ABC11's town hall on "Addiction: Hidden in plain sight" participants

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Here's who's taking part in our special Town Hall, Addiction: Hidden in Plain Sight:


Dr. Jamila Battle

Triple Board-Certified Physician in Sleep, Addiction and Family Medicine and 2016 Patient's Choice Award Winner


Jesse Bennett

A recovering heroin addict who has stayed clean for five years.


Amanda Blue, MSW, LCSW, LCAS - Healing Transitions

Amanda Blue, Director of Recovery Support Services, joined Healing Transitions (formerly The Healing Place of Wake County) in July of 2010. Healing Transitions is a homeless shelter with an innovative long-term addiction recovery program. Amanda is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and a Licensed Clinical Addictions Specialist (LCAS). She received her BA in Applied Psychology from North Carolina State University in 2005 and her Masters in Social Work, also from North Carolina State University, in 2008. It was during this time that she was first introduced to Healing Transitions and the recovery field. Her current role grants her the opportunity to see people truly turn their lives around and it is these miracles that drive her.

Amanda is also integrally involved in the community. She has served for the last four years on the Board of Directors for The Raleigh/Wake Partnership to End and Prevent Homelessness. She currently chairs the Homeless Service Systems and Agency Directors Advisory committees and has served in a leadership capacity for multiple community wide initiatives. Prior to Healing Transitions, Amanda worked as Lead Case Manager for Urban Ministries' Helen Wright Center for Women. Her passion lies with homelessness, women's services, and especially in recovery.

Sheila Cejka

Jesse Bennett's mother

Kevin McDonald - Founder, President and CEO of TROSA

As President and CEO of TROSA, Kevin McDonald has committed his life to helping other people change theirs. Since he founded the nonprofit in 1994, thousands of men and women have graduated from its multi-year program, equipped with the marketable skills, education and confidence to rebuild their lives. TROSA is the largest residential substance-abuse treatment program in North Carolina and a model of social entrepreneurship. Prior to coming to Durham, Kevin spent 12 years with the Delancey Street Foundation and then directed a program for paroled homeless former gang members in Los Angeles. Kevin has been recognized locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally for his work at TROSA.

North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein

As head of the North Carolina Department of Justice, the Attorney General provides legal representation and advice to all state government departments, agencies and commissions. The Attorney General also provides legal opinions at the request of other public officials and handles all criminal appeals from state trial courts.



Capt. Chris Atack - Carrboro Police Department

Captain Chris Atack is the Captain of Operations of the Police Department and is in charge of the Patrol Division and the Critical Incident Unit.


Tessie Castillo - Harm Reduction Coalition

Since 2010, Tessie Castillo has served as Advocacy and Communication Coordinator for NCHRC. She is the agency's only registered lobbyist and has successfully advocated for several new laws pertaining to overdose prevention, naloxone access, law enforcement needle-stick injury prevention, and the legalization of syringe exchange programs. She produces the majority of NCHRC's media articles on harm reduction, drug policy reform, criminal justice and law enforcement issues and has been published in Slate, Salon, The Fix, and AlterNet. She is also a regular contributor on harm reduction topics to The Huffington Post.


John Cline

Parent who lost child to an overdose.

Dr. Tad Clodfelter - CEO Southlight Healthcare

Expert in addictions and opioid treatment with 20 years in addiction treatment and leadership


Chief Tony Godwin - Cary Police Department

Godwin joined the Town of Cary Police Department in 1990 as a patrol officer. He spent the next two-and-a-half decades working his way through the ranks, serving in leadership positions on Cary's Emergency Response Team, Field Operations and Criminal Investigations Division; Godwin served as major for both the Services Bureau and Operations Bureau. He became Cary's Deputy Police Chief in 2014. He was named chief in 2015.


Paul Nagy - TROSA board member and Program Administrator for Duke Addictions Program

Paul Nagy is an Assistant Professor in the Duke University School of Medicine where he has worked for the past 28 years in The Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences in a variety of clinical, research, teaching and administrative positions. He holds degrees from Duke University and Florida State University and is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Licensed Clinical Addictions Specialist and Certified Clinical Supervisor. Mr. Nagy has over 30 years of clinical, research, administrative and teaching experience and conducts seminars and workshops to audiences throughout the United States. Mr. Nagy has also worked as an Expert Content Director overseeing the development of Treatment Improvement Protocols and Technical Assistance Publications for The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and is the author of several book chapters published by the American Psychiatric Press. He is a member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT) and works closely with a number of behavioral treatment and community health organizations to facilitate the adoption of evidence based practices. He was a 2008 recipient of the Triangle Business Journal Health Care Hero Award and the 2016 Advancing Evidence Based Practices Award from the North Carolina Evidence Based Practices Center.


Dr. Ashwin Patkar- Medical Director, Duke Addictions Programs

The Duke Addictions Program offers integrated treatment approaches for chemically dependent patients, as well as a continuum of care along with services that address issues involved in alcohol and drug addiction.


Captain Lars Paul- Fayetteville Police Department

Captain Lars Paul heads up the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) program. The program diverts low-level criminals from prosecution into stable housing, as well as educational and job-skills programs. Fayetteville is the 1st in the Southeast and fourth in the country to adopt this program. Additionally, the Fayetteville Police Department is also among the first in the state to equip officers with Naloxone, a drug that can reverse opioid overdoses.