A3 The Structure & Impact of Substance Use Peer Support Programs in Eight Emergency Departments in Maine.

This presentation will cover how MaineHealth developed substance use peer support programs associated with eight of their emergency departments during COVID-19. Additionally, how those positions are supported within the larger organization, including supervision, training, and mutual support. A panel of four peer recovery partners will share why these programs and their structure have been effective in supporting people during and after an emergency department visit.


Randy Morrison Randy is a person who understands navigating substance use and mental health challenges personally. He is the director of peer services and is a certified Intentional Peer Support (IPS) Specialist, IPS Trainer, and Recovery Coach trainer. Randy oversees the development and implementation of peer support programs across MBH and MaineHealth. Currently, MBH has over 50 peer support positions in a number of settings, including emergency departments, youth programs, case management programs, and four peer support centers. Outside of work, he enjoys traveling with husband, bird watching, and heading to a park with his dog, Sully.

Jason Sax Jason is a person engaged in long-term recovery. Jason has occupied two separate peer support-related roles while at MBH- a Peer Support Specialist and now as a Peer Recovery Partner. Jason has had the privilege to walk beside and support folks with the myriad challenges they face, while also having opportunity see them celebrate their growth. Jason is extremely grateful for the connections and relationships that have been forged through this work. Outside of the realm of peer support work, Jason is a husband, father, cook and musician.

Kaitlin Callahan Kaitlin is a person in long term recovery. She has been working as a Recovery Peer Partner at MBH in several programs over the last year. She supports folks as they walk their pathways of recovery, however that may look for them. She believes working as a peer support person has been incredibly fulfilling and life changing, and now is really an integral part of her recovery and sense community. Outside of peer support work, she is a mom, partner & co parent, and fiber artist.

Michael Niles Michael is a person in long-term recovery. He currently work as a Peer Recovery Partner at MBH in Integrated Medication Assisted Treatment programs for the last several years. He utilizes is own life experiences to assist others in supporting their recovery in the many pathways available. He continues to learn each day on his own journey and as a peer support person, as he practices peer support in his work, community and personal life on a regular basis. Outside of work, he enjoy sports, the beach and Maine’s outdoors.

Noelle Hoey Noelle is a person who has a history of struggling with substance use. She has been working as a Peer Recovery Partner at Maine Medical Center for MBH since September of 2020. She was fortunate enough to find her way into recovery four years ago, and has been able to develop relationships with others that are seeking change in their lives. This work is incredibly important to her; it has changed her life and the lives of others for the better in many ways.