that the 2nd annual Girls Empowerment Summit is scheduled for May 7 at Patton High School. This event is planned by Strategic Alliance for Burke Youth (SABY), one of BSAN’s community partners.

RxEAP Task Force

Sarah Dergins addressed BSAN on behalf of the RxEAP task force, BSAN’s sub-committee working on prescription medication Misuse.

Operation Medicine Drop – Sarah reported that Operation Medicine Drop, a program of Safe Kids Burke County and Burke Sheriff’s office, collected 9000 pills, of which over 800 were controlled substances.

Medication Lock Boxes – RxEAP is working with child protective services, Easter Seals, and the grandparents’ support group to distribute personal lock boxes to people at risk of in-home overdose. This effort is in conjunction with a billboard campaign called “Lock your Meds”. CoMPAS Cable will also be airing a PSA campaign educating the public around the dangers of accidental poisonings. RxEAP and BSAN’s Underage Drinking Initiative are working on getting a parents town hall meeting May 16 or 22 at Summit Community Church.

Underage Drinking Initiative

Grub Grab Fundraiser – Rhonda Cook updated BSAN on the Grub Grab fundraiser, reporting that it is available for BSAN partners to bring to their workplace.

Coalition Website – NCCI funding has supported the redesign of the BSAN website, and our web designer has secured our new domain name,, and has begun converting the old blog to this new format. New coalition social media includes a Facebook page for Parents Inspire Prevention and a Twitter page for BSAN.

Thank you for Carding Cards – Rhonda encouraged BSAN members to take Thank you for Carding cards to give out to clerks at ABC licensed businesses such as convenience stores, grocery stores, and restaurants. This effort reminds staff at businesses that the community cares about the laws around sales of age-restricted products.

NCCI Training – The Spring training for NCCI grant funding year 2 will be held in Winston-Salem from April 13-15. BSAN members are encouraged to attend one or all three days. Anyone interested should contact Rhonda at

Keys to Life – Special Agent Antwan Happholdt announced that Keys to Life is planned for April 29 at Draughn High School. This event brings awareness to high school students around the dangers of underage drinking and is planned around prom season. The event ends with a mock crash, including law enforcement and a helicopter lift.

BSAN Coalition and Guest Speaker Jim VanHecke

Joe Marks talked about the process of BSAN moving from a networking coalition to an action-based coalition since 2011. He introduced Jim VanHecke, whose vision helped co-found BSAN. Formerly the Executive Director of Burke Recovery, bringing the agency to a new level of action. Burke Recovery is now celebrating 50 years of saving lives one day at a time.

Jim VanHecke spoke, thanking United Way for their ongoing support in helping BSAN get its start by covering the expenses of our coalition’s breakfasts. Jim thanked Burke Recovery staff for coalition communication and ongoing leadership. He then recognized the residents at Flynn Recovery Community, who will complete their 12 week session in the next week.

Jim then addressed the disciplined and passionate work of Burke Recovery staff and non-profit board leadership, as well as coalition involvement, which helps make recovery possible in Burke  County. For 50 years, Burke Recovery has made a difference. At a gala, set for Saturday April 30, the agency will honor leadership and successes.

Jim stated that he’s grateful to be here in Burke County back with friends who are joined in a common purpose — to improve the health and well being of this community by creating a recovery oriented community of care. He talked about the unique qualities of Burke County, which differentiate it from all communities around. The successes in Burke County come, in part, from learning from other surrounding counties. Conversely, Burke County’s BSAN has become a model for other coalitions.

Jim reported that BSAN has grown from a group of five people meeting in the basement of the hospital five years ago to a monthly coalition meeting where up to 60 people would show up for monthly morning breakfast meetings, expanding the list of people who have participate over time to more than 500, including at least 19 community sectors. The coalition began to come together as a networking group, then created partnerships and began identifying gaps. Through collaboration, BSAN began to implement strategies including, drop boxes, work with pharmacists, work in the schools, within the faith communities, and beyond. By assessing data and needs, BSANB received our first outside grant through Wake Forest Baptist’s NCCI. Our coalition leveraged support through its partnerships to secure a major federal grant from SAMHSA for a prescription medication misuse. These partnerships and grants have led the coalition to apply for Drug Free Community program federal support in 2016, which, if we receive funding, will draw a great deal of money into our county to fight substance misuse over the next five years.

Jim challenged us to go out and spread awareness around youth and adult substance use, drug trafficking and related issues. More needs to be done. Despite the great work that’s being done in the schools, we still need more support in the schools, especially for prevention. We also need to continue expanding treatment opportunities. Jim presented the jarring statistics around first-time use. Joint work that was done by Duke and UNC on underage substance abuse focusing on young people has found that 40% of people use their first drug at age 11.

BSAN is poised to lead the charge of prevention in our community and Jim challenged BSAN members to get and stay involved. He hopes that state leaders will support the change of delivery services through state budgeting. Jim encouraged people to speak to our representatives in Raleigh and be sure that mental health and prevention remains a priority.

Jim talked about support services like employment, housing, transportation, and encouraged BSAN members to get involved as a group, committing to keep the expansion recovery support services.

He then closed the meeting with inspirational quotes.

April BSAN Meeting

Next month’s BSAN meeting will be held Friday, April 29, 2016. Guest Reverend George Logan from New Day Christian Church will talk about Crossover Camp for youth.

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