Region 3

Region 3-Grand Rapids and Muskegon Officers

Suzanne Keep, President and Board Liasion
Beth VanDam, Secretary
Julie Bulson, Treasurer


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There is so much happening in response to the opioid addiction crisis that the panel discussion hosted by Mercy Health Saint Mary’s felt like it was just scratching the surface.  Region 3 was fortunate to four, passionate and experienced panelists to speak about the topic from different perspectives.

Shellie Cole-Mickens, MA, LLPC, CADC-M:  Ms. Cole-Mickens is a certified alcohol and drug counselor and the founder and director of Our House if Blessings, which provides housing for women in recovery from addiction.  She also brought her perspective as a recovering addict with 23 years clean.

Gretchen Schumacher, PhD, GNP-BC, FNP, NP-BC:  Dr. Schumacher is an active nurse practitioner who has been appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder to represent nursing on the Michigan Prescription Drug and Opioid Abuse Commission.  She had a very fresh report from the commission and announced a large funding grant for the state of Michigan that will provide greatly needed funding to some proven and successful programs already in place.

Bruce Springer, MD:  Dr.  Springer has many years of experience as a compassionate Addictionologist.  He gave his perspective on emerging medication assistant treatment options as well as providing some practical education to nurses who attended about the disease of addiction and the brain processes that occur.

Megan Williams, MSN, RN, CNL:  Ms. Williams is working with complex care patients, many of whom struggle with substance use disorder.  She is a strong advocate for underserved and strives to understand and manage the underlying drivers of patients’ clinical access patterns.

These four power-houses of our community shared from their hearts and from their experience.  There were almost 50 nurses in attendance.  The panel quickly turned into an informal discussion with the whole group as addiction touches nurses in every setting.  The group left with a better understanding of the crisis at hand and ideas about how individuals nurses can make a difference from simple: volunteering to teach laypeople how to administer naloxone to more sustained commitment: such as political advocacy.